"Just be yourself." If we've heard it once we've heard it a million times. It is usually given as advice to remain true to who you are and what you love. To express the fullness of your personality with its quirks and oddities. Often we brush it off and ignore it as impractical and by the lie that if people truly knew us they wouldn't like us. At its core "just be yourself" is our deepest longing captured in three simple words, to be both fully known and fully loved.
Today we encourage you to lean into that longing and allow people to fully know you. In time you'll find that they love you far more than you ever imagined.
Hannah Zieschang has a knack for capturing people just being themselves. Whatever the occasion she immortalizes much more than events and memories but your true self. As you gaze upon her images you can't help but feel you know the people they contain.
Heirloom: Do you have any morning routines? If so, would you mind sharing a few of them and why you feel that set you up for success?
Hannah: If (IF) I can force myself to wake up when my alarm clock goes off, I love to open up my curtains (the light in my house just might be my favorite thing in the world), make breakfast, grab a cup of tea or some kind of green drink & sit on my bed having my quiet time, reading, & answering emails for the day. I also check my planner to see what’s up for the day. I have learned that am a mess without checking it before I get going. I'm a night (late late night) person who loves mornings, so slow mornings & time with God are just what I need to get going & focused for the day.
Heirloom: Tell us about your journey into photography. How did you come to picking up your first camera?
Hannah: Well my mom is a picture lady. Growing up, she always had a camera in hand. So while I rolled my eyes a lot when I was younger, now I appreciate the way she documented my family’s life. I first started doing photoshoots of my little sisters when we were younger. I'd come up with a look & concept, find some clothes here & there around the house, grab my little point & shoot digital camera & go out & shoot! We were just playing around, but it got my hands in styling & photography. I started shooting senior photos for siblings & friends in high school, then more portraits & lifestyle shoots as a college freshman & started working as the photographer for a local boutique.
Heirloom: How would you describe your photography style?
Hannah: I'm not sure I've nailed that down completely yet - I still feel like I'm wrestling & growing & figuring out a lot of who I am as a creative person. Honestly, because I’m not solely pursuing photography hard, it feels funny still to call myself a photographer. I feel the pull of wanting to perfect something before I put it out there, and at the same time see the value in producing work - however imperfect it may be. With that being said, I’d say my style tends to show up as relaxed, & naturalistic, with a significant interplay between light & dark & a bit moody. I’m really drawn to undone photos that bring in the individuals personality & are fun! I think pictures lose their purpose if the individual doesn't shine through.
Heirloom: What inspires you? Where do you turn for inspiration?
Hannah: I know this is a bit cliche but I really find inspiration from almost anywhere! I’m really inspired by a collection of musicians, artists, photographers, designers & draw a lot of inspiration from various fashion icons. I find that there are so many images, sounds & concepts that get me really excited. I love drawing people & I do a lot of watching people & observing movements & behavior patterns. I think that flows into my photography as well. Nature is my happiest place to look to to be inspired by the ultimate Creator & to find colors & patterns, & underlying that all is a chase after beauty. When I was 12 or so, I saw a quote that said something to the extent of - "I will make everything around me a more beautiful place, that will be my life” - & that really resonated with me. So since then that's been my goal. Beauty is essential, captivating, dynamic & fascinating to me & something I love to explore, & I have been wrestling with the concept in waves throughout the past few years.
Heirloom: You have your hand in so many things. Tell us a little about everything you have going on?
Hannah: Well I'm still a student so learning (& it's a constant learning process) how to manage my life well & juggle my freelance work, as well as my job as a creative manager at a local boutique all the while not forgetting to fit in a little studying. I love photography, but the whole picture really excites me. So, I do freelance styling & am a hair & makeup artist as well. I love to draw & paint just for me, so I try to make time for that too! I’m just starting to look at how I can expand & focus on some of my passions more outside of work & school, so I’m excited for whats to come!