We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Marie Collins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
There wasn’t a specific moment where I chose an artistic career, or a less traditional career path. I remember after college exploring different career possibilities by working in the editorial department at a magazine, studying book publishing, and working in my Mom’s fine art glass studio as an assistant where I saw firsthand the way a creative career works. Without a clear idea of a direction to go in for myself, I just took my passions for art, design, photography, and books, and started to learn about how I could make a career in those arenas. Eventually a brochure for a month-long filmmaking course landed in my lap and the more I learned about cinematography, the more I wanted to pursue it. Over the course of my career since then, my work has evolved and grown, in part due to the creative freedom of being a self-employed creative. It’s very gratifying to be able to express myself in my work and for me, a creative career was the right choice, even if I wasn’t consciously choosing it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a commercial photographer and videographer specializing primarily in product and architectural photography. What I hope sets me apart from others is my conceptual work for which I do the creative direction, styling, and photography. These photographs often originate as an image in my mind, and I enjoy working through the process of recreating that vision in the studio. When I find a client who seeks me out for this kind of imagery, it’s a very gratifying process of interpreting their product and desires for the shoot in this creative way. My business has evolved over time and has been built almost exclusively by word of mouth referrals. That has been a slow process but it’s also very satisfying to have a happy client share my name and to have a roster of clients who have connections to one another. Along the way I’ve learned that delivering high quality imagery, on time, that is creatively unique, and being a reliable partner to my clients, is a very important combination. Ultimately your client needs to know they can rely on you both as a business person and a creative artist.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Right now, my answer to this question is so different than it would have been in February. If someone were visiting me now, I would want to take them hiking in Topanga Canyon or Malibu to enjoy the sea views and abundant wild flowers, and I would make sure to stop by a local favorite to pick up food. Post-hike it would be Lily’s for a giant breakfast burrito, and back in my neighborhood in Silver Lake it would be Forage, Little Dom’s, and Home State. Right now, taking walks close to home has been a great stress reliever. Saying hello to people passing by, looking at flowers and architecture and breathing fresh air goes a long way to relieve the stress that’s been pervasive for months.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely want to send a Shoutout to my Mom Judy Collins. It’s amazing to take a step back and see how much her path has influenced mine. Through her example, I learned how to be a woman working in the arts who can work hard, express herself creatively, and still maintain balance in life. I also learned from her how to lead a life rich with curiosity and allow that to inform my work. I rely on her critiques and enjoy sharing a love of art and design with her. Though creative people often create alone, that input and understanding is necessary and enriching.
All images © Heather Marie Collins