March 31, 2012

The Sisterhood Series: Creating Your Path To Success

In this installment of The Sisterhood Series, I interviewed Hannah Halvorson, a pretty young lady with some serious creative skills! Hannah is a dancer, singer and a coach. She also has a photography business, loves to craft and is recently engaged. I knew about Hannah through a friend of mine and although we haven't met (yet!) I feel like I already know her. She is very friendly, polite and positive - I felt that she could easily be the poster girl for The Sisterhood Series. To read more about what the series is all about and why I launched it, click here.

Photo taken by Danger Fox Photography
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Hannah Halvorson and I am an aspiring photographer. 

What does a normal day look like for you?
Well, most recently, my typical day consists of working at Starbucks for 8 hours, then soaking in a bath and watching my favorite shows! I've been pretty lazy in the evenings lately. On weekends, I spend time with my fiancé. 

What inspired you to be a photographer? Where do you draw inspiration from?
There was a photograph I took a few years ago at a Renaissance Fair of a young girl chasing after bubbles. The photograph held such a magical, whimsical moment, that it actually inspired me to take more. From there, I discovered I had a passion for capturing those little moments that can speak worlds of magic. I get inspiration from music, books, and naturally other people’s photography. Oh, and America’s Next Top Model!
Some of Hannah's photographs

You also like to do crafts, sing and dance! When did you start and what inspired you? I've been crafting ever since I can remember. Give me a piece of paper, and I will find something to do with it! I've made wall art, stationary, journals, scarves, magnets, stuffed animals, jewelry, clothing, purses, lamp shades, picture frames… really, if it’s something I can make, I’ll try it. I've also been singing from the beginning. I grew up on Shania Twain so I’ve got a little twang in me, but my musical interests are now all over the place. I took voice lessons, was in a few choirs growing up and into college, was big into theater in high school, and in the last few years I've been writing and performing my own music, as well as with my new band Play Nice! I started dancing when I made my high school’s dance team in ninth grade. I worked my way up to captain the following year, and now I’m coaching the team! I just finished my third year of coaching, and can honestly say it is by far the greatest, most rewarding job I've ever had. The girls I get to work with are so precious and talented, and I am in a position to encourage and inspire them with dance. I plan to coach for as long as I physically can!
(Left) Hannah singing in her band Play Nice! (Photo by Alicia Victoria Staker) and (Right) sitting in her living room - the wall art  behind her is her own work.
""Steam Heat" - I was Gladys in The Pajama Game. Probably my favorite role ever!" ~ Hannah

What is it like to have your own business at such a young age? When did you know you were ready to start your own business?
Oh man. To be brutally honest, it doesn’t feel incredibly special. There are so many photographers my age and even younger that are starting their own businesses these days. It’s an art that can easily be shifted into a business, it seems. It’s a little saddening in that respect, but it’s also very inspiring to know that photography is becoming so big in our age group! The moment I knew I was ready to start a business was quite simply the first time someone told me they would pay me for a photograph I had taken. When I saw that my work had a monetary value as well as an emotional affect, I knew it was something I could run with. 

How would you describe your personal style and attitude?
My personal style is all over the place. One day I’ll look like a girly girl in floral dresses and soft colors. The next day I’ll look like a punk rocker in shredded shirts and bold prints. But comfort is key! I just like to be creative and switch it up as much as I can. I’ve been cutting my own hair since 10th grade, and have had every color under the sun in it (except green!). Right now it’s a short boy-cut, but I’m growing it out.

My photography style is pretty identical to what I just described. In one shoot, I might do something ethereal and whimsical, and the next might be full of pops of color and sass! For instance, I recently did a snow-goddess-esque shoot with a good friend of mine, but have some wild plans for my next session! My attitude is alwaysalwaysalways positive. You will rarely see me frowning or complaining. Life has too many magical things to offer, so I find it hard to stay negative for too long!
(Left) Hannah based this outfit on the cover of the book she is holding!

Describe how you dress for your day job and your day-to-day life outside of your job.
At Starbucks, I am required to wear all black. When coaching, I wear yoga pants or sweats with sneakers or jazz shoes. When I’m not working, I like to wear dresses, sweaters, skinny jeans, leg warmers, boots. I love layers. I’m not a big shorts girl. Not a big accessories girl either. Well, I LOVE jewelry and hair pieces, and I have a lot of them, but never take the time to accessorize. 

What is/are the piece(s) in your closet that you consider a favorite at the moment?
I got this neat dress from Hot Topic that is black with hot pink cats on it! I adore cats. I’m allergic to them, but I love them. Also, my staple skinny jeans from American Eagle. My fiancé got them for me for Christmas! They are the first skinny jeans in a long time that actually fit right and look right. Finally, my Oreo’s sweatshirt. It’s blue, collared, and has dancing Oreo’s in top hats on it. I found it at a thrift store in Seattle! People either find it hilarious or atrocious, but I love it!

How do you like to relax and spend your weekends?
To relax, I watch a LOT of tv. I don’t have cable or anything, so I have to watch everything online. On the weekends, I spend time with my fiancé Michael. He lives in Williston, so we go back and forth, or meet up in Minot, where he grew up.

What motivates you?
Deadlines. If there were no deadlines, I would get nothing done. Honestly, that’s about it. If I’m being honest with myself, I’m an incredibly lazy person. But no one would notice because I keep so busy! If I have a million things to do all the time, then I am able to keep going.

What are you most passionate about?
So many things… But if I had to choose one, I’d say music in general. The creation of it, the inspiration from it, the movement to it, and the emotions in it.

Where would you like to be in 5 years?
Married to Michael, maybe with a kid or two by then. Still coaching, still taking pictures, still making music. My life is so blessed right now, I’d like my future to be much like what my present is.

How do you sparkle and spice up your life?
Oh wow, what a neat question! Umm… I guess I’d have to say by finding new things! New styles, new music, new ideas. I’m constantly switching it up, but always holding on to old classics.

"...the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” - Pearl Buck

I hope Hannah's story creates in you the determination and drive to go towards your dreams. Never miss the opportunity to be creative - it truly does add depth and dimension to your life. You don't have to be Picasso or Michelangelo, all it takes is to sing in the shower, dance when nobody's watching, have fun with a DIY project or indulge in a home cooked meal.

XOXO- Chrissy


  1. Hannah is a great photographer. I would hire her, even I did not know her from high school, but she's always been a sweetheart. Her sense of style has been unique since the day I met her. She's an inspiring person. She pursues her dreams, making me want to do the same.

    Great set-up, Chrissy. It's nice to hear Hannah describe herself in her own words, and you showed who she was clearly and accurately. :)

    1. She is definitely inspiring! And thank you for the compliments :)