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Paris Hawken

Please introduce yourself in 20 words or less
Hello, I am Paris, a young photographer from the coastal town of Margaret River, Western Australia. 

Was photography your first career choice?
Pretty much... I did have some dreams of being a professional horse rider once.

How did you go from photography being a hobby to doing it full time?
I was pretty lucky in that I really fell into it being full time. I studied photography for three years, and picked up enough small jobs whilst I was studying that when I graduated, I had lots of work to go straight into. And my mum’s rent free spare room helped as well during that time.  

What is the favourite part of your work?
Being given total free rein from clients to create whatever I want.

Over the last few years what type of photography work have you been doing?
I’ve been photographing a lot of weddings, as well as commercial and lifestyle photography for our brand Elements Margaret River with Russell Ord and Mark Boskell, and exhibiting my personal work.

Are there any projects you are working on at the moment? I’m currently working on releasing Issue Two of our magazine we launched this earlier year, The Elements Journal. I’m the Art Director for the project. We released Issue One in March this year (2017), and are pretty excited to keep momentum rolling and make it a sustainable venture for the team and contributors involved.

What type of gear are you using at the moment and what is the one piece of equipment you wished you had? I shoot all of my professional work on Canons, and travel with Fujis. I pretty much won’t ever change my 35mm lens no matter what I’m shooting, but I do love sneaking on my tilt shift lens every now and then.

What excites you about travel and photography? I love using photography as a way of meeting new people when I’m travelling. I like to challenge myself to be able to be brave enough to walk up to interesting looking strangers and ask if I can take their portrait – they mostly always say yes, and I make amazing connections from doing that. They always also give you the best local tips on where to go and what to do as well. It’s not easy for me to do as I’m a fairly shy person, but I guess that photography is my way of connecting with people.

What are your sources of inspiration and do you ever go through times when you think lets move on from this type of work?
I think that watching movies would be my main source of inspiration, I love that really cinematic, moody, kind of look – it evokes so much feeling in an image. I definitely have had moments of needing to move on from a style or phase, they’re usually the ones that I put way too much thought into.

What is the one aspect you find the most difficult about running a photographic business?
Trying to be about 20 different roles when I am definitely only qualified at one! Doing the social media, web design, marketing, customer service, accounting and market research can be pretty full on – luckily I was so hopeless at the accounting side of it that my wonderful mum has taken over that.

If there was one destination you could travel to and photograph where would it be? Right now its Morrocco – I’m a little obsessed with going there, I really want to shoot in their ancient cities and head into the Sahara Desert.

Where can we follow your work?

Instagram - @parishawken and @the_elementsjournal
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