With aspirations that once inspired her to be in front of the camera, the beauty of Hannah Schuck is now experienced through all of the things she sees behind it. Quite the photographer, this Crucian phenom steps closer to success and further into purpose with each press of the shutter. Her photography; a keen observation of where light bends and shadows meets at its folds, giving everything she captures a moment and rendering all who view her work amazed by such outstanding work.
WBM: If you had to describe your style of photography, what would it be?
HANNAH: I would think that my photography style really focuses on beauty and emotion, especially people and nature. When I’m conducting shoots or taking random pictures, naturally I gravitate towards bringing out light and emotion in everything that I take pictures of, so hopefully when others are looking at them, they can actually feel the emotion that I’m portraying.
WBM: Was photography something you always envisioned yourself doing?
HANNAH: Actually no, I really started off with wanting to be a model. I was always intrigued by fashion and beauty, and always wanted to do something with it. Photography gradually came along, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.
WBM: How did you get your start?
HANNAH: I used to dress up my sisters and do our own photo shoots. It was our way of having fun. I didn’t really think much about what I was doing while taking their photos. It was my mom who told me that I would make a good photographer, and that’s when I considered it as one of my future careers. My art teachers and counselor have always pushed me in photography because they saw talent, and encouraged me to keep pushing to be successful in it. Ever since I’ve fallen in love with it, and will continue to pursue it for the rest of my life.
WBM: Think of the shoots that you’ve had in your career. Do you have a favorite moment?
HANNAH: I think one of my favorite moments was doing my first shoot with a professional model at one of my favorite beaches on St. Croix. The purpose of the shoot was really for the experience of shooting an experienced model, and to have fun. I was so thrilled on set, and she was just perfect for the area. I remember looking through the lens during one of the shots, and seeing her eyes, her dress waving in the wind, the sun, and bam! There was the shot I’d been dying to capture. I think every shoot I do I get this feeling, a really, really good feeling that brings me into a whole new dimension where it’s only me, my camera, and my subject. But during that particular shoot, the feeling was ecstatic, and I entered a world of my own.
WBM: What’s your biggest accomplishment?
HANNAH: I think that my biggest accomplishment is doing this interview, and getting an award for my photography from the Alpha Kappa Delta Sorority. My school counselor entered me in their Rising Star competition for my photography, and they choose me along with students from other schools on the island to showcase our work. Basically the competition is for students in high school who have the potential to be a ‘rising star’. I did several displays of my favorite shots, and made a speech about what photography meant to me. Since I’m so young and only getting started, I feel like in the future I can reach my goal to someday be a professional photographer, and become somewhat well known. But simply doing this interview is a huge highlight for me.
WBM: What type of camera do you shoot with?
HANNAH: I started with an iPhone, believe it or not. Eventually, as I became more passionate towards photography, my grandparents got me a Canon Rebel T3i which I’ve been using ever since.
WBM: Do you remember the first picture you took? What was that of?
HANNAH: Well, I can’t say exactly what the first picture I took was, but I can remember the first photo I did where I just knew that photography was going to be my thing. It was a black and white setting of my sister wearing an eye mask, with a clown in the background. It was my first try at creating something different; something dark and edgy. To this day, it is one of my most mysterious and interesting pictures, and the first that caught the eye of my art teachers.
WBM: What are some of the things that inspire you?
HANNAH: Many things inspire me. Simply taking walks along the beach and studying nature can inspire me to pick up the camera, or listening to some really good music. I also tend to get my inspiration from celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Tyra Banks who are both so high in fashion and beauty. Seeing their photos makes me want to be able to capture the same type of beauty.
WBM: Do you have a favorite photographer?
HANNAH: Milton H. Greene has to be my favorite photographer, because he was able to capture beauty and essence so clearly and dynamically that when you look at his work, it feels like you are standing on set with him. His photos of Marilyn Monroe are simply timeless and I admire his natural ability create such an amazing work of art. You have to be a really skilled photographer to be able to capture someone’s inner light and raw emotion, and he was naturally able to do it, and of such an incredible woman!
WBM: What is the world like through your eyes? What do you see right before taking a picture?
HANNAH: The world to me holds outrageous and pure beauty, in everything and everyone. So to be able to capture that beauty is amazing to me. When I’m taking pictures, and go into what I like to call the zone, I become extra sensitive and aware of my surroundings. Suddenly I’m able to see the beauty in almost anything. Right before I take a picture, I see the whole setting and everything that I could be capturing right in front of me. For instance if I’m taking a picture of a sunset at the beach, I see the waves crashing with the sun sparkling like gold on it, the clouds reflecting in the water, and the sunset itself creating this beautiful scene. I see the whole scene right before I click the shutter, and hope that I was able to have captured that moment in time. I focus on the uniqueness in the setting I’m shooting at, and it all just seems to unfold before my eyes.
WBM: Why is what you do so important?
HANNAH: To me, photography is my way of truly expressing the thoughts and ideas running through my head. I love being able to show the inner light and beauty of the subject. Showing someone’s raw emotion is what makes a photo stand out, and that to me is key to creating a good visual. Photography is very important to me, because pictures speak and if you are really good, they leave an everlasting impression. It has become an essential part of my life.
WBM: Let’s say you have five shots left in your camera. Who do you take a picture of and why?
HANNAH: I would take a picture of my sister Meaghan, because I know her so well. I always took the most beautiful pictures of her. She also knows me so well, and on set we seem to be able to understand each other without really speaking. I know the best ways to pose her and how to capture her natural form of beauty. She is the model that I started out with so I would like to also end with her.
All images courtesy of Hannah Schuck.
Feature Image by Michael D. Solar
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