Paris Preparation

About time! by Hannah Harley

| A blog post explaining my reasoning behind returning to Paris | With 68 days until lift off, the visa process is still proving to be an intense and overwhelming process. But despite the difficulties, it's getting done! Huge thank you to the kind notary, my sweet parents, and everyone else who has been helping me along the way!!

That's my little update. But I figured that I might as well offer you the story and reasoning as to why I'm spending four months away from my friends and family in a country where I don't know anyone or speak the language nearly as well as I should.

This story traces back to 2006 when my sister decided to showcase her softball abilities at the Queen of Diamonds Showcase. As I aged up and became eligible for them, I did the showcases, tournaments, and eventually I was invited to join the group of the players that go with the organizer of it all, Mr. Kirt Whiteside, and his organization to the Netherlands and Paris to play a softball tournament against European players. So without too much hesitation, my sister and I headed to Paris in January 2011.


Above: Me in Jan 2011 with the team Cup Trophy.

We decided to go a little earlier than everyone else in our group. We wanted to get a chance to see more of Paris, so we added 5 days to the trip. We were fairly young; my sister was 21, and I was 17. (Huge shout out to my parents for allowing this to happen!) My sister and I were (and still are) best friends, so we ended up having THE most fun.

The decision to bring my camera was one that I made the morning of our departure. I am forever grateful that I chose to bring it (despite my over protectiveness of it). Needless to say, it was the right choice.

I was extremely jet lagged our first day there. In fact, I fell asleep in 7 different locations. Our second day, we traveled to Versailles. I was still exhausted, but as soon as I saw the grand palace... I was in love. The building and the grounds were so incredibly photogenic. It felt impossible to take a bad photograph. (Don't worry - I did.)

IMG_0909 4

And it was right there that I fell in love with photography and decided to pursue it. Standing in the Hall of Mirrors in complete awe of the beauty surrounding me.. I fell in love.


On that day, my sister managed to capture this image without my knowledge and showed it to me before I went off to college two years later. She broke her camera approximately 15 minutes after taking this photo.

I ended up taking over 3000 photos of Paris and the Netherlands. I came back with the intention of studying photography in college, and I knew I'd have to return to Paris. It was only a matter of time.

Almost four years later, I'll be returning to the city that started it all. I'll be returning to the city that got me into photography and pointed me towards Point Park University. In turn, photography and Point Park have given me incredible opportunities and friends. That trip absolutely changed my life, and I am continuously grateful for it.


166465_495940822033_6683480_nTop: The outside of Versailles Below: My teammates with one of the Netherlands teams


Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog!! :)

A Shift in the Blog by Hannah Harley

Hello, folks!! So as I begin preparations for my semester in Paris, I've realized that I ought to determine what platform I'll be using to keep my family, friends, and wanderlusted strangers up to date on my travels. I've decided that this site, while typically used for my more business orientated work, would be a perfect place to include my written accounts and photographic evidence of my four months in Paris.

But with that decision, comes a dramatic shift in what will be published on this site. I will be sharing my travels with you and with that, I will be sharing my life on a more personal level. So before I start my journey documentation, I might as well catch you up to what I've been up to this past academic year. =

Fall 2013 was difficult and rewarding. I guess I hadn't expected it to be so full of (necessary) change. I had spent a large portion of my freshmen year in my room, watching Law & Order: SVU and playing Sims. I surely was not a candidate for "most involved". (While I wouldn't recommend this to incoming students, it was a delightful experience) But when Point Park's Office of Campus Life offered me the position of Community Facilitator (similar to an RA), I realized my days of Law & Order and Sims were over.

After 3 weeks of Campus Life's training in August 2013, a painful breakup, and the working friendships of 24 amazing coworkers, I had undergone an enormous amount of personal change. I decided in late August that I would spend Fall 2014 in Paris. If I could experience this much change and this much growth in such a short period of time, I could certainly work to get into an environment that would encourage even more from me. And that environment was, without a doubt in my mind, Paris.

I had fallen in love with photography in Paris during a trip with my sister in January 2011, so it only seemed right to return to the City of Light during my undergrad. I'll tell you the whole story soon.

Eiffel Tower

There was a lot of essential trial and error in film photography, friendships, artistic concepts, etc. There were a lot of people trying to find a nice way to say, "This isn't good -- keep trying."

Second semester is a blur. With softball, being a Community Facilitator, and a full load of classes, it all went by so quickly. I ought to thank my incredible friends who got coffee with me at 1:00 am or caught up at 5:00 am because I didn't have time during the day. You're all wonderful examples of excellent human beings. But if we're thanking people... my teammates, my residents, my coworkers, my family, my coaches, my professors, my classmates, my lunch buddy, my supervisors, my frisbee friends, the list of people who made second semester both the most fun and exhausting semester ever is extensive.

And here we are now!! A month into summer! 72 days until Paris! Ah!

I'm currently living and working in downtown Pittsburgh. I have THE BEST roommates, coworkers, friends, collaborators, and of course, the most amazing family. I'm constantly impressed by the caliber of people I've been fortunate enough to meet this past year.

With all that being said --- I am going to share some of the projects I've done this past year. Since most of it was film based, I'm realizing that most of it has not been turned into anything digital yet. I'll share some of it as soon as I find a good way to scan it! Until then, I'll share what I have digitally prepared.

Eyes - Macro photos of 8-16 eyes per image. Seriously manipulated using Adobe Photoshop tools to play with the "windows to the soul".

Eye Compilation - 1


Eye Compilation - 2


Eye Compilation - 3

Below you'll find some 120 film photographs taken with a Holga toy camera during January 2014


By contrast, color digital shots of downtown Pittsburgh taken with my 5d Mark III.

HannahHarley -20140310-0223HannahHarley -20140310-0291

Below: Two shots of dear friends, Ryan and Michelle. Both taken on Ilford 50 with a Pentax Honeywell.HannahHarley - RyanMaineBelow: An in-camera triple exposure of Michelle and her ridiculously awesome pantsHannah Harley Triple ExposureThere's so much more that I've been working on that isn't ready for the permanence of being published on the internet!

Until next time!!! :)