Hayley Young
  Where are you from, and how did you make your way to where you are now?   I was born in Southern Oregon and raised in a small town off I5 called Talent, OR.  Came to visit Seattle for the summer in 2003 and after much debate, decided my senior year of college was worth waiting for. Got a job waiting tables and began the process of getting Washington State residency.   What do you do for a living, and how did you find yourself there?   My day-career is Photo Editor and Staff Photographer for Seattle Magazine and Seattle Business Magazine. Also do work with a handful of bride publications in Portland and LA. Began my own freelance business in 2007 which I’ve been developing on the side as well. I found myself here by picking up a camera when I was three years deep into a fine art degree and struggling with my ability to actually draw/paint. From there I did about 6 years of soul searching only to find I really knew nothing about photographic technique/lighting. That humbling experience led me to Seattle Central’s Commercial Photo Program where I attended 2007-2009. My focus on editorial work led me to interning and ultimately working as photo editor for SOUND magazine, a now defunct music publication. My experience there led to Seattle Magazine reaching out with the position I’ve held now for almost 5 years. Crazy.
  More importantly, what do you do that you love, and how did you find yourself there?   Throughout all of this, I’ve been keeping a hand on my music photography pot, working with and keeping tabs on some of my favorite bands, I’ve found myself touring, shooting album art, press photos and directing music videos while not knees deep in the mags. At 7 years old I was fascinated by music and the artists I saw on television and heard on the radio. Always knew I wasn’t going to be an actual musician, but their effect on my creative process has always been substantial. They’re my muses. Illustrating them in the photographic sense is the perfect challenge for my creative process. Also, I love the relationships that grow from those collaborations. They’ve led me to amazing life experiences and new friendships beyond Seattle.
  What inspires you to get up in the morning/stay up late into the night?   I’m inspired by the tasks I have scheduled throughout the day and the events I get to look forward to at night. My day life is never boring. I may be shooting pancakes at 10am, then in the executive offices of Expedia photographing their CEO. Being an editorial portrait photographer, I get to experience a range of people that I never would in any other position. There is a sense of vulnerability that photography creates in a subject, and it is my responsibility to ease them through it. It is a truly awesome way to interact with someone. I feel so lucky to get to have these interactions on a semi-daily basis. It’s awesome. In the evenings, I can often be found at a venue, seeing live shows, connecting with my music contacts and spending time with the amazing people I’ve met and been fortunate to call friends.   How and where do you find inspiration throughout your day, and what has that inspiration compelled you to do in your life?   I am shamelessly fueled by tangible successes. The inspiration to create them comes from the universal force of creativity and it’s elusive demands and standards. I love that there is an overall leveling power of art and how it can crush or exult you, whether or not anyone else is watching. This isn’t to say I’m out creating all day, but I’m definitely reacting, reviewing, reflecting and collecting feelings, thoughts, images of the daily which then, in turn, affect and inspire the actions of doing when that time comes.
  What challenges have you met in chasing that inspiration?   Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, with less time or mind space for doing whatever that is in full force. I fear mediocrity in the quantity vs. quality debate. Keeping myself in check and making sure I balance what is a technical skill vs. a career building exercise without sacrificing too much of what I deem to be socially and emotionally beneficial is always going to be a challenge.   Do you have a specific space that helps you feel inspired? What does it look and feel like?   Sitting alone in a loud bar or coffee shop. White noise, background music, movement, getting lost in all of it. It helps me focus.
  Who do you have a girl crush on (you don’t have to know her, she doesn’t even have to be alive)?   SO MANY GIRL CRUSHES. Stacey Rozich, Kaylee Cole, Connie Aramaki, Hilary Folks, Linda Derschang, Leigh Bezezekoff, Annie Leibovitz, Jennifer Lawrence, I’m forgetting like, 100.   If you had the opportunity to ask her anything, what would it be?   Luckily most of these women are close to me and I’ve been able to have amazing conversations with them. Annie, however, I would love to ask her a million questions. I can’t articulate what those would be though. But there would be a lot of them.   What’s a fantastic piece of advice you have been given in your life, and who gave it to you?   “No matter what you do, you’re going to do it for the rest of you life until you die, so you better fucking love it.” – My mother.
  What are you listening to on your ipod/car stereo/transistor radio right now?   My 2006 Mazda came only equipped with a 6 disc CD changer (no aux) so the 6 CDs I’m rocking now are:   Portugal. The Man, Pure Bathing Culture, Alt J, Cat Power, The Mars Volta and Junip   What book have you read in the last year that you love?   “We Learn Nothing (Essays)” by Tim Kreider. I might be in love with that man.   Who is the person in your life that helps fuel love and creativity, and how does he or she do so?   My best friend in second grade, her mother (who I assigned as my own God Mother) Peggy Jones. She was a single mother, play write, carpenter, and my favorite person to tell stories to. She’s been in my life ever since, her house is still down the road from my childhood home in Talent. She bought it in it’s horrible condition when I was 7, and has been restoring it my entire life. It’s current state is euphoric. She is amazing and the energy of that home is palatable.
  What do you love most about being a woman?   I’ve always felt androgynous growing up as a kid. I was raised with two brothers so I fell into a tom boy role early. Growing into a woman was really foreign for me. I guess what I’ve come to appreciate about it is the sensual power of the female presence (not to be confused with sexual, but there is a special energy that being a woman adds to my day to day interactions) and the shock effect of surprising a situation by breaking past the lines of what is typically expected of me because I am female.   What challenges have you encountered in your life that are linked to your gender?   I’m pretty sure I’ve lost jobs to other photographers that were men because of the demanded directorial role involved. Otherwise, the challenges that could exist are usually relieved within a few minutes of interacting with them.
  Do you consider yourself a feminist, and how do you define what that means?   I don’t know if I need to be a feminist these days. I feel like my mother and her generation get to have that title. I feel like I get to walk through the path they created as naturally and genuinely as possible, without waving any sort of flag. I think that’s what the whole feminist movement was meant to do, create a space for me to not have to remind people I am a woman before I show them what I can do. Anyone who wants or needs to put me in that box can do so, I just don’t have much room for it in my own mind.   Tell me something pretty. A quote, a lyric, whatever it is that inspires you.   “Do your best to decorate this dying day” –Shannon Hoon. Was a huge Blind Melon fan in adolescence. This was the quote I put in my senior high school yearbook.   Do you have a website or blog that you would like to share?   Hayley-young.com
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