Hailing from Texas, freelance photographer Dave Hanssen is the founder of Dave’s Studio, a family-run and family-oriented photo studio. With an extensive background in fashion and commercial studio photography, as well as working with children both at home and in the studio, Dave brings his creative and personal style to Hegezhuang Village (between Shunyi and Chaoyang Districts). His current studio specializes in three main areas: kids and family photos, (whether fashion or home shoots); annual school portraits for international schools; and business or corporate headshots. Staying true to the family theme, he works with his wife in the studio and has two children in school, one at Harrow International School Beijing.
Hanssen was convinced by two friends working in Beijing to move to China in 2008 and hasn’t looked back since. He started work in a commercial fashion studio but, in 2010, with the beginning of a growing family, Hanssen felt like he was spending too much time at work and not at home. Now was the time to breakaway and start his own business, one that allowed him to spend as much time with his family and the international community whilst doing what he loved best. Nevertheless, freelance photography is never easy. “Every day is a hustle,” he explains. “I might be booked up for a month, but after that I’ve got to find more work. But it goes both ways. The more I work today, the more work I will get in the future.”
Inspiration comes from everywhere and everything he does. Hanssen is constantly on the lookout for new ways to approach shoots, new settings, and ways to bring out the best of each family. Whether he is driving his kids to school, commuting around Beijing, or just talking to people, he is constantly asking: could I shoot here? How would this work?
Hanssen takes well-deserved pride in the personal, relaxed service he offers to his clients. He not only does shoots in the studio, but as a freelancer he is flexible in going all around Beijing, thus able to personalize his photo shoots by creating the perfect environment for the client. Having worked with beijingkids before, we also know very well how easily he puts kids at ease. Hanssen knows all the tricks to making them smile for the shots and behave in front of the camera, which is certainly no easy feat. Parents can relax and not stress about making their children behave on the big photo day. Parents relaxing leads kids to relax, and the naturalness and joy of his models shine through in the final photos.
His most popular product is the kid’s package, priced at RMB 4,850. This includes: the session fee, hair and makeup artist, 22 photos fully edited in an 8” album, 100 digital photos hand-picked by the client, 4 by 60cm canvas, and 22 postcard prints.
Find Dave’s Studio on Wechat (ID: pixstudio2014), davesstudio.rocks, 139 1026 8205北京市朝阳区何各庄村红厂艺术设计产业园B5
This article originally appeared on page 11 of the October 2016 Issue of beijingkids magazine. Click here for your free online copy. To find out how you can obtain a hard copy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF DAVE’S STUDIO