The photography duo on William Blake, the pace of fashion, and obscure ‘80s television shows.
AS TOLD TO GOSSAMER
Hana Ardelean: I’m from California, Jen's from Michigan. We met in college. She was studying business, I was studying fashion design. We just hit it off. We’d stay up until the middle of the night making weird crafts and jewelry—spray painting jeans skirts and weird stuff.
We’d say things like, “One day, when we're older, we're going to have some sort of a company together,” but we had no idea what it was going to be. We're just like, it'll hit us when it's right. And then, maybe a couple years after college, we were at dinner one night and we said, “You know, we love taking pictures—what if we become photographers?” Jen had a bunch of photography equipment that she had inherited from her father. It was around the time of the Cobra Snake, 2006 or 2007, and so we were like, “We can totally do this. It'll be fun! We can meet people and go party.” And there were no girls doing it at the time, so that helped.
We still had our own jobs. I worked for a real estate firm, was a stylist, and had my own jewelry line, so it was more of like a hobby and fun thing to do. We liked going out, so we figured we might as well make a little money and meet people.
It evolved from there. We quickly found that we loved shooting fashion. So we continued doing events to make contacts and to meet a bunch of people in Los Angeles. And then we transitioned into doing lookbooks, and then into advertising and commercial work.
We got much more serious about it around five-and-a-half years ago.
Jen Dionne: I had a cookie company called Rolling in Dough. It was a lot of work. They were all hand-decorated. We were doing them for the studios and this and that. I don't even know how we got into that, but Hana would help out. And I think that's where the photography equipment came in. People were starting websites at that time, and putting things on Myspace, and so it was like, oh, let's take some pretty photos of our cookies.