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Meet Koreatown Photographer: Hayley Fisk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hayley Fisk.

Hayley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Ever since I can remember I’ve always thrived from making art and being creative. I was fortunate enough to have such an amazing family who always encouraged me in my art making. Their unwavering love and support was a huge factor in how I found my success today as a photographer.I first started taking photos in high school, but I was more focused on painting and drawing because I wanted to pursue a career in Illustration. When I went to college at Illinois State University I took my first 2D art class and realized almost immediately how limited I felt when it came to creating something with a pencil and paint brush. My mom and dad kept pushing me to take a photo class and little did I know how life-changing it would be. After the first day of Photo I, I immediately sought out my advisor and changed my degree from painting to photography.

Upon college graduation, I moved from my hometown of Channahon, IL to Los Angeles to pursue a career in commercial photography/retouching. I started by interning for documentary photographer/videographer Lauren Greenfield as well as a retouching studio, 795 Photo. Through both internships, I learned what it took to become a professional photographer and retoucher. From there I’ve worked for companies such as Coleman-Rayner News and Picture Agency, Fox Sports Network, NFL Network, and I still work with Reformation, GUESS, and National Geographic performing photography and/or retouching services.

The experiences that I have gained over the years has pushed me to open my own photo business, Hayley Fisk Photo, a one-stop shop for photography and retouching services including but not limited to fashion, commercial, lifestyle and brands.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth journey for my photography career, but every bump has made me 10x stronger. Moving 1000s of miles away to Los Angeles from the only home I had ever known wasn’t easy. It was extremely hard not being able to see my family as much as I was used to, and it definitely gave me anxiety. My first year in LA I was couch surfing from one apartment to the next, not making a ton of money, only had a few people that I knew, and felt overwhelmed altogether with my post-college adventure. Another difficulty I faced was learning that there are people in the industry who do not have the best intentions even though they may come off like they do. I’ve worked with plenty of people who ended up being bad news, but with every bad person I’ve worked with I’ve learned to better trust my gut especially when it comes to collaborating with someone or taking on new business.

Since starting my own business I have dealt with many of the same obstacles that other photographers face such as gigs falling through, people not showing up to shoots, or last minute cancellations, but going through these kinds of challenges were important for me to fine tune my network of makeup artists, hairstylists, and models that I know I can rely on. Every hurdle has pushed me to fight even harder to achieve what I want, and it has also kept me humble so that I don’t get ahead of myself or lose appreciation for my journey.

Has there been people or an institution that has played a pivotal role in your career?
To start, my mother Mary Fisk and my father Tim Fisk are two amazing individuals who have both played pivotal roles in my career. They both have supported me ever since I first expressed my interest in pursuing a creative career, and have been my strength when I needed it the most. Also, growing up in a house where my mom had a thriving career and pursued her master’s degree with the love and support of my dad was huge in shaping my drive and ambition, especially as a woman. When I told them that I had been offered a photography internship in Los Angeles they never once hesitated in supporting me. They even flew out to LA with me to make sure that I was situated and safe. To this day they are my biggest supporters.

There are also two photographers I’m lucky to know who have been extremely inspirational to me. Kelly Garthwaite, a lifestyle and music photographer and Rachel Bujalski, a documentary photographer, and videographer are two powerhouse photographers and friends of mine who’s work ethic, ambition, and drive have pushed me in the pursuit of my own dreams. Having a network of successful photographers makes all of the difference, especially when living in a city like Los Angeles.

What kind of work do you look forward to most?
My favorite types of clients or projects are ones in fashion and commercial photography. I love working with brands shooting e-commerce, lookbooks, catalog photos, and social media campaigns. I also recently started working with National Geographic. I always look forward to working on projects with them because it gives me the opportunity to use my photography to help bring awareness to animals that are endangered and/or living in wildlife sanctuaries.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
If I had to start over, the one thing I would have done differently is I would have shot more early on in my career. In the beginning of my career, I was so focused on retouching that I didn’t shoot as much as I would have liked to. The plus side to focusing a part of my career on retouching is it has allowed me to now become a one stop shop as a photographer and retoucher. It also showed me what other fashion and commercial photographers were shooting, which I feel influences a lot of what and how I shoot today.

Pricing:

  • Prices for photography start at $150/hour

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
MUAs – Debra Thomas, Alicia Brown, Sabrina Duron
Models – Emaleigh Coon, Lena Summer, Lauren Ellison, Danielle Olen, Hannah Adelman
Hair Stylist – Andrea Nicoletti

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