Customer Spotlight: Haley Plotkin

Customer Spotlight: Haley Plotkin

Posted by Sara Marjorie Strick on 10th Nov 2015

1. What sparked your interest in photography? How long have you been shooting?

I grew up with my dad as a videographer for the juggling and vaudeville community, so I suppose it started with that. I'd say I really started to become interested in photography myself my sophomore year of college. That was the year I really discovered live music and threw myself into attending gigs in Washington, DC. Somehow, through all of that, I became interested in shooting gigs, if only to get more involved in the industry and get into concerts for free. After a few years of doing that, I also really gained an interest in traveling, and decided to start an Instagram account dedicated to my travel photography @readysetjetset

2. Who are some of your biggest inspirations for your work?

My dad, of course, and I love Polaroid photography. On Instagram, I love the works of @andyto, @graymalin, @ourwildabandon, the girls behind @elcaminotravel, @imthejam, and @elisaparkranger, just to name a few.

3. What would you consider to be your proudest moment as a photographer?

There are several big moments for me where I felt I was finally moving up in the world. Being approved to photograph Coachella; when National Geographic liked one of my photos on Instagram; having Afar ask for me to provide a feature for an online article; every time Travel + Leisure has reblogged one of my photos; and just the other day when the people at @beautifuldestinations asked me to contribute to a possible Buzzfeed article.

4. What was one of your weirdest moments as a photographer?

I'm not sure if weirdest is the right word, but the best/scariest was doing an open-door helicopter flight over New York City for a travel blog. It was amazing, but also scary as hell. Still can't believe I got to do that.

5. What have you learned about photography that came as a surprise to you the more you became invested in it?

That you put way more time into editing than actually taking the photos. I do not know how my fellow photographers actually manage to get full galleries up every day at SXSW. A Herculean task if there ever was one.

6. If you could give one, single most important piece of advice to a novice photographer, what would that be?

Just play around with your camera a lot and teach yourself how to use it. Have fun with it, learn to shoot completely on manual, and the more you use it, the better you'll get. I still have a long way to go.

7. What is your favorite thing you have purchased from Precision Camera?

My Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 because I just have so much fun with it. Who doesn't like a wide angle? I've been able to use it so much for both my travel and music photography, and it's such a great price for a great lens.

8. If you could only have one camera and one lens, what would you choose? Why?

Well, I currently shoot with a Canon 6D, which I love for its wifi feature (such a great feature for an Instagrammer like me). If I had a choice though, I'd definitely want a Canon 5DMKIII. My workhorse lens would probably be my 24-70mm f/2.8 because it is just so versatile for every situation. It's the first lens I recommend anyone getting when they make the upgrade to a full-frame camera.

9. If you could come up with one dream piece of equipment, what would it be?

Well, I'd love a Canon 1DX of course. And let's say a Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM while we're at it, just because it's $10,000.

You can see more of Hayley's work at her portfolio here, and follow her on Instagram here (her travel account too!)