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Capturing beauty and empowering dreams: the inspiring journey of photographer Hayley Fisk

As the founder of Hayley Fisk Photo, she has established a thriving business that captures stunning beauty and product images for renowned brands and publications.

Photo courtesy Hayley Fisk
Photo courtesy Hayley Fisk

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In the fiercely competitive world of photography, Hayley Fisk has forged her own path, leaving an indelible mark as both a talented photographer and an astute entrepreneur. As the founder of Hayley Fisk Photo, she has established a thriving business that captures stunning beauty and product images for renowned brands and publications. Born and raised in a small town in Illinois, Hayley’s artistic inclinations were nurtured by her parents. While initially considering illustration, she soon realized it was unsuitable for her natural abilities. A serendipitous enrollment in a photography course during college ignited her deep passion for the subject.

Following the completion of her studies with a BFA in photography and a BA in art history, Hayley’s determination led her to Los Angeles, where she secured an internship with a photographer whom she admired. In this transformative experience, she was allowed to work with renowned photographer Lauren Greenfield, gaining invaluable knowledge in the fields of commercial photography and documentary photography. Her artistic direction was refined during this period, which paved the way for her future success. 

As Hayley explored opportunities in photo retouching and editing, she found herself employed at several prominent companies, including Fox Sports and NFL Network. While these positions provided her financial stability and a sense of security, she soon discovered that her true passion resided behind the camera rather than in front of a computer screen. It was an unanticipated encounter with a fellow photographer that reignited her fervor for the art form, sparking a journey of self-discovery and rekindling her love for capturing captivating images.

Driven by determination, Hayley set her sights on fashion photography, securing a part-time position with a renowned fashion company. Initial triumphs followed, but unfortunately, her ascent was met with setbacks as her fashion clients gradually withdrew due to budgetary limitations or a preference for full-time commitments. These challenges took a toll on Hayley’s emotional well-being, plunging her into a period of profound depression and anxiety, causing her to question her chosen path and self-worth.

Amidst the challenges and hardships, a glimmer of hope illuminated Hayley’s path. Finding solace and a renewed sense of purpose, she ventured into stylized product photography. Teaming up with a creative agency, she committed herself to refining her craft, delving into the intricacies of capturing the essence of beauty through compelling product shots. Within this, Hayley truly flourished, embracing the boundless creative freedom that enabled her to curate a portfolio that exemplifies her unique artistic vision.

Photo courtesy Hayley Fisk

Prior to the pandemic sweeping the globe, Hayley made a bold move. Undeterred by the challenges ahead, she established her own photography business, Hayley Fisk Photo, intending to further expand her portfolio and make her mark on the industry. With a well-equipped home studio already in place, she weathered the storm of the shutdown and expanded her services to encompass beauty and product photography. Through her exceptional work, she began to earn recognition, collaborating with renowned brands such as Fenty Skin, Bombas, and Levi’s

Not content with her success, Hayley is determined to uplift and support fellow photographers on their journeys. To this end, she is launching a transformative 1-to-1 coaching program called “A Look Behind The Lens” through her new venture, The Anxious Photog. Over 12 comprehensive weeks, participants will engage in weekly 45-minute coaching calls conducted via videoconferencing. Each call will be followed by an email containing actionable items, insightful worksheets, thought-provoking journal prompts, and practical manifestation tools, all carefully tailored to foster growth and progress. The program is designed to meet each individual photographer’s unique needs and goals, ensuring they receive the personalized guidance and support they deserve.

Hayley’s coaching program addresses photographers’ multifaceted challenges. As someone with first-hand experience navigating the industry and diligently seeking employment, she understands the overwhelming nature of these circumstances. Having overcome these obstacles on her journey to become a successful photographer, she has an in-depth understanding of the profound feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, and imposter syndrome. Coaching photographers on their journeys of transformation, Hayley offers support and expert guidance as they navigate the labyrinth of their fears and insecurities. Ultimately, she aims to instill unshakable confidence in photographers, illuminate the path to self-realization, empower them to overcome internal barriers, and enable them to move forward with determination in pursuit of photographic excellence.

Through Hayley’s transformational journey, she has gained valuable insights and a deep reservoir of wisdom, which she enjoys sharing with others. A central message she conveys to aspiring photographers is the necessity of embracing failure as a crucial component of personal and professional growth. “I want others to remember that failure is inevitable, so do not fear it. Without failure, you cannot grow, learn, and become stronger,” she emphasizes. Using her experiences as a guide, Hayley reflects on instances of rejection and toxic work environments she encountered, recognizing their importance in shaping her into the compassionate and respectful business owner she is today.

With a strong focus on diligently managing the expansion of her photography business over the coming years, Hayley is one to keep an eye on. At the same time, she is also actively developing her coaching business, which centers on manifestation and mentoring to aid fellow photographers in navigating their aspirations within the industry. Having been a photographer for over a decade, Hayley is convinced that every photographer deserves the opportunity to pursue their dream career while being respected and valued. A fulfilling life for her will involve her coaching business harmoniously coexisting with her photography endeavor so that she can integrate her passions while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

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Written By

Jon Stojan is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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