We recently worked with photographer Haley Kigbo from Haske on our shoot with Dot + Pop and fell in love with her folio of beautifully understated images. Haley lends her great eye for lighting and framing to a number of different brands and we were able to grab 5 minutes to find out a bit about what goes on behind the lens!
Tell us about Haske?
Haske is a recent venture for me, it began at the start of this year but has been a long time in the making. Like a lot of creatives it took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to ‘specialise’ in. I dabbled in every genre possible – weddings, fashion, fine art, documentary and travel photography.
That long adventure led me to Haske. Haske was inspired by the Hausa word for light, and specialises in simple product photography for fashion, food and lifestyle brands. This was a bit of a surprise for me, as the idea of doing product photography was always something I hated; but having the time to develop my own style and unique feel, I was able to find a love for something that originally seemed very dull.
When did your interest in Photography start and how did you pursue it?
I’ve always had an interest in photography since finding my dads Olympus OM10 in the cupboard, back in high school. Those days in high school where you spend the whole afternoon in darkness watching images appear on photographic paper seemed magical to me.
After high school I decided to take 2 years off travelling and working figuring out what I wanted to study, or even if I did wanted to study. Throughout those 2 years I realised I still had a passion for photography so I decided to do a Diploma in Photo imaging at NMIT in Fairfield. The idea of studying photography at a university didn’t make sense to me – a lot of uni’s have stopped darkroom teaching. I think this is a shame, as the skills you learn are really the foundations for all photography, especially understanding how an image is formed and working with light. Aside from the private institutions around Melbourne, there were only a couple of places that offered a course I wanted to do – one of those was NMIT. I think it was a great course for someone who had no idea what area of photography they wanted to pursue.
What has been your favourite job so far?
I actually don’t have a favourite, purely because I work across a few different fields, which tends to make each job unique. I will say though, that I absolutely love working with small local businesses – or businesses focused on ethical, eco or organic products. The products I’ve come across are always of high quality, I feel working with natural light can capture the life and honesty in them.
What do you love about the medium of photography? What is your creative process?
It may sound cliche, but I love the fact that you capture light in a tactile or digital form, this still seems magical to me.
As for my creative process, I really love tailoring the styling and photography process to the product I am working with. This is where I find briefing really important. With a solid brief, I’m able to work in the right colours, composition, light and textures to enhance and compliment the product/subject I’m shooting. This is why I particularly love working with Art Directors, Stylists or Graphic Designers, as they can really help enhance the overall results of a photoshoot.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to turn their passion for photography into a career?
I think for anyone looking at getting into photography as a career, you need to know it will be a tough road ahead.
It’s a very competitive field with so many talented photographers out there, not to say it’s impossible or that you should be super competitive and isolate yourself – I’ve found its really quite the opposite.
While photography skills are important, you definately need to be a great networker. Being able to connect with other photographers can help not only to improve your skills, ideas and to challenge yourself but will also help you develop a good network. This is something I’ll always struggle with, but the more people you know in different industries, the more opportunities you’ll have. This won’t come over night – though if it happens that way, kudos to you! It’s something you have to constantly work at, and will seem very taxing at times.
I think the other important thing is to not take it too seriously. It’s important to feel the joy photography can bring you, and not just see the $$$. Finally, always try and remember to inspire yourself creatively, whether thats going to a gallery, or going for a walk, spending time with people you love or just chilling out listening to some music.
See more of Haley’s beautiful work here.