Business Name: Aanna Chase Photography
Where are you based out of? Chicago, IL
Are you currently a part-time or full-time photographer? Full-time photographer
What is your predominant photographic specialization? Weddings, Engagements, Families
What camera(s) do you currently shoot with? Canon 5D Mark III
How would you define your style?
My style is founded on story-telling–an intentional balance between refined and classic as well as candid and journalistic, all working together to encompass the unique milestones and personalities involved. I strive to create fresh, bright, and invigorating photographs–in both emotion and aesthetics. I am constantly exploring and embracing minimalism, intriguing depths of field, and emotive light.
What motivated you to become a photographer?
When I was 7 years old, my parents gifted me with a tape recorder (yes, a cassette tape recorder!). It was then my aim to document life in my home. An ongoing narration. When I was 12 years old, I spent my carefully saved money on a digital camera and took my story-telling to a new level. I created visuals to go with the stories I was experiencing and observing around me. I was–and continue to be–fascinated by people and that which drives them. In college, I combined these two loves of mine and studied both journalism and photography. This worked as a catalyst to turn what was once a hobby into a career–a career that combines my love of people with my desire to create and tell stories.
What is it that you try to convey with your work?
With every session and wedding that I photograph, my aim is to create images that accurately capture and express the relationships, experiences, and emotions involved. Whether it’s a bride and groom’s first look on their wedding day or a family welcoming a new little one into their home, I strive to take photographs that not only embrace the present moment but will also be images that my subjects and subjects’ family cherish for generations.
How do you accomplish that?
I believe it is important, and critical, to be truly invested in my subjects and who they are as individuals. When people are placed in front of a camera, it is often a very vulnerable place. All focus is directed towards them and that can be very uncomfortable for many people. In order to accurately and sensitively capture my subjects, I see it as a mutual creative collaboration. Before weddings and sessions I have consistent and various forms of communication regarding who they are, where they are at, and what they’re looking for, as well as who I am as a photographer and individual.
Have you had a photographer inspire your work, and if so, who and why?
I am constantly inspired by artists, both local and global. It can be hard to keep track of my favorites. I’ll share two long-standing favorites. Henri Cartier-Bresson has inspired me ever since I first poured over his work in my art history course. His commitment to capturing the perfect shot to encompass a specific moment is a quality I strive for in my work as well. I also appreciate how he paved the way for a more journalistic approach to photography. I have been avidly following Tyler Branch of Tyler Branch Photo. His work is stunning, emotive, and spot on with lighting.
What is your most memorable accomplishment so far in your photography career?
I’ve sat long and hard thinking about my answer to this question. I keep trying to think of big accomplishments that would wow anybody reading my words. However, I keep coming back to the countless little things that add up to the biggest reason why I’m in this field. The people. I have gotten to meet so many incredible individuals through my work. I have photographed a mother as she marvels over the miracle of life and prepares to welcome a baby into this world. I have photographed a couple on their wedding day as ” ’til death do us part” sinks in. I have photographed individuals as they process past seasons of their life and prepare to embark on a new journey. All of these instances are pivotal and vulnerable places in a person’s life; it is my biggest accomplishment to create images that my subjects can look at and see the beauty that I have the honor of witnessing.
What is one thing you have learned during your career?
Deal with the what-if’s as they come. Don’t allow them to paralyze you before you even begin. Transitioning from hobbyist to full-time photographer is a big leap of faith. And I was no exception. I created lists–okay, honestly I created lists of lists. Yes, organization and brainstorming are key, but I eventually got to a place that a list in and of itself wasn’t enough anymore. As I was asking hard questions and taking real steps to make the change, I had to stop asking the what-if’s and start realistically dealing with them as I pursued my goal. I had to get up and DO. I had to start making those checkmarks and if obstacles came up along the way that wasn’t on my list, I would deal with them as they came. I will never forget the first time I woke up as the official owner of Aanna Chase Photography with the whole day ahead of me to pursue my business. I would never have launched my own business if I had continually dwelled on the what-if’s without taking action.
Which Photographer Supply Company products do you currently use?
I use Photography Supply Company’s beautiful wooden custom USB’s.
How have Photographer Supply Company products helped your business?
Consistency in branding is so important. Photography Supply Co’s option to customize products is so great–it allows me to get high-quality products that line up with my brand. And in doing so, my clients are provided with a beautiful and long lasting product.