It all started in 1983 in Rangiora, New Zealand. Photographer Fran Hales had just taken a snap of her cat, Jezabel, on her new camera, a Kodak Ektra 200, which had a popup flash that doubled as a handle. Fran was 9 and her passion for photography had begun.
Fran has come a long way since her first paid shot of a girl holding a remote control. While the photo was used for a brochure, Fran was destined for brighter things. That photo really was a light bulb moment for her; photography was her passion, but making a living from it was still a dream at that time. She moved to London in 1997, attracted by the accessibility to Europe, the freedom of expression, arts and culture, and to meet new people.
After living in the UK for 14 years, Fran took the step to turn her passion into a profession in 2011.
She has also photographed a few Kiwi favourites, including Jonah Lomu just last week. While Fran says her work has allowed her access to many notable venues and to meet many interesting people, her biggest career highlight so far is turning her pipe dream into a successful business. Her passion is evident, when she says “the emotion that I get from taking photos and the immense satisfaction it gives me to create something that I love is a huge driving force [for me]. Being able to deliver images to a client that delivers positive feedback is also wonderful feeling especially in a work environment.” Her work is mostly for events; branded, corporate and charity, see www.franhales.com.
While she misses the land of the long white cloud; the grand landscapes, the laidback people, the lack of queues, and of course, Kiwi sweets like Peanut Slabs, Jelly Tips and Cheezels, Fran’s immediate aspirations are to continue growing her business, working hard and ethically, to keep learning, be socially conscious and, importantly, to keep enjoying life.