Anchen Hockly is passionate about holding onto special memories, and appreciates how powerful a photograph can be at preserving thoughts and feelings of special times gone by. She launched Anchen Hockly Photography to provide families with wonderful keepsake memories of precious moments in their lives, like pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, to preserve these wonderful times forever.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Looking back, there is a defining moment that nudged me forward into photography. It was the polar opposite of what I do today – but it was personal. Photographing a maternal life coming to an end. I used my phone to take the last ever pictures of my grandmother’s hands. She had passed away moments before and I anxiously wanted to hold onto anything that would remind me of our life with her. Now, whenever I catch a glimpse of those photos, I immediately relive my childhood memories through the detail in her hands.
Today, this is the inspiration and thought behind my photography. Knowing that my images will preserve feelings that would otherwise fade away along with small details over time. It is a priceless gift to families and reason enough to turn this into a business.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
To be honest, anchenhockly.com is still in the beginning phase but growing fast. I’ve always been encouraged to take up photography, but once you have children it is a daunting task to change careers and find the time to learn a new skill.
I bought my first camera a year ago to photograph my brand new baby from every possible angle, but before I could get to that, I had buttons and settings to figure out. As luck would have it, a beautiful friend was expecting her third baby and we had a casual beach photoshoot. I feared that the photos would never see the light of day, but we were pleasantly surprised. Overnight, I started getting enquiries from other mums and of course maternity photos naturally lead me to doing birth and newborn photography too, which now forms part of my niche – Motherhood.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Realising the impact that my photos could have on families in years to come is a big reason to keep learning and refining my skill.
Photographs have an enormous impact on children in their home setting. They have a powerful way of transcending the spoken language. Psychologists have been using family photos when working with mental illness, creating a sense of security and belonging for patients. We can benefit from this at home and boost our children’s confidence by simply displaying images of our unique, family unit. Photos help children learn who they are and where they belong, in the deepest yet simplest way, according to renowned psychologist and art therapist, Judy Weiser. Showing our children that we have treasured every moment with them, before they were born, during birth and long after, has a tremendous impact on their self esteem and sense of security.