Heidi Sakallah is a Minneapolis-based photographer with a diverse skill set and portfolio including the genres of maternity, newborn, family and contemporary portraits. Her goal with every client is to create images that they will cherish today and for a lifetime to come. Here, Sakallah discusses what inspires her work and details her creative process.
When did you get into photography?
I’ve always had a love for photography, and I started to play a bit with various cameras in my late teens. For whatever reason, I never really thought about making a career out of it. It’s something you always hear is very hard to make a living out of. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I realized I could do this, and I never looked back.
How would you describe your photography style?
A photographer’s style is always evolving, especially in the days of digital photography. There are always new tools being released to help us constantly learn and grow as artists. That said, I stick to a classic-meets-modern look. I want my work to be a timeless representation of fine art photography that my clients will be able to marvel at for lifetimes to come.
What inspires your work?
So many things! Light, color, textures, fabrics, locations and people. I can walk past a person on the street and envision how I would photograph them. Same goes for a prop. I see something as simple as a stylish vintage chair, and I instantly have a vision for an entire shoot. It can be a blessing and a curse. You should see my storage space…
What types of subjects do you typically photograph?
I started with children, maternity and families. I’ve always made it a goal to master a genre before adding another to my service list. Some people might think photographing a person of any age should be the same. I assure you it’s not. For example, there’s so much that goes into newborn sessions. They are tiny little humans, but they run the show. It’s all about understanding safety as well as keeping them comfortable, happy and posed beautifully all at the same time. Working with a toddler is an entirely different ball game, but I love every minute of it. Since I launched my business, I’ve added contemporary portraits for all ages to my service list, and I adore the genre.
Can you share a bit about your consultation process?
I love the consultation process. I get to learn about my clients and what they are hoping to gain from their session. A photo shoot can often be a high-stress occasion and my goal is always to remove that part for my clients and make them feel as comfortable as possible. I like to invite them into the studio for an in-person consultation so they can really understand what the experience will be like. Some prefer to consult over the phone or Zoom, and that’s totally fine as well.
Do you have exciting upcoming projects on the horizon?
I do! I am currently working on a project of photographing 40 women over 40. I am very passionate about women getting in front of the camera. So often we shy away from the camera, especially as we age as it is quite common for women to be overly self-conscious about their appearance. It’s my goal to show them how beautiful they truly are inside and out. It’s so important for me to capture each subject that enters my studio with sincerity. I want to know and understand you and what you’re hoping to get out of our time together. Photos are the obvious answer, but there is always a reason that prompts someone to book a session with me. It’s my promise to not only capture amazing moments but share an experience that becomes a wonderful memory.