‘Scratch the surface of anyone’s life and you’ll find a story just waiting to be…
When Rowena Hains launched her photography business Hello Ro Photography one year ago, the world was almost unrecognisable.
“I had planned to do photoshoots over the country and all over the world, and photograph large weddings and events,” says Rowena.
Of course, once the COVID-19 pandemic reached Australia in March, those things were all off-limits, and Rowena’s usually busy schedule was suddenly filled with cancellations.
But there’s been a silver lining: she says the quiet time actually allowed her to branch out with other Canberra creatives.
“With so many of our makeup artists, boutiques and hair stylists having their clients cancel on them we started reaching out to each other and collaborating on fashion editorials that we had previously been wanting to experiment with,” she says.
“So creatively it’s actually been a good time, as we’ve really banded together to do things we may not have usually had the time to do.”
In the last few months Rowena has found business picking up with small events and elopements, as Canberrans begin to get used to their new normal.
“I think couples are realising this may go on for a while so there’s no harm in having a smaller wedding,” Rowena says, adding that she prefers the more intimate events.
“It’s lovely to be part of something so intimate, because it’s less about the scenery and more about the couple themselves and the story they have to tell.”
“During one of the first elopements I did post-COVID we went on a walk around Lake Burley Griffin, and we just walked and talked and they stopped for a photo a few times and I learnt about who they were, so it became more about their story rather than just a photo from the day.”
A photography teacher in her spare time, Rowena has a background in film photography.
Her favourite places to shoot in Canberra include James Turrell’s Skyspace at the National Gallery of Australia—“it’s beyond stunning”—and the jetty at Black Mountain Peninsula.
“It’s perfect for people who can’t travel to the beach right now who want a water wedding,” she says.
Rowena describes her approach as “candid mixed with editorial.” She offers a diverse range of photography, with everything from couples and weddings, events, headshots and portraits, sports and stage, and custom/editorial.
“I really like to keep a documentary style and take a really natural approach,” she says.
“I like to get couples or people I am working with to do a little quirky activity so I can get an ‘in between’ moment, as a lot of people aren’t comfortable in front of a camera so they’ll become stilted, but if they have activities they relax a bit.”
Her favourite part of the job is “learning things about different people and being creative all the time.
“If someone has a great time at my shoot, that’s all I want.”
What: Hello Ro Photography
How much: 30 minute headshots start from $150, packages start from $300