Sometimes we get to meet a young person who is truly inspirational and making a difference. At only 18, Hannah Joseph is just such a young lady. She is a visionary young artist, photographer and role model. She recently gathered a group of young women, and a few of their moms, for a unique, no makeup, photo project she named “Embrace”. The project was all about embracing one’s inner beauty.
I spent a little time asking Hannah about herself, this unique project and her inspiration. What a delight!
Q: How did the idea come to you to do the “Embrace” photo shoot?
A: I have always been very passionate about the concept of “inner/God-given” beauty, but up until recently I never thought about using photography as a tool in expressing that passion… I asked a few people if it would be a good idea to organize a shoot, and I received very positive feedback. Then after that, doors just kept opening…professional photographer and friend Tom Milne let me use his studio, and many friends offered to help with the process. Everything worked out so much better than I ever anticipated.
Q: What did you enjoy most about the shoot?
A: My favorite part of the shoot was spending time with all of the girls… Having the opportunity to celebrate every girl’s unique beauty was awesome in itself, but having a photoshoot dedicated to that beauty made it even better.
Q: What thrilled you and/or surprised you the most about the Embrace experience?
A: I was very excited to see how many girls showed up! When I was first planning the shoot, I only expected a few girls to show up… that “few girls” turned into 30 girls rather fast!
Q: Describe how and when you started in photography.
A: I have been into photography ever since I knew how to push the button on a camera. When I was about 7 or 8 years old, I would set my stuffed animals up and have “photoshoots” with them using my disposable Kodak. Whenever my parents and I would take trips to Sea World or Knott’s Berry Farm, my interest was more in taking pictures of the flowers in planters scattered throughout the park rather than riding roller coasters.
Q: Who influences and supports you most and how is that important to you?
A: It is a no-brainer to say that my mom, Jackie Moran, and my step-dad, Rick Moran, have been my number one supporters. They are always there for me with encouraging words (they) provide me with more than I deserve regarding what I need for my photography. In addition to my parents, (there was) my high school journalism adviser, Greg Stobbe… Tom Milne (photographer) has also been an extreme blessing and supporter… I am blessed to have been given such an amazing “support team”…
Q: What can moms and parents do to help their daughters ‘embrace’ who they are?
A: I think it is extremely important for mothers to encourage their daughters with words of affirmation. Knowing that someone else, especially someone as close as a mom, thinks you are beautiful and appreciates you for who you really are and not for what the world wants you to be is in my opinion the best way to build self-confidence. Appreciation is key…knowing that those closest to you love and appreciate who you genuinely are makes the biggest difference in the world.
Hannah will be studying Theology beginning in the fall but says it’s safe to say that photography will always be in her heart and her camera will always will be with her wherever she goes. That’s a good thing!