I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. The sun was just beginning to rise and peak through the tall pine trees into the windows of our cabin. As my family lay in their beds sleeping, I quietly slipped on my shoes and stepped out onto the front porch, camera in hand.
The camera I was holding wasn’t mine, but my brother’s very expensive Nikon camera. And the cabin we were in wasn’t our home, but a small cabin we’ve been renting during the summers ever since I was little. This beautiful place is known to its residents as “Hidden Paradise.” To everyone else, it’s known as Long Pine, Nebraska, population 305.
That morning wasn’t like any other morning. It was a morning that I would be introduced to something I would immediately fall in love with.
As I went for a walk around this “Hidden Paradise,” I began to feel inspired. I found myself taking picture after picture and noticing the little details of nature that I had overlooked for so long. When I looked through the lens, I was excited by the idea of capturing something that was there and gone in a split second, but forever remained in a photograph.
Before this particular walk around ‘paradise’, I had never experienced a hobby like this that I could truly fall in love with. It was as if something suddenly “clicked” inside of me and my creative side was unleashed. I was shooting from different angles, running, tip-toeing, kneeling, climbing, laying on the ground, anything to get that perfect shot.
Hours had passed before I came back to the cabin where my family waited, wondering where the camera and I had gone. Excitement overcame me as I shared each picture on the small screen of the camera with my brother who shared the same passion.
I like to compare my love for photography to that “love at first sight” feeling so many couples experience when meeting their significant others for the first time. You experience something new and it just feels right.
That day was over seven years ago and my life was forever changed.
For Christmas that year I received a Nikon D40 from my parents. I continued to develop my creative eye through practice by photographing different objects in nature. One day all of that changed when my best friend asked if I could take her senior pictures. I loved the idea, but had never photographed people before. Little did I know I was about to fall in love all over again.
After school one day, we went out into the country and started taking pictures. Neither of us knew what we were doing, but by the end of the day, I knew I had found a new hobby that I loved even more. Portrait photography.
I went home that night and posted the photos on Facebook or Myspace, whichever was in at the time. I couldn’t believe the positive feedback I received about the photos. Eventually, people were offering to pay me to take their senior photos, family photos, and more.
The years went by. I graduated high school and went to a community college for two years where I received an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Photography. All the while, I was continuing to develop my skills of shooting portraits and eventually started my own business known as Hanna Jorgensen Photography.
I even paid my way through college with money made from my photography business.
In my years of doing photography, I have shot over 30 weddings, and done more senior photos, engagement photos, and family photos than I can count.
Now that I am working towards a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, my perspective on photography has changed even more. I have become a well-rounded photographer who is willing to photograph just about anything, whether it be nature, people, or the news.
I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. I quietly slipped on my shoes and stepped out onto the porch, camera in hand.
Check out more photos on my Facebook page.