Photographer based in Los Angeles capturing people across fashion, lifestyle and editorial landscapes.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND THE WORK THAT YOU CREATE.
I’m a freelance photographer from the Bay Area who just made the big scary jump to Los Angeles. I’m focusing on portraits (like really clean, crisp, well lit portraits) right now. I picked up photography when I was really young. I remember my grandpa giving me some disposable cameras for Christmas when I was about 8 years old and it kinda just clicked after that. I’ve always been creatively driven regardless of the medium, but there was always something about photographing people that I had a strong draw to. I officially started a Facebook page for “Hailey Magoon Photography” in 2007 and haven’t looked back.
WHAT ARE YOUR GO TO ESSENTIALS AND TOOLS?
My canon 5D Mark III and my 35mm L; obviously couldn’t even create without those. Otherwise, I love listening to music while on shoots and editing. I always ask the model what they like to listen to and it’s opened my eyes to some of my favorite songs!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO GATHER INSPIRATION?
Most of my inspiration is pulled from the internet. I’m still trying to figure out if that makes me more inspired or limited by the sources I come across. I also try to meet up with other creatives for shoots, coffee, etc as often as I can. It’s so important to be able to have someone to talk to about your ideas and dreams and to hear their input on your projects. Bouncing off of each other opens up a whole new world of creativity that you couldn’t have accessed without that connection.
WHO ARE THE MENTORS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED AND INSPIRED YOUR LIFE?
I think the people who’ve impacted my life the most were people who aren’t in a creative field at all, but the people who raised me. This might be a cheesy answer, but my parents and my grandma have had the most impact on who I am today, and that includes my creative side. My Grandma always encouraged me to be exactly who I wanted to be regardless of what was common or normal, and my parents are both creative in their own ways and supported me in anything I wanted to do. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for their love and guidance.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR CREATIVITY?
It was never something that I had to find, or even something that I thought about. It’s something I was just born with, like a heart or a lung. You don’t think about breathing or making your heart beat, it just happens.
IF YOU COULD GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
“Hailey, don’t go to Sacramento State, don’t convince yourself that this is a good move for YOU. Move to Southern California and follow YOUR dreams.” This isn’t a statement full of regret, and in some ways I’m sure I had to go through everything I did during that transitional stage between high school and college, but if I could turn back time I would’ve gone with what my gut was telling me over my heart.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THE VALLEYS AND PEAKS IN YOUR LIFE AND CAREER?
I’ve learned that people can be the most consistent inspiration in your life, or your complete demise depending on how deep you let them settle their roots in you. I’ve learned that time isn’t forgiving, and that you have to trust your gut and make those “sink or swim” decisions and just have faith in yourself and in the world. Put good in, good comes back to you. It’s simple.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?
“The greatest revenge is success”
WE ALL DREAM OF LEAVING A LEGACY. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR, AND WHY?
I thought about this question for so long and I couldn’t think of even one word. I guess it’s hard for me to think that I’m going to leave a legacy or even a lasting impact on the world, so I’ve never thought about what kind of legacy I’d want to leave behind. I try to live in the moment as much as I can. Maybe I just wanna be remembered as someone who lived life to the fullest, and maybe that’ll inspire someone to do that with theirs too.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MOVIE OR TV SHOW?
I don’t own or watch TV, and I don’t have Netflix. My favorite movie (that I’ve seen so far) is She’s the Man starring Amanda Bynes. Judge me.
ANY CURRENT ALBUMS, ARTISTS OR SONGS ON REPEAT?
Obsessed with The Shins, their song "Australia" particularly. Turnstile’s latest album, "Nonstop Feeling" is one that I can listen to straight through on repeat for hours. Also, I am really enjoying The Neighborhood new album, "Wiped Out!"
I’ve been addicted to Doctor Pepper for about 5 years now (which I know isn’t a food but it might as well be as much as I replace meals with it). But real food wise, super into sushi (like real, raw salmon, I’m practically a bear, sushi), California burritos (replace the rice with French fries, BOOM, so good), and chicken and waffles. I can get a perfect bite every time when I proportion the waffle, chicken, syrup and drips of hot sauce properly.
WHAT IMPORTANT TRUTH DO VERY FEW PEOPLE AGREE WITH YOU ON?
I guess we’re about to get really personal here. So I identify as asexual (no sex drive, and no general interest in sex). In most peoples eyes, especially men’s, being asexual is a cop out for not wanting to be sexual with them or an easy way to "get out of" sexual obligations all together. And for me, it’s just who I am. It’s something that other people can’t believe, and usually refuse to believe. I also don’t drink at all, and I’ve never smoked or done any drugs (XXX). A lot of my friends do, and luckily the people closest to me respect my ways, but don’t even get me started on how frustrated random people get when I decline having a beer with them, “WHAT?! You don’t drink?! What do you do for fun then?” I usually get reactions along those lines, followed by utter disbelief and a new life mission to get me to take a shot with them. My roommate that I just moved in with is also straight edge, so it's awesome to be on the same page as someone I spend so much time around.
STAR WARS OR STAR TREK?
I was obsessed with Natalie Portman as Padme, and had the biggest crush on Hayden Christianson as Anakin (though they completely lacked chemistry and fluid acting skills) when I was little. Yes, I’ve seen every movie. Yes, I think they’re cheesy as all hell but I appreciate how advanced the technology was for the time that they were created and the admiration and commitment they’ve acquired over the years. And do I need to include the picture of me at Disneyland on my 21st birthday walking through Tomorrowland holding hands with a Stormtrooper?