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Conversations with the Inspiring Haley Ivers

Today we’d like to introduce you to Haley Ivers.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Kindergarten is when I knew I would pursue something creative in my career. As a child and teenager, I lived and breathed art. I had a passion for illustration and began my art business in high school when I started drawing tattoo designs for my classmates. I did that all four years and it was so fun. I even earned the title of Best Artist in my senior polls, which is something I still take pride in today (haha!)

But my freshman year of college, I was burnt out. I was already pursuing an Art Studio major which I already didn’t enjoy and I kept finding myself doing commission work I didn’t like either. I decided it was time to take a break from art completely. That’s when I took up YouTube (and switched my major to Video Production.)

I felt like because I was in this next phase of my life that it was time to spread my wings and try some new creative things. I was blown away the moment I discovered there was a Youtube community and I immediately wanted to join in. The idea of making videos on my own time and about whatever I wanted to intrigue me, as well. I spent about two years making Youtube videos and creating the most amazing relationship with my subscribers. My favorite and most successful video I ever made was a DIY Calligraphy Tutorial video with 459,000+ views.

But something didn’t feel quite right about my major now. I spent a year learning about video production but it hit me like a brick the moment I starting questioning myself: “Why am I doing this? I don’t want to make feature films, I don’t want to work in this industry, I don’t want to write scripts, I don’t want to do any of this. All I want to do is make little YouTube videos.”

I was having a hard time with this because I’m stubborn when it comes to not wanting to do things and I couldn’t bare spending three more years in video production. Also, as college progressed, I found myself not having the time and energy to pour my heart into my Youtube channel either. The workload became way too much for me to handle and balance with school and I couldn’t just settle on mediocre videos (or mediocre grades).

My 4th year in college (2016-2017) is when I slowly began to post less and less. And by Spring 2017, I switched my major back to Studio Art.

This is the time that I faced a huge creative turning point. One of my roommates at the time was a landscape photographer and I became extremely interested in what he did. I also started to think how efficient of a job that was compared to spending hours, and I mean HOURS, filming and editing videos and making illustrations.

I’ve always been one to take photos growing up, but never really spent time trying to develop any skills or ever even thought I had talent in that area in the first place. But I just started. And I haven’t put my camera down since.

I know this may be an annoying statement, but photography came really easy for me. I was never taught photography and only barely knew what some of the key terms meant. I didn’t understand why I took a good photo, but rather I could always feel that it would turn out right… see, I told you that was an annoying statement.

My 5th year in college in the spring of 2018, I declared my studio art emphasis as photography. I began to learn about composition, ISO, aperture, and shutter speed because I wanted to know my current craft inside and out, not just “what looked good.” I wanted to know the “why.” I learned all this while doing film photography, too.

Then, came to Instagram and my blog. I feel like I’ve always had an internet presence of some sort. I began with a Tumblr blog with over 13,000 followers in middle and high school and then my Youtube channel with over 7,000 subscribers in college. But as Instagram began to blow up, I decided to turn my direction to the app and start branding myself and my work. I also wanted a space that was purely my own to share anything I wanted which is why I decided to make a website too. I began sharing my photos on my Instagram and blog just as another way to put my creations out into the world. I hoped that it would speak to and inspire other creatives in some sort of way.

Because that’s what I’m about and what I hope my personal brand speaks to. I think there’s a lot more to just wanting to inspire people. I’m sure anyone wants to inspire someone in one way or another. But my goal is to encourage individuals who have creativity flowing through their veins to get up and work hard on developing their skills and putting them to use. Not only that but also to use creativity as a way to shed light on the beauty of our world and the way we perceive it.

I grew up diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 5th grade and suffered from depression and self-harm until the end of high school. I often forgot how beautiful and unique life was. But the one thing I knew I could rely on and use as a coping mechanism was created. Creation gave me purpose and I used it as a way to see and capture beauty back into my world. It’s what drives me every day and reminds me how much there is to live for.

I will always live and breath art and use my passions to help inspire and guide others to believe in the beauty of their talents and their potential. Additionally, I hope to encourage others to not only see beauty and magic in our universe and our life but also to create it.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In regard to Instagram and where I’m at with it now, it hasn’t been a smooth road. It’s been a frustrating one with a lot of self-doubts, especially at the beginning of my commitment to creating for Instagram. The more I saw others succeeding while I felt like I wasn’t, the more upset I got. I obsessed over me vs. everyone else and got down on myself when my numbers weren’t high like others. I never understood why I didn’t get a lot of comments or likes even though I loved the photo I posted.

But that was it right there. Two years now and I finally feel at peace. Why? Because I need to be for my mental health. More importantly, if you feel confident in your work before you post it on Instagram, it’s a disservice to yourself to let the feedback (or lack thereof) after you posted the photo to dictate whether you created something amazing or not. If you love it, you give it value and it’s there to stay.

You must believe in yourself and what you’re putting out there. Don’t you dare let numbers measure your value. Trust me, your work will speak for itself.

In the meantime, keep creating and don’t stop. Be consistent and most importantly, stay true to who you are because that’s your power. Lastly, spend time creating a community. Speak to those who follow you and show them your efforts in appreciating their support.

Success will come. Keep your frequency high and your intentions good, and I promise you, success will come.

what should we know about your business? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Right now, I am a full-time student, a sales associate at Anthropologie, an Instagram content creator, and a fashion + lifestyle blogger.

I specialize in photography and the whole sha-bang when it comes to location scouting, concept creating, styling, modeling, marketing and photographing for brands who want to use my Instagram and blog to market their products.

I’m known for my ethereal, dreamy, magical, soft colored photos. I’m also known for using a shallow depth of field to create a dreamy vibe.

Growing up as an artist, I never had a style. I specialized in realism but that wasn’t unique to me. When asked what sets me apart from other artists and how people could see something of mine and immediately know it was mine, I could never give an answer other than “Nothing. So many people can do what I do.”

But with my photography, I have a style that is unique and authentic to me. And I’m proud that for after 90% of my life not knowing how to define my style, I’m finally starting to be able to do it.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Start now and start fiercely. Never stop trying to learn from others in your field and never be scared to ask for advice. Most importantly, stay true to who you are and what your vision is. Nothing can stop you – I believe in you.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

My mom, Amy for the two of me

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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