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Meet Santa Monica Photographer: Hanna Yamamoto

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hanna Yamamoto.

Hanna, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up, I always felt the need to document what happened to my life and the other around me. Over the years I have spent it documenting and recording things I have done in new places with new people. I hope to travel the world with my camera and tell the stories of the people who come across my life.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s always a struggle. I am constantly struggling with my own. At times you feel like you don’t know what to do to get by but then other times everything comes rushing at you, all at once. It’s those times that you struggle that make you the best you can be,

I had a hard time with figuring out my own voice with my work. For years I spent trying to figure out what that voice was. Even now I still think that sometimes I need help with it.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I think my proudest moments are when I get to see the reactions of my subjects and clients and to see the excitement in their faces just from my images. Being able to preserve these memories not only for myself but for other people, there is really no feeling that is better than that.

Tell us more about the struggles you’ve faced along the way.
All the time. I feel like, for me, there is a constant struggle with what I can do differently but also get my own voice across without getting lost in the sea of other artists and photographers. Everyone wants to be original and have their own style to show. Being surrounded by so many talented photographers I often find myself worried and lost from what it is that Ia m trying to represent for myself. But I also think that this feeling is what pushes me to try harder and do better.

Is there something we can do as a city to improve the outlook for professionals like you?
Los Angeles is an amazing place to start many careers, and I think for visual artists this is one of the best places to be. You have a myriad of places to explore and create but also you are surrounded by some amazingly talented creatives so it’s really one of the best places to network and build a strong relationship with working professionals.

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Jenny Baumert photographing the kelp forest off of the coast of Anacapa Island in the Channel Islands, Calif. (© Hanna Yamamoto 2014)

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