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sarahannehardy

Interview with Sarah Hardy

Interviews

06 November 2014

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Sarah! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

In a nutshell - I was born and raised in Ireland, studied to be a teacher, taught, travelled (a lot), found out I loved taking photos more than doing anything else (apart from travelling), moved to the States, and now I'm trying to start my photography career and a new life in Austin, Texas. I'm terrified and ecstatic all at once!

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AThe weirdest one I can think of off-hand was this past summer in Cambodia. I saw a woman hunched down with her very cute child and I said hello and asked if I could take their picture. She smiled with a hint of confusion and said yes. Later I looked at the photo and realised the child has been going to the toilet, hence why they were hunched down. I was so taken with his face that I didn't look any further down. Mortified! Obviously I cropped this photo pretty well....

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI shoot on a Canon 5D mark ii, and have a 50mm, 16-35mm and 135mm. My 50 is my go-to lens, I shoot wide open at 1.4 as often as I can. The 135mm is becoming a quick contender as my go-to though, it's pretty creamy!

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AJust keep shooting. You'll improve so drastically with consistent shooting but you'll barely notice it happening. Pay attention to the habits you form too, like when I started I used to think a good portrait meant I had to be extremely close to the subject's face, until someone suggested I give them a bit of breathing space within the frame. A very simple but massively helpful tip. I also used to go crazy on vignetting and on using those over-processed presets on Lightroom - then I started making manual adjustments and learned how I liked a photo to look at a more basic level. Now I use bought presets like VSCO and tweak them to how I like, but my taste changes constantly and when I find a new look I like I have to force myself not to re-edit every photo I've ever taken!

'I'm going to have to be predictable and say my favourite shot that I've uploaded the Havana Sunbathers. This photo is my claim to fame and it always gets a laugh out of people.... Read more

'I'm going to have to be predictable and say my favourite shot that I've uploaded the Havana Sunbathers. This photo is my claim to fame and it always gets a laugh out of people. It won me the Irish Times Travel Photographer of the Year 2013 which I was delighted with. It's probably the best photo I've taken, but I hope I can top it sometime and not have peaked already :)These two women must make a mint sitting where they sit, next to a bar associated with Hemingway as far as I can remember. Tourists pay a dollar to sit beside one of them and get their picture taken, and they sit at two opposite ends of a big bench. For this picture I asked them to sit together, and snapped this while they got a bit confused over how the money division was going to work (I gave them a dollar each). I was initially disappointed with how it turned out and wanted to return the next day and take another one but didn't get a chance to. And it ended up being my most popular photo!' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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'My friend and I had just left the lovely hustle and bustle of Havana and arrived in the almost sleepy city of Trinidad. I saw men carrying chickens as if they were handbag dogs... Read more

'My friend and I had just left the lovely hustle and bustle of Havana and arrived in the almost sleepy city of Trinidad. I saw men carrying chickens as if they were handbag dogs everywhere, which I found bizarre, and this was the first of the lot. He was sat at the side of the road and I asked him could I take his photo in pretty bad Spanish, between laughing outbursts because it was just so random. He laughed at my laughing and I took the picture. If you look closely you can see me in his glasses too.' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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'This was taken in Burma in the Bagan area. My friend and I had gotten up super early to avoid the heat and crowds while exploring the temples. We stopped, looking for a coffee,... Read more

'This was taken in Burma in the Bagan area. My friend and I had gotten up super early to avoid the heat and crowds while exploring the temples. We stopped, looking for a coffee, and these monks happened to be starting their morning rounds right then. Honestly I felt a bit of the tourist guilts taking this, which happens me quite often and I have to decide whether I really should take a particular photo. But I loved the colour of their robes and the neat line they formed and forced myself to suck it up and take the shot.' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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'I'm pretty sure I took this photo to test my settings for taking a shot of a wee child who was playing just to the right of this frame (also on my picfair page). The rain start... Read more

'I'm pretty sure I took this photo to test my settings for taking a shot of a wee child who was playing just to the right of this frame (also on my picfair page). The rain started bucketing down, and all of us adults ran for shelter while this child started hopping about in it having the time of his life. In the end I liked how the raindrops looked in black and white in this photo and included it in my picfair uploads too.' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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'We made it to Angkor Watt for a very non sunrise, and there were throngs of tourists in this spot when we arrived. Later after exploring the temple we wandered back out here to... Read more

'We made it to Angkor Watt for a very non sunrise, and there were throngs of tourists in this spot when we arrived. Later after exploring the temple we wandered back out here to find they'd all left, so I took advantage of the lack of foreground distractions. Until this wee boy wandered into my view and I thought his red top might add a bit of a pop to the dull morning picture. A few moments later he was dragged off by his ear, literally (I presume for wandering away from his parents).' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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'I kept seeing families of 4 on these little motorbikes but couldn't get a photo for the life of me. Then one day in Battambang I was bracing to take a photo of something else f... Read more

'I kept seeing families of 4 on these little motorbikes but couldn't get a photo for the life of me. Then one day in Battambang I was bracing to take a photo of something else from inside a tuk-tuk, and so my camera was ready to shoot when this family of 6 drove up next to me, waving and smiling. It all happened so fast I'm surprised it's actually in focus, but delighted it worked.' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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'Sometimes I take a photo because I know exactly how it will look with a certain edit style. This boy standing inside a dark temple facing the doorway was definitely one of them... Read more

'Sometimes I take a photo because I know exactly how it will look with a certain edit style. This boy standing inside a dark temple facing the doorway was definitely one of them times- the lovely colour of his skintone along with the traditional Burmese face paste (Thanaka) really stood out to me. And I've also been a fan of darker tones in my photos these days, as they go along nicely with the grain that seems popular (I can't stop using grain!).' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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'I very rarely remember that there's such a thing as long exposure photographing. But I've been trying to remind myself increasingly in places full of people that might be distr... Read more

'I very rarely remember that there's such a thing as long exposure photographing. But I've been trying to remind myself increasingly in places full of people that might be distracting to a photo if they're completely in focus. I tried a while before this to do a (yes, cliched) long exposure of Grand Central Station and liked the result, and the wide openness of this hallway reminded me of it. So a litter bin was moved out of the way and a few attempts were made with my camera balancing on my bag. These scenes make me happy I invested in the wide angle, which I don't use as much as I should.' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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'This was taken quickly as I was getting off a boat near Siem Reap- all the boats were tied up beside each other and this guy was chilling out in the one beside mine. I wasn't s... Read more

'This was taken quickly as I was getting off a boat near Siem Reap- all the boats were tied up beside each other and this guy was chilling out in the one beside mine. I wasn't sure if it would work as it was a tight squeeze, but I think in the end it made for a nice composition.' Read less

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Sarah Hardy

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