I am finding it difficult to gather the words to communicate the significance of this piece with you. However, I will say that this is more than just an interview, this is a life journey, the journey of Annie Hossack. It is moments like these that make interviewing, meeting, and connecting with people more than worthwhile. I am beyond grateful and truly thankful to Annie for sharing her story.
Annie is such a beautiful, powerful woman finding the brightness even in the darkest of times... Having lost her soul mate early last year due to an unexpected asthma attack, she is learning to live life as a single mother whilst juggling four children. In the midst of grieving Annie has had endless support from her family and friends but also from photography; finding an uplifting connection, "I can be having the worst day but as soon as I get in the car and head to a shoot, I can feel myself relaxing. It’s all so worth it."
The reason of existence behind ADORE YOU PHOTOGRAPHY is truly touching. I will leave the rest of the words in the hands of Annie, a heartfelt response proving "that no matter what life throws at you, you can survive."
Hi Annie, how is twenty-eighteen treating you?
In the interest of pushing myself to not just answer, “fine thanks!” I’m going to honestly say, it’s been rough. The lowest of lows with some pretty high highs sprinkled in.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I’m Annie. A 35-year-old mother of 4.
I love Sushi, sunsets, campfires and the mountains. I’m also recently widowed, if I can use that term. Jared still is a huge part of my life and a part of my story so he belongs in my introduction.
And introducing ADORE YOU PHOTOGRAPHY, where did the name derive from and for those who don’t know, why did you start Adore You Photography?
The name Adore You was inspired by the song that was supposed to be our first dance at our wedding, you know the one, by Amy Shark. We were never lucky enough to make it down the aisle, as Jared suffered a fatal asthma attack 3 months to the day before our wedding. He was a huge driving force for why I started taking photos professionally, so naming my business in honour of him felt right.
After his death, and being left alone with 4 children (including a 2 year old) I knew I had to find a job that allowed me the flexibility to be both a mum and a bread winner. I started with small shoots here and there charging the absolute bare minimum and now here I am.
When did you first pick up a camera? And why this creative form over others?
When I was young, like in primary school. I played around with disposable cameras and my parents film cameras.
I’ve always looked at life as though looking through the lens of a camera. I grew up in a mountain town, so natural beauty was the backdrop to my childhood. I used to look at trees and position them in my mind as though they were a photo for a calendar, and I always said I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. I also have early memories of my sister and I taking stupid photos in front of a floral curtain to send to Brad Pitt’s fan mail address, we were being silly but I still remember taking the composition very seriously, haha.
A few years back, Jared bought me my first proper camera. He even picked out a beautiful brown leather camera bag and encouraged me to give it my all. I started by photographing our beautiful baby girl and older children, then friend’s babies just for fun and it organically grew from there.
Juggling work-life, social-life, mum-life and you-time, how are you finding it all? And do you have any advice for those in similar positions?
Some days I find it so overwhelming, and a lot of my day is spent wishing I could just curl up under the covers. Especially because I’ve become busy, very quickly. However, I can be having the worst day but as soon as I get in the car and head to a shoot, I can feel myself relaxing. It’s all so worth it. I’m so lucky to be able to call my office the beach at sunset, or the local forest with sunshine peaking through the trees.
Trying to find the balance of work and home life has been tricky. Sometimes I forget what me-time even feels like. But luckily I’ve got the best group of friends who make sure I unwind. I don’t know where I would be without the support of the strong women I have in my life. I cannot count the amount of times that my friends and family have just shown up, even if I’ve told them not to. I’ve had food appear in my cupboard, my kids babysat so I can drive up to the mountains to clear my head and be closer to Jared and so many other simple but powerful displays of support. And advice? Plan your week, write everything down, even the most mundane things. Let people help you. Nurture your friendships.
What drives and inspires you the most?
My kids and Jared.
My kids drive me. I want them to see me working hard for us and I want them to know that I do this for them. That no matter what life throws at you, you can survive.
Jared inspires me. He was the most electric person. To know him was to feel happy and loved, and that’s the way I want to model myself. He loved every minute of his life and he worked so hard to provide for us so I want to continue that happiness and hard work ethic in his honour. I feel his hand on my shoulder at every shoot, at every sunset. I want to make him proud. I want him to see me living this life without him, and feel happy.
Do you remember the first ever shoot you worked on?
My very first professional shoot was a maternity milk bath with the most beautiful mother. She was wearing a black lace dress and the bath was filled with sunflowers. I was so excited for her to see the photos that I stayed up all night editing so she could have them the next day. Something I still try to do for my clients where possible because I still just get so excited!
Speaking of which, you have captured numerous magic moments. Do you have a favourite?
I have so, so many favourite moments. But when I’m talking about the shoots I love the most, my mind wanders to birth shoots. Every birth I’ve been at, I’ve walked away feeling so in awe. I’ve literally given birth myself 4 times, but being there and witnessing the animalistic power and pure love as an onlooker is really something else. The entire thing amazes me. It’s such an honour to be asked to be there to capture it and it’s always magic.
Your work explores and expresses detailed, alluring, and memorable moments. Is this the running theme to the work you create?
I love candid. Intimate. The moments that sometimes get over looked. That’s what I’m wanting people to see when they look at my work. I want them to feel romantic, overjoyed and as though the simplest moments in life carry just as much beauty as the moments we put a lot of effort into.
I’ve found myself getting lost in your photographs, they are honestly beautiful! Capturing emotions and with a strong aesthetic and meaning behind each one, how do you think you have evolved since starting out?
In the beginning I didn’t have a sense of how I wanted my sessions to all flow. I used to edit them all completely different. Lighter edits, darker edits. Whatever I thought looked beautiful for each photo. I’ve since learned to think of each photo shoot as a story, and I want the photos from that shoot to flow. I also feel so much more confident on locations, which makes a huge difference with the finished product.
What’s currently in the works or coming up for you in the future?
As well as all of my normal shoots, it’s coming up to wedding season, so I’ve got weddings galore. There’s also a bridal collaboration I’m taking part in which is going to be massive and I’ve just been asked to be the second photographer for one of my favourite local photographers, so I’m excited about that! Such great exposure for little old me.
I also plan on learning more about nature photography, as that’s really where it all began for me when I was a kid. So watch this space!
Any final words?
I just wanted to thank everyone whose helped keep me so busy the last year, and allowed me to do this full time. Supporting small businesses like mine is so important. It’s because of my customers, that carrying on without my soul mate while raising our babies is possible, and I’m only just getting started.