We are so excited to have one of the fabulous teachers at our upcoming Photography Conference for Women guest judging this month’s photo challenge! Hilary Camilleri of One for the Wall photography is an amazingly creative entrepreneur and a savvy businesswomen as well. We’re excited to introduce Hilary to our community today and hope that you all get a chance to learn from her at our conference in October as well!
About Hilary Camilleri
I’m currently based in Waterloo, Ontario and I am the owner of One for the Wall photography and a non-profit photography project called Another Door Opens. My main focus is directed towards children and families but I am actively involved with corporate clients and commercial work as well.
Outside of my business, I enjoy volunteering and have a very busy household that includes two beautiful girls, a supportive husband and an adorable Lasapoodle!
My Photography Journey
In 1998, I graduated from the University of Western, Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and then from Sheridan College with a post-graduate diploma in Journalism. I held a dream of becoming a news anchor, and worked at several community television stations in order to pursue my goal.
Following graduation, a full time opportunity in sales at Labatt Breweries of Canada had presented itself and I took it at full force, quickly falling in love with the constant communication I was able to have with people. My passion for this became apparent, moving me to a position as Territorial Manager of Kitchener-Waterloo.
I have always had a strong interest and fascination with people, time and photos. I am incredibly passionate about the relationships between people and the love they share with each other. Knowing that time moves incredibly fast, I learned very early on in life that the best way to preserve these moments was to take a picture.
In November of 2008, my husband and I both left our long standing careers in order to pursue something new dreams. I decided to leave my job of 8 years in corporate sales, wanting to spend more time with my two little girls. Needless to say, I missed the daily contact with my colleagues and clients and registered One for the Wall photography four weeks later.
Combining my love for people and capturing memories in time, photography proved to be the perfect fit. I began by photographing the little ones in my neighbourhood. Ten families later my photography grew into a full time career. I’ve now photographed over 800 families and I absolutely love what I do!
Fun Q&A with Hilary
What was your favorite photography moment from the past year?
My favourite photography moment this past year would have to be the launch of my newest non-profit business, Another Door Opens. When I started One for the Wall, I knew that I wanted to give the gift of photos but was never entirely sure how. I had spent a lot of time thinking about it but was never clear on that ‘thing’ that I wanted to do. After photographing two very special woman who had lost their husbands far too early, I was inspired by the fact that I had the chance to provide these woman with new memories for both themselves and for their children. The idea for Another Door Opens came to me in a moment of inspiration and does exactly what I was searching for, it gives back. It’s a chance to help heal families and show them that there is hope. There couldn’t have been a bigger highlight of my year!
What inspires your photography the most?
The biggest inspiration in my work is consistently my clients. I value the relationships I have with my clients from the minute they contact me to book a session, to the moment they receive their images and beyond. They are the ones that stand in front of me and my camera with smiling faces, ready for that days session. Being able to capture the emotions and moments between loved ones is exactly why I do this. I am so privileged to be a part of their memories and I do everything I can to listen to them and understand who they are. My clients inspire me daily to continue to push myself to be the best photographer I can be.
What is your favorite quote?
Something that I came up with myself was, “It’s not about the journey but the people you take along for the ride.” I coined this phrase a few years ago. I was reflecting back on my life and all people who I’ve crossed paths with over the years. I felt extremely fortunate to have had such inspiring people beside me through all life’s moments, good and bad. These people have made my life what it is!
What lens can’t you live without?
I would surely melt without my 85mm 1.4 lens.
What is the best photography advice you have ever received?
During the first year of my business, I, like many new photographers do, had spent a lot of time comparing my work to others and as a result made me feel incompetent. My mentor had been in the business for five years at the time and simply told me that I needed to look to my clients for the validation I needed. If they were happy with their photos and were booking me again, that was all I needed to concern myself with. That has been something that I’ve kept with me to this day. I’ve become a very client focused photographer and I adore the people I get to work with. I’m proud to say that the majority of my business comes from the same families each and every year.
What is your favorite type of event to shoot?
It’s difficult to narrow it down to just one! I love my families and children and the diversity that commercial projects have to offer. There’s really something new every day!
Who are three photographers who inspire you?
Deb Schwedhelm, Cliff Mautner, and Annie Liebovitz are three photographers who I admire dearly for many different reasons. I am grateful that I have been able to take courses with Deb and Cliff. Experiences and relationships I will not ever forget.
How do you promote your photography and services?
My business has truly been built into my community. Word of mouth referrals and the organizations I have donated my time to have been the biggest and greatest source of my work being shared and promoted!
What do you love to do in your free time?
Free time? What is that? It doesn’t appear very often, but when I’m lucky enough to have some; I take time to go the gym, read a good book or spend time with my loving family and friends! I also love to cook up new business ideas and constantly brainstorm potential projects that I want to take on in the future. I’ve said it time and time again, my mind never rests.
Where do you see your photography business in five years?
Eventually, I would love to find myself teaching photography to others full time. In the mean time, as the next five years go on, I plan to continue to develop my family and commercial business in all ways possible. Along with that, I’m always looking to give back to the community and I hope to grow Another Door Opens beyond my city. I have two exciting projects on the go for this year, a new video to be filmed this fall and I am ecstatic to be a one of the creative teachers for the I Heart Faces Conference this fall!
Connect with Hilary
Thank you for sharing your time with us here this week Hilary! Be sure to check out her website for more inspiration. You can also follow Hilary on Twitter @oneforthewall. And we’d especially love it if our community could stop by her Facebook Fan Page to leave a kind comment.
There’s still time to enter this month’s photo challenge. Submit your “Framed”entry by Saturday EST! Do you have more than one “Framed” photo? Share it on Instagram or Twitter and use our hashtag #iHeartFaces so we can see it!