It’s one thing to like doing something for fun. It’s another thing to take your passion to the next level. Building your personal brand and going the extra mile requires a lot of perseverance and thick skin.
Hannah Frankel has always been taking photos. It started with her little iPod Touch in middle school, before graduating to using a digital camera to capture unique moments in time. Her father used to take photographs for fun so playing with his equipment often helped fuel her passion for the art.
“I admire various photographers for certain aspects of their photography," Frankel told Fresh U. "I feel inspired by Bill Cunningham’s street photography, Paul Newman’s skill in taking portraits and so many more talented photographers. My role models change all the time with people like Diane Arbus and Vivian Maier frequently on my mind.”
In high school, Frankel began to take her passion a lot more seriously, to see just how far she wanted to go with it. She attended pre-colleges at New York School of Creative & Performing Arts and Maryland Institute College of Art where she majored in photography. She also interned as a photographer’s assistant in her home town, Westfield, NJ. Those experiences helped her realize that photography was her future. So, she took it to the next level by going to college at Newhouse School of Public Communications in Syracuse University.
“I’ve done a lot of different kinds of photography and I think the most strenuous part is taking photos of events," Frankel said."There’s always so much happening that you could miss one crucial moment to take the perfect picture. And there’s no way you can get that moment after it’s gone. On the other hand, when you capture a moment that gives the photo all the life and meaning you wanted from it, it is extremely satisfying. I also love the smiles on my clients faces whenever I show them these pictures. It feels very rewarding.”
Frankel started her own photography website in 2016, after learning about web portfolio design from Maryland Institute College of Art. Her pictures include a variety of portraits, street photography, dances, events and so much more. The number of people who visit her website regularly has been climbing steadily, with the last count being more four thousand views. People from all over the world visit the website, though the majority of her fan base is in USA.
“When I take photos, I’m showing everyone what I see, from my own unique perspective. Photographs are reflections of the photographer” Frankel said to Fresh U. “There’s a piece of me in every photo I take and I love sharing that with the world!”
Frankel’s dream is to be a fashion or a commercial photographer. She is currently a photographer for Fashion’s Conscience, a minority-based fashion organization on the Syracuse University Campus. She is also an active member of the community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. Frankel does not skimp on her relaxation time. She takes pleasure in learning new things. At the moment, she is learning ASL and can be found regularly practicing her skills at the guitar and ukulele. She also loves to paint and a common sight is one where she is surrounded by paints, brushes and canvas or even wood. Frankel enjoys sewing and modifying shirts so she can wear them out to parties.
“I prefer to take pictures of people because they are more interesting and emotional. I enjoy the interactions I have with the models I photograph” Frankel said. “Any person can create an exact duplicate of a picture I take of the amazing view or a flower, but pictures of people have more character and uniqueness from photographer to photographer.”
Frankel believes opening her own studio is a viable option for the future. From time to time, she has to fight off discouragement, since being a photographer in this age is not as profitable as it used to be. She is considering taking a dual major or a minor in Communication Science Disorders, so that she could have a career in speech pathology in case her photography dreams fall flat. However, they are two very different paths and Frankel remains optimistic of her future.
When asked about any possible advice for people interested in taking up a career in photography, Frankel told Fresh U, “There’s always something to photograph in every place you find yourself. Take more notice of your surroundings, go see the world and create those unique photos that only you can!”
Lead Image Credit: Joanie Schwarz