My Outlook: Marshall Hawkins

What has been your favorite shoot with Outlook?

R.A.C.E. Cover from April 2011It has to be one of my first covers for the magazine. It was of a dance organization and it was just a really unique, striking cover—R.A.C.E. Dancing Towards Change (April 2011).

What is the most challenging shoot you’ve ever done?

The Fire Dancers (February 2014). Photographing dancers outside on a cold, January night, lit only by moonlight and the light from their swinging chains of fire is just about the biggest challenge a photographer can get.

Do you have any funny stories about an assignment?

Shooting the Hefner Goats this month! There was this photobombing brown baby goat that followed me around and right before each picture he’d sneak into the frame and smile—yes, he’d smile. That baby goat wanted to be a star!

What subject do you enjoy taking pictures of the most?

Seniors and engagement—and for the same reason. Both high school seniors and the newly engaged are about to enter a new phase of life and they are filled with an excitement and hope that you can’t hide. The emotions we capture in these shoots are genuine and it’s quite a sight to see.

Marshall Hawkins

What is your favorite part about taking pictures?

I thoroughly enjoy finding and capturing the qualities in a subject that make them beautiful. But helping people preserve the most special moments in their lives is a remarkable and important thing.

What has been your favorite shoot of all time?

My wife’s bridal portraits and my two boys’ newborn sessions are undoubtedly the most priceless and most important images I have captured.

When did you know that this could be a career and not just a hobby?

Shortly after taking my friend’s senior pictures for a class assignment, I saw the way her pictures made her feel and I thought to myself, “I really need to do this again.” That was when I realized it could be a real career.

What do you find most challenging about photography?

Being able to adapt to an environment. Unfortunately, not every shoot can be shot at sunset at one of Edmond’s prettiest parks, so you learn pretty quickly how to manipulate light and make a lackluster location seem desirable.

How do you help people feel comfortable in front of a camera?

It is best to find some sort common ground with your subject—get them talking, or even better, laughing. I’ve found that when they become comfortable with me, they forget about the camera.

Any advice for those considering a career in photography?

If you love it, just do it. Get to know your camera and take it everywhere. Shoot your friends, your dog, impressive architecture. Try to find the extraordinary in the most ordinary of things. Build a portfolio and make connections.

Anything else you would like us to know about you?

My wife and I established Sundance Photography in 2009 and we specialize in weddings, engagements, family & senior portraits and commercial photography. For the past four years, I have had the pleasure of shooting over 360 stories for Outlook Magazine. This incredible opportunity has opened doorways, created friendships, and given me photographic experiences that otherwise would have never been possible. 

Check out Marshall’s work at sundancephotographyokc.com or give him a call at 558-1615.

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