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Rising Stars: Meet Sissy Van Den Handel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sissy Van Den Handel.

Hi Sissy, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
I was born and raised in Germany and didn’t come to the US until I was 17. I participated in a high school exchange year and went to college afterward. I got my degree in Photography in 2005. Eventually, I joined the Army National Guard, and now I am a mom.

I have always loved photography; going to school to learn to be a portrait photographer was an amazing experience. Now I stay home with my daughter and take people’s portraits. Sometimes I venture into landscape photography or work with models.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been easy to try and get noticed as a photographer. I would say that is my biggest struggle. I’ve also had problems in my personal life and had to put my photography dreams on hold for a few years. It was a relief when I finally got to get back to it.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in outdoor family portraits. (holiday photos, maternity, graduation, engagement) It’s wonderful to meet new people and help them capture special moments in their lives. I adore getting to see an engaged couple make lovey eyes at each other, the way little kids goof around during a family session, and the awe I see on so many dads’ faces during a maternity session. Everything changes, all the time, but these portraits will be with people forever. That is a big deal to me.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I think portrait photography will continue to improve and evolve like it always has. Cameras and editing software get more sophisticated all the time, and photographers learn new approaches to posing and lighting. We can do so much to truly capture people at their best, to give them memories to keep forever, and I am certain that that is going to stay that way.

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