5 Questions for Chloe Hunter
Tell us about yourself
Hi! I’m Chloe Hunter and I’m studying human development and family sciences at the University of North Texas in Denton. I have found that photography is a fun way to connect with new friends, as a good Instagram page seems to be its own form of currency these days. I happen to love taking photos, so it works out quite well.
Most recently, a friend and I wandered around downtown Denton. We took some fun photos so she’d have something cute to post on her birthday. It was a golden hour well spent. Looking ahead, I think this is the kind of casual role photography will play in my life, and I’m excited about that.
In the long run, I’d like to become an occupational therapist. I’m a freshman, so I have a ways to go yet. I’m currently working on being the best college kid I can be. I read lots of textbooks, snack on peanut butter banana sandwiches, and try to keep my side of the dorm room from being a death trap.
What is it that interests you most about photography?
As a kid, I used one of mom’s hand me down cameras. In the 8th grade, I bought a nice compact point and shoot with birthday and Christmas money. I really got my start in photography when I was given a Canon Rebel T6i for my 16th birthday. I enrolled in a photography class at my high school. By senior year, I’d taken three photography classes, studied photojournalism, and I’d joined the yearbook staff.
I’ve always been excited about the possibility of freezing and saving a moment (because really, that’s kind of a superpower) and on a very basic level, I’d say that’s still the case. I’m still in the midst of moving from snapshots to shooting with more and more intention, although I do think there’s value in shooting whatever catches my attention simply for the fun of it all. I often put myself in situations where I’ve pre-planned just enough. This give me lots of leeway for spontaneity.
What kind of of photographs do you like to make?
I like to make images because the process is fun, so I’m game to shoot just about anything. I most often shoot portraits and macros of flowers, or whatever cool produce we have in the fridge. I very much enjoy portraits and the opportunity to interact and engage with people in a different context than we usually experience. Most of my portrait shooting experiences have been with friends, or at least people I’m friendly with. Because of that, I can’t say for sure that I love portraiture in general, but I do love my friends and spending time with them and making something together.
Macro and flowers are fun when I’m in a weird or antsy mood, and I need to simply switch gears and use a different part of my brain. They allow me to focus all my energy into one task, and let everything else fall into the background for a little while.
Architecture, street, and especially landscape photography, are still elusive to me. When the opportunity presents itself, I like to play around and see what I can get. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed shooting sports in high school. Of course football was exciting, but I liked the challenge of JV basketball in the cramped gym, or wrestling, where a usable photo might have only been available for a split second. It felt a little like a treasure hunt through time, which was unique.
What is most rewarding about learning photography?
I find photography rewarding, first and foremost, because it is simply fun for me. Taking photos gets me out of my head and into a space where there’s not failure and success, but simply actions and their end results. It becomes a safe place to do and create. Looking at the photos that I’ve taken is a little like Christmas morning – seeing what worked out, what I like, and what I want to do differently.
I love to create things, and photography is a very broad creative outlet. Unlike other mediums, there’s very few restraints, but permission to do, and by proxy, to just be. That freedom, partnered with the infinite possibilities, makes photography such an accepting art form.
The second aspect of photography that I find rewarding is the ability to share whatever skills I have with other people, even if I don’t have everything perfectly right yet. I like that I’m able to help a friend out when she needs new headshots for work, or be able to send some great pictures of a child I was babysitting to her mom. Photographs, for many people, are synonymous with memories, and I think it’s cool to be someone who can facilitate that, even if it’s a simple photo for a Christmas card, or senior photos for friends.
Can you share any tips about your experiences with photography so far?
So far my advice would be simply to keep making pictures. I learned photography through trial and error, and I find it rewarding and empowering that I can pick up my camera and get something I want if I kept trying different things.
I still have a whole lot to learn about editing and software and histograms, but I try to focus on continuing to create, and not get overwhelmed by everything I don’t know. You don’t have to know everything to have fun with photography, and making great images is a byproduct of that process.
The NAPfS is delighted that Chloe is a member and wish her the best of success in her growing interest in photography. We think she is already well on her way!