Thursday, March 13, 2014

Artist Spotlight :: Hannah Gentiles + {Giveaway!}


Last week I posted about some of my favorite pieces of art from Etsy, and quite a few of you commented on how much you loved the 'Prada Marfa' photo.  So, I reached out to photographer Hannah Gentiles of Observation Full & Felt and she graciously offered to donate an 8x10 or 11x14 print of your choice for a giveaway!  I absolutely love Hannah's use of light and texture, below are some of my personal favorite pieces of her work.  How amazing would that 'Prada Marfa' print looked blown up and framed above the mantle?  I had the chance to catch up with Hannah earlier this week and learn a little more about her business, experiences, and photography style...and I have to say I seriously wish I lived closer to her because it is obvious what a creative, thoughtful, and sweet person she is.  Read away and scroll down to enter the giveaway!

Can you tell me a little bit about how and why you got into photography? 
I have always been sort of the self-appointed documentarian of my friends & family.  I used to look at photos I’d taken for hours, trying to soak up the moment in which they were taken as long as I could, and inevitably always seeing/feeling something new that I wasn’t aware of in that instant.  I’ve always loved the new perspective a photo can give you, if you let it.  But, more formally, I took photo classes in College.  I loved getting lost in the dark room for hours and hours.  Photography became my minor.  My major was Social Work.  Right after school I started working as a full-time Social Worker, and found myself needing a creative outlet, and had gotten some positive feedback from photos I had taken during my study abroad experience in Wales (traveling to England/Paris/Scotland/Ireland), the previous year.  About a year after returning from Wales, I decided on a whim to post some of my photos on Etsy.  Slowly, I began to sell more and post more photos.  That led to selling photos at a fabulous market here in Nashville, called Porter Flea and a handful of other markets.  Since then, the last couple years I have spent doing more work with photography than anything else.  I take any new photo experience I can.  I’ve captured weddings, parties, engagements, anniversaries, newborns, families, best friends, school photos, etc. 

What equipment do you use?
I like to keep it pretty simple, as most of my shots that end up in my Etsy Store are taken either spontaneously or on my travels.  Typically I just use my Canon EOS 7D, my 50mm lens, and my keen skill of observation.

Tell me a little more about your experience in Marfa...I'd love to visit someday!
I think Marfa is wonderful.  My older sister lives there, and I have been to visit three times in the last five years.  Each time was filled with wandering and wondering.  That’s the beauty of the place, it’s so beautiful and simple that it allows you to just breathe for a moment.  It is a town with people from all walks of life looking for community and simplicity and a place to do their art, and it’s hard not to find all of that incredibly inspiring.  Without fail I always find my way to clarity/perspective while I am there.  I think if you visit and are able to respect that it’s a small town where the locals are new artists, artists that have been there for years, and families who have been there for generations you will truly get the most out of your experience.  The more you go to simply ‘be present’ and absorb the beauty of the desert vs. treat it like a tourist attraction, the more authentic your experience will be.  Often it gets overrun with people that have very specific expectations and a complete disregard for the fact that it’s people’s home.  Go with respect for nature and the people and for yourself :)

What are your favorite subjects to shoot?
My absolute favorite way to shoot is what I call ‘photo adventuring.'  It involves finding abandoned and hidden places and then taking a drawn out amount of time to explore it.  I try to give myself no boundaries, and push myself to see deeper and deeper...there’s always more to see.  Photo Adventuring can happen completely spontaneously, and other times I’ll set out with a plan to simply get lost and see what I find.  For me it’s a true adrenaline rush, to connect with a brand new place, and hopefully find new appreciation in it.  And it’s equally exciting to then share it with others.  The photos in my shop of the abandoned antique store were taken this exact way –  hours of walking around the building that I found after taking a wrong turn on my drive home from Asheville, NC.  I appreciate the opportunity to do the same with people.  It’s important to me to share their true beauty. Sometimes even a look or angle that others don’t normally get to see.  I will capture people in both familiar and new environments, but either way I always ensure to make them feel as comfortable as possible to allow me to comfortable really see them.  Doing so allows me to work through the façade and explore what’s underneath – which is a much more difficult task with people than it is with a building – but also very rewarding to get that unique shot.  I typically work in Nashville, Austin, TX and Asheville, NC, but am willing to work anywhere.  Feel free to contact me directly {Hannah.gentiles@gmail.com} with any questions!

What is your dream for your photography business?
I would love to travel and capture new places and new and familiar moments in people’s lives, all around the world. The ability to share ordinary and extraordinary beauty with all – and help people to feel comfortable in front of a camera in a way that allows me to capture a true moment that can be transformative.  I dream of helping remind people that beauty lies in the most unknown, forgotten places and that it is within each of us.


17 comments:

  1. Wow these photos are so beautiful! I've entered the giveaway but I just don't know which one I would choose! I love love love the Prada one and the one of the tree so I guess even if I don't get one for free I'll be buying a print anyway!
    Lucy xxx
    www.la-lingua.blogspot.com

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  2. Jeannine Van SandtMarch 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Gracious correction ... Hannah "Gentiles" Great article bringing to light amazingly soulful work!

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  3. She's amazing!! And I love that Prada Marfa shot. Amaze. And what a gem! She just seems like a cool girl to hang or travel with! Great feature!

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  4. darn you autocorrect!
    thank you for catching that jeannine :)

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  5. Jeannine Van SandtMarch 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    You're welcome! So happy to have stumbled across you and your writing! Thanks for bringing Hannah's work to us! ♥

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  6. Such a fun interview! Her work is amazing! If she taught a class I'd totally road trip to Nashville :)

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  7. Hannah has captured two of my favorite things: Being a true Nashvillian by learning her craft and capturing my favorite photo ever from Marfa, Texas. Great article!

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  8. Man those are pretty photos!

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  9. Lovely photography, Hannah and so enjoyed reading about you and your creative process. Love La Petit Soldier Shop and the reflections in the window. Also the cotton ball is stunning, the deep browns and reds against the soft white...gorgeous. Thank you, Molly

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  10. She's so talented! Love that Prada Marfa photo!

    The Style Scribe

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  11. yay! fingers crossed and magic dust i win.

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  12. Love, love, love that Prada Marfa photo! :D

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  13. I would LOVE that Prada picture on my wall!!

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  14. AND the Lookout Mountain Observatory. Love.

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  15. Like everyone else I love the Prada picture, but I would have to choose the Green Barn in the Adirondacks...it reminds me of our garage when we first started our restoration! :)

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  16. Gorgeous photos! I love Lookout Mountain Observatory. Beautiful!
    Lori

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  17. the Marfa photo is my favorite!

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