Belle Bébés asks… Rosanna Hancock

Whether you are a parent wanting beautiful pictures of your children, an amateur photographer looking to learn more about portrait photography or somebody who just likes to read an interesting interview accompanied by pretty pictures, these posts are for you…

The interview

Introduction:
Hi I am Rosanna of Rosanna Hancock Photography. I specialise in creative portrait and wedding photography. I love to capture life’s precious moments whether it’s a bump, the first few days of your baby’s life, capturing your child’s first few steps or capturing your magical wedding day. I feel very honoured to be able to capture these precious moments in people’s lives.

Location:
Wokingham, Berkshire.

When and how did you fall in love with photography?
When I was 13 years old I used to love taking pictures with my little compact Kodak camera and enjoyed photographing landscapes and flowers. Then when I was 15 years old I decided to study GCSE Photography from then on I was in love with photography and knew that I wanted to be a photographer.

Have you had any formal training?
I studied GCSE photography at school and then completed a National Diploma in Photography and then completed a BSc Degree in Photography at the University of Surrey.

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How would you describe your photography style?
I would describe my style as stylish and whimsical with a modern vintage twist. I have an editorial approach to creating natural informal portraits that focuses on the person’s unique personality.

What inspires your work?
I take a lot of my inspiration from magazines, music videos, blogs and Pinterest as I am always striving to improve my style. This also helps keep my work fresh and current.

When did you first start out in portraiture photography?
I started portrait photography after I left University in 2008 and worked as a freelance photographer at numerous studios and also worked as a second photographer at weddings at the weekends. I then built my own studio at the end of 2008 and then started working from my home studio in 2009.

Where in the UK are you based and how far would you travel for a shoot?
I am based in the south of England in Wokingham, Berkshire. I am flexible to travel anywhere within the UK. I am also happy to travel around the UK for weddings and will also travel abroad for destination weddings.

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How many portrait sessions do you shoot per year?
I currently shoot approximately 25 portraits a year which include newborns, bumps, children and families as well as a few boudoir and makeover sessions.

Could you please share some details of a shoot you particularly enjoyed capturing?
I enjoy all of my portrait shoots as I specialise in custom photography so each shoot is tailored to my clients needs and makes their session more personal to them.

However, one session that stands out to me was when I first launched my Little Stars package last year at a local baby show. I was approached by a young beautiful first time mum who was very excited about expecting her first baby and wanted to capture a wonderful record of her pregnancy, newborn baby and when the baby was first sitting at 6 months. They were a lovely couple and enjoyed being creative with each shoot and it was an honour to capture these wonderful moments of their baby from the beginning to seeing the baby develop over the 6 months. It was so special as I felt that over the 7-8 months I got to really know the couple very well and captured some wonderful photos that will be treasured for many years to come. This is what makes my job feel very rewarding.

What would be your idea of a dream portraiture shoot?
I love working out on location as I find lots of inspiration for a lifestyle session from photographing in a cornfield, lavender fields, amongst poppies, in the woods the possibilities are endless. However my dream would be to photograph abroad on a beautiful beach on a paradise island at the golden hour capturing some dreamy photos!

What is your favourite age to photograph and why?
I love photographing tiny newborns as it’s so beautiful to be able to capture those first few days of a newborns life. I love their tiny hands and feet and having a few cuddles too!

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What difficulties, if any, have you come across with portrait photography and how do you cope with them?
I think photographing toddlers are the most difficult as they have a lot of energy and you have to be quick when they are in a good mood before they get too tired!

I always spend time with children before a shoot to get to know them before I get my camera out and always play a game with children when shooting to capture their natural expressions so they are never setup forced smiles. Playing games and playing with toys always distracts their attention from the camera and keeps them amused and having fun making the best photos.

What advice would you give to parents that want you to photograph their little ones?
To always be prepared! Make sure they have plenty of nappies and spare clothes. Make sure they have had a good feed beforehand and for toddlers to have a good nap beforehand so they won’t feel too tired. Also to bring snacks for toddlers so they won’t get hungry. To bring their favourite toys and anything personal to them that they would like to include in their photos.

What camera(s) do you use for your portraiture work?
Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR.

And your favourite lenses?
Prime lenses. I love using my 70-200mm f2.8 lens as this is a beautiful lens. I use this lens for location portrait shoots and it’s also great for using at weddings.

Do you use any lighting equipment?
I use my Bowens lights in the studio for my newborn photography but I also like to use natural light in the studio, and on location, as this ties in with my style of photography.

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What advice would you give to wannabe portrait photographers?
To always keep practicing, you can never stop learning as it’s very important to learn about how to use light to its best advantage. You also need to work on developing your own unique style.

What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?
I entered a photo into the AOP Open (Association of Photographers) competition in London and I was shortlisted as a runner up. My photo was exhibited at the AOP Gallery in London and was also printed in the AOP magazine in 2008. This was a wonderful moment for me as I had just graduated from University with a First Class Honours degree and this was a great achievement for the end of my year at University.

Out of all the photographs you have ever taken, which is your favourite and why?
I think it would have to be a photo I took of a cute little girl this spring amongst the bluebells. To me it captures the innocence of childhood as she was having great fun in her own little world finding fairies in the bluebells.

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If you could capture anybody or anything on camera what would it be?
I have always dreamt of photographing famous musicians and shooting their album cover artwork. Album covers are always pushing the boundaries of contemporary portraiture.

Just so we can find out a bit more about the person behind the lens, could you tell me 5 things you like that are completely unrelated to photography?

  • Travelling
  • Netball
  • Swimming
  • Music
  • Chocolate :)

And 5 things you dislike?

  • Rain
  • Gherkins
  • Spiders
  • Arrogant people
  • Winter

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What are your aspirations for the future, in photography or otherwise?
To continue growing my business and for my partner to work full-time with me, to build a large lifestyle studio in the beautiful countryside. I would also like to travel the world and document my journey.

 Heart Debs

Photographer Details:
Rosanna Hancock’s website
Rosanna’s blog
Rosanna’s Twitter
Rosanna’s Facebook page
Contact Rosanna

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