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THE ARTIST SOUL \\ WITH DUNEDIN PHOTOGRAPHER FRANKLY FAYE

The wonderful Hannah at Frankly Faye documents big love, big moments, big colour and damn we are big fans.

⁠A lover of all that magical, gooey, quirky, crazy, intimate, honest, heart-stopping love stuff- she lives it with you and captures it all in the most beautiful artful way. ⁠

Warm, nostalgic, homely.. comforting. Familiar. The way you feel when looking through a beat-up old family album that’s full of faded images and torn pages, but full of so many fond memories and people. That’s the way my work makes me feel and the way I hope others will too.”‘

We catch up with this creative soul, Dunedin based photographer and Super 8 Film lover, Hannah of Frankly Faye for some inspiration and insights from behind the lens.

Give us a classic, ‘First Day of School’ introduction of yourself!

Well, Hey! I’m Hannah and I’m a photographer going by the name Frankly Faye ~ which in a nutshell comes from my grandparents on my dad’s side, who I’ve only ever known through photographs, but gosh I feel like I could close my eyes and be right there with them sometimes. That’s the beauty of photography. Your images will only ever grow in value. I’m just a creative, sentimental little soul trying to find her way through life. Always collecting little treasures from the places I go and the people I meet (no, not a hoarder haha). I’ve always been that way inclined and curious about people, how they interact, what they’re thinking. I’m someone that quite enjoys sitting by a window and watching the people that walk past. Which is probably partly why I enjoy photographing weddings so much ~ It’s like one big window.

I also just very much love art in general. I live and breathe that world. I recently finished my post grad studies at art school, in photography of course, which has opened up my mind to so much good stuff within that area and has definitely influenced me into who I am today and the way I work. Especially from my studies my shelves are full of so many books, because outside my need to collect old cameras and photographs, I need to have books in my life! It goes straight back to the tangible way of looking at photographs ~ I enjoy nothing more than flicking through a beautifully designed, well-made photo book. Getting lost in the visual narrative.

Although on the flip side I am damn good at reading a Dr Seuss book super-fast to my kids (One of my favs is Fox in Socks). I totally trump my husband on that one. Which speaking of, we have two insanely beautiful little souls that have come full steam into our life and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon ~ Bodhi & Amelia. Makes for a very interesting work/life balance, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

How would you describe your style of photography?

Warm, nostalgic, homely.. comforting. Familiar. The way you feel when looking through a beat-up old family album that’s full of faded images and torn pages, but full of so many fond memories and people. That’s the way my work makes me feel and the way I hope others will too. The feeling is so important and sits above all else. So much more so than the technicality of the image – if it’s exposure/composition/edit is “correct”. If you looked at one of my photographs, could you close your eyes and smell the ocean, hear laughter, feel the emotion.. picture yourself being in that image. That’s the good stuff right there!

What inspires your work? Any specific artists, musicians or designers etc?

My biggest inspiration comes from the people I photograph. A little corney I know, but it’s true. When I’m photographing someone and they’re completely at ease and in the moment, that is when the magic starts to happen! That is when I really start to get inspired! Just completely inspired by them and their reaction to the space they are in ~ be it physical or emotional. Otherwise specific artists I love are Tania Franco Klein, Alex Prager, Fred Herzog, Stephan Shore, Jeff Wall, Weronika Gesicka (the list could go on!) and the way Kaja Silverman, Joanna Zylinska, Roland Barthes and Hervé Guibert have all written about photography. It’s so easy to feel inspired and a need to go grab a camera when you’ve absorbed some of their words.

“I See, I feel, hence I notice, I observe, and I think” “A sort of umbilical cord links the body of the photographed thing to my gaze.. a skin I share with anyone who has been photographed” There’s so many things that I find inspiration in and sometimes it’s as simple sitting on the beach and digging my toes into the sand or putting my head under water to drown out noise. If only we could breathe under water.

How has witnessing so many weddings impacted your life and outlook?

I’ve become a much better organiser of things haha. In all seriousness though, they have really made me value more the important people in my life. You see so much genuine love and emotion on a wedding day, not just between the couple but between the parents, grandparents, close friends, friends that haven’t been seen in years and you can’t help but feel good. It’s such a high. I’m never not in a good mood when I leave a wedding at the end of the night. Seeing all these people together and embracing one another, you just want to go do the same.

What would be a dream project or collaboration for you?

That’s a tough one! If we’re talking just within the wedding realm, I would bloody looove to be invited along to photograph a couples day where there are no major expectations or ‘rules’ and they give me pretty much a total green light to just go nuts with all my random, old af cameras and just be fully in there with them celebrating and seeing what comes out of it image wise. There’s no checking the back of my camera or taking a handful of shots to make sure it’s nailed, getting particular wedding photos the couple will probably never look at again. What will be, will be. There’s something really exciting and kind of freeing in that!

What is the best advice you ever received?

To trust the process. It’s something I’m always trying to remind myself. I know it rings true and the process always come through but sometimes when you’re in the middle of the thing and you can’t see the beginning or end it can be really hard to. However, just trust the process. Process is key. Most of the time the process actually ends up been the most exciting part to the thing!

What is your favourite camera to use?

Right now, It’s definitely my Super 8! I have a Sankyo that I picked up off Trade Me for like $30 and it’s so amazing to think what has been filmed on it in the past by the man that owned it. I actually found a random photograph of someone in the bag that they must’ve forgotten about. It now sits proudly on my desk alongside some slides from the 70’s I picked up off eBay. I really enjoy collecting photographs from times gone, potentially people gone too, just getting lost out in the world. Circling back though, I’m just starting to branch out into films and as much as I adore photography, it’ll always be my one true love, it’s a little like coming up for a breath of fresh air getting to dive into a new realm of image-making.

Favourite place to travel to in New Zealand?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am such a fan of a solo roadie! Right now I just want to head back over to the west coast! It’s just this wild, rugged jungle of an area that changes so much as you travel along. One minute you’re driving with all the car windows down because it’s so damn hot and the next, rain is pouring in through the windows but it’s so fresh you just leave them down and turn up the music. I’d be back there in a heartbeat!

If you would like to see how Frankly Faye rolls on Wedding days, check out this beautiful Otago Wedding of TASH + SHANE, here.

You can find details on how to contact Hannah, more Wedding Photography and Super 8 Film by over on our Wild Hearts Vendor Collection here, and follow Frankly Faye on Instagram @frankly.faye

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