Interview with Teen Photographer, Hope Glassel

Hope Glassel is a 19 year old fashion and portrait photographer from the midwest. Her work focuses on exploring feminine beauty and utilizing light and color to create unique composition. Hope is currently a marketing student and hopes to work in the fashion photography industry after graduating with her degree. 

Interview by Lois Chan

So to start off as an introduction, what is your name, age, interests, and how would you describe yourself in five words?

My name is Hope Glassel, I love photography most, but I also love drawing and dancing, and I’m trying to get into film! Hmmm… in five words I’d say I’m creative, happy, passionate, motivated and empathetic! And I’m 19!

How did you get your start in photography?

I got started when I was around 12 or 13. I really wanted to be a beauty YouTuber and convinced myself that I needed a nice camera before I could start, so I saved up all my money and bought one and I never made a single YouTube video, but I did realize I really loved taking pictures! I started taking pictures of my friends and then it just grew more and more!

That's a really interesting origin story. What do you love about photography?

Haha I think it’s pretty funny. Looking back it’s a good thing I didn’t stick with the beauty YouTube thing, my eyebrows are NOT pretty. I love so much about photography but I think my favorite part is just seeing the vision come to life! I really love meeting new people and getting to make art with them and seeing both our styles come together. I feel like I make a new friend every time I work with someone, you get to see such a personal side of people behind a camera.

Now I'm really wishing I could do a photoshoot with you, you really pay attention to your subjects! What inspires you, or in other words: what is your aesthetic? Does your former(?) interest in beauty still appear in your work sometimes?

Haha thank you, I definitely try! I think that color plays a huge role in my work, I never really knew I had a style or aesthetic until people started commenting on the way I use color pretty regularly! But I really try to incorporate interesting colors and combinations into my work and my editing.

As for the makeup, I’d say yeah totally! Sometimes I’m lucky enough to have a makeup artist to work with which is always amazing, but usually I do the makeup myself. I always like to incorporate something fun, like colors or gems or other add ons.

What equipment do you love and always need to complete your work?

I shoot mostly on a Canon 6D but I just got a 5Dmkiii, and I looove my 24-70 lens! I love to use a reflector on a sunny day but mostly I just use natural light, so I’d say usually it’s just my subject and my camera! And then I always edit in Lightroom!

I think our readers that are trying to get into photography would love to learn that. Speaking of them, what are some important tips you would give to beginners?

I love this question, I get it so much! First of all I’d say don’t feel like you have to spend all your money on really nice equipment. Photography is my job, but if it wasn’t I wouldn’t need professional grade equipment, and you definitely don’t if you’re just starting out. Just get what you can afford, even if that’s just your phone! In the end you’ll be so much better off by learning to create with the bare minimum!

I’d also say don’t spend too much time worrying about going for a certain look or style. Just shoot what you like, and your style will find you.

Lastly, don’t be afraid of making things you don’t like! You have to make bad art before you can make good art, and making mistakes is the best and quickest way to grow and learn.

Wow, those are really helpful and useful tips! Still in the realm of advice for aspiring photographers, how did you get your work out there/noticed?

Yay good! I’d say mostly from working with new people, if you work with a lot of people from one city/area, that’s a good way for people to start recognizing your name! Also a lot of reaching out and submitting to small publishers, plus connecting with other photographers over Instagram and supporting their work. Usually if you give people support and kindness, they’ll give it in return!!

And you should always be on the lookout for new opportunities! I think a lot of my (limited, but still cool) success so far has been because I am literally and constantly thinking about how I can grow and what I can do next. When you always have that on your mind, it’s a lot easier to recognize a good opportunity!

The photography community sounds really wonderful, and yeah, that's a really important mindset to have! Is there anything you want to further explore or try out in photography? Whether it's creative, a certain style, an opportunity, etc.

It’s really great to be a part of no doubt! Well, I really want to get into filmmaking, but first and foremost I want to start shooting fashion stories with designers! I think it’s still a LITTLE ambitious given where I’m at, but a lil ambition never hurt anybody. I also really want to start shooting campaigns for small brands & labels!

That's an amazing goal to have! You already bring the fashion, makeup and styling in your work to life through the camera, and I can't wait to see more of your work in that one day! Still a bit related, what else do you hope the future holds for you and your work? Where do you want to be one day?

Thank you, it’s the dream!! Someday I’d like to be in New York shooting fashion campaigns, or somewhere in Europe. My dream is to shoot a Gucci campaign!

Well, Gucci would be lucky to have you! What is a message you want to share with the world as a photographer?

Stay passionate! Stay driven! It’s a small, competitive industry. It’s easy to feel run down and compare your work and success to others. There’s no one path to success, just do what excites you, and your path will find you along the way.

That's extremely important! And our last question, is there any more general advice you have for all teens of this world about life, school, friends, etc.?

Find something that excites you and run with it, and give as much kindness as you can!

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