How to Take Photos That Make a Lasting Impression

In their latest edition of Through the LensAdorama presents Christopher Hainey, a Chicago based photographer, designer, and content creator. He’s also the drummer of the band Maps & Atlases. Born in Kansas City, he grew-up outside Dallas, then went on to study film and cinematography:

Hainey’s love for photography began when he started a band about 10 years back. He brought a camera with him on tour and pretty much photographed anything and everything he fancied. One thing led to another. He joined Instagram around the same time and then moved to digital photography. Prior to that he had been shooting film.

He loves the feel of holding a printed photograph in his hand:

“There is something about it that is so classic and endearing.”

instagram conceptual image

“I think my favorite type of photography is definitely conceptual.”


Many of his photographs depict his girlfriend. He credits her for encouraging him to take photographs of people, a pursuit that had been his Achilles heel.

“[I] was really hesitant to take pictures of people at first. So, in a way I became a better photographer because of her.”


Hainey admits that he has wasted a lot of time worrying about the gear that he should buy. Eventually, he reminded himself,

“It’s not really about the gear, it’s more about how you use it.”

motion light painting

Starting out with an iPhone, he switched to a Fuji X100S and then very recently to a Leica Q.

“I have never been a huge fan of zoom lenses. I really enjoyed fixed lenses and I think having to re-positon yourself rather than just zooming in and out to get the angle and image that you want is much more satisfying to me.”

magnifying glass creative photography

Hainey’s Advice to His Younger Self

“To not let limitations dissuade you from trying to create an image. I think there are a lot of instances where I was like, it would be really cool to do this but I don’t have the means, I don’t have the connections, I don’t have the money to do this. But, I feel there is always a way to shooting even if it’s not exactly how you envisioned it. It could turn into something completely different and completely unique and wonderful.”

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