I have had the pleasure of working with Haley Sheffield for a few years now. Her beautiful photography and bright personality have been such a blessing to me. She takes some of the most stunning photographs I’ve ever seen, but it is her shining presence that makes working with her so great. Her favorite quote is “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people” (Vincent van Gogh) and the person who has influenced her the most is C.S. Lewis—her heart is clearly made out of gold. I am so impressed by this lovely lady! She owns her own business, Haley Sheffield Photography, and photographs love for a living. While the majority of her work is in wedding photography, the way she photographs flower arrangements makes me weak in the knees. If you want to get to know more about Haley, keep scrolling for the questionnaire below. But first, enjoy some of her gorgeous work.
1. When did you decide to pursue photography full-time?
Truth be told, I began to pursue photography full-time when it began paying more than my part-time job at Starbucks. I knew very little about the road ahead, and absolutely nothing about running a business, but it just felt right.
2. If someone told you five years ago that your business would be as successful as it is today, how would you have reacted?
I never could have anticipated the success my business has received. Truly, the place I find myself in today wasn’t even on my “possibility radar” five years ago. Had someone described a picture of my business today, I would have laughed in disbelief.
3. What do you hope your business will look like five years from now?
Truly, my greatest aspirations in business trickle down to my life-goals. I just want to treat people well, to walk in humility, and to change the world in whatever capacity I can. I don’t know the specifics of how that might happen through wedding photography, but I know that’s a journey I have to approach one day at a time.
4. What advice would you give to a person who wants to take his or her creative outlet and build a successful and stable career around it?
First, define what “success” looks like to you. If there’s anything I’ve learned running a creative business, it’s that the meter of success has to come from within. While you might think that working for yourself would be a dream come true, it also comes with it’s array of responsibilities. It helps to stay anchored on why you set out to build your business in the first place. Next, I would say to dream big and put legs on it. Don’t waste your energy pursuing your back-up plan. Also, don’t build your house in the clouds. Pursuing your dream is risky and takes hard work.
5. What does a typical day for Haley Sheffield look like?
Because my husband is a late-nighter, we typically wake up later than the average person. My first priority every morning is coffee, and I’m a huge breakfast person too. Usually, I run errands in the morning and might even do some reading at my favorite coffee shop. It’s pretty normal for me to have a coffee meeting or lunch meeting, and then after that, I head to the office to work on emails and editing. (Both endless tasks). If I have a session that evening, I usually start around 5:30 – 6:00, then head home around 8:30 spend some time with my hubby. It’s also pretty common for me to head back to the office after a session to do a bit more work before packing up for the day.
6. If you could photograph any one moment, person, or place, past or present, who or what would it be?
What a question! Truly, I would love to go back in time to when my Nana and Poppy (my mother’s parents) were young. They’ve both passed now, but they were so dear to my heart and I would have loved to capture them in their youth–maybe even on their wedding day. My Poppy was a leather craftsman and an all-around creative soul, and I also would have loved to have captured him in his element. He is so much of who I am today.
7. What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Hands-down, my favorite thing to photograph is a couple in love. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I can say with certainty that there is nothing quite as fulfilling as capturing real “connection moments” between two people. If my grandparent’s posed, stiff photos ignite a sense of hope and wonder in my heart today, I can’t even imagine what modern wedding photos will feel like for people fifty years from now.
8. How is photographing still life (such as flower arrangements) different from engagement shoots and wedding days?
Photographing flowers is about as peaceful as my job gets. The beauty of nature speaks for itself, and there is very little that I have to do to end up with an evoking photograph. In addition, being around flowers is pure inspiration. As an artist, it’s always refreshing to find life and perspective in the simplicity (and equal complexity) that exists so effortlessly in the world around us.
9. If you were no longer photographing weddings, what would you do instead?
I’d love to work at a coffee shop again, and I can’t see myself in a season where I didn’t have my hand in something creative. I love writing and singing, so perhaps I would pour more into those passions!