Sam is amazing. From the moment I asked her if she would do my graduation shoot to the final edits, she was enthusiastic and passionate about capturing this special time. She constantly asked what I wanted in these photos, what vibes I wanted to portray, and how she could best help me achieve that. She gave me wonderful advice before the shoot about what to wear and how to style my hair and makeup, and even asked for inspiration photos. Before, during, and after the shoot, Sam made this shoot about me.
When I arrived for the shoot, I was so excited - and from the moment Sam walked up smiling, I couldn't help but smile the rest of the time. She even told me to look serious in a couple of photos and I just couldn't do it because her bright smile and kind words made me smile. She knows how to make you feel confident and beautiful and tells you that as she is shooting.
She constantly communicated with me about the progress of my photos (before, during, and after) and made this process extremely easy. I am so grateful for her time and effort and am so excited to share these photos with everyone. The final images are more than I could have ever imagined.
Hannah Goldman, USC Class of 2020
I absolutely loved shooting with Sam! I originally heard about her portrait business through many of my friends at the USC Thornton School of Music... I reached out to Sam directly about having a photo shoot at the Santa Monica Beach. During our shoot, we experimented with various locations, including under the boardwalk, in the sand, and by the water during golden hour. Sam's positive reinforcement throughout the shoot truly made me feel so positive as a model and a client, so naturally the smiles were nonstop. She radiates sunshine and positivity. I would highly recommend Sam to anyone who wants some high-quality headshots! She's absolutely incredible.
Max and I are not “Instagram” people, and we were worried that our inexperience in front of a camera would be reflected in the photos. Nothing could be further from the case - Sam made us both feel so comfortable. Before the shoot, she walked me through everything that I needed to know. Sam encouraged me to bring personal belongings of my grandparents, as she knew that I was a 4th generation Trojan and how special that was to me. She incorporated the items I brought perfectly and I will get to treasure those photos forever.
The final images I received could not have been more perfect. They were exactly what I pictured - refined, but not so edited that I couldn’t recognize myself. She really brought out my natural features without having to add anything that wasn’t authentically me. I am using the photos for graduation invites, photos to put on my parents’ walls, and for Instagram / Facebook posts. We had so much fun and I would relive this shoot every day if I could!
Shannon Hennessy, USC Class of 2020
Sam spent much time ahead of our shoot preparing, talking to us to get an idea of what we wanted, and sharing tips to help make our family photo shoot a success. Sam's positive energy, warm personality, and sheer joy helped make our shoot the most successful family shoot we've ever had with photos that we'll cherish forever.
The final images came out absolutely amazing! Sam captured the personality and essence of each of us. Not a single kid got upset (which is a FIRST for our family), and we simply loved the photos. We used them for our holiday card, and enlarged several to replace older framed prints in our home.
Shooting with Sam was an incredible experience! Prepping for the shoot was very straight forward - Sam was so accommodating with her schedule and sent me a clear list of anything and everything I needed to know ahead of time. Working with Sam was an absolute joy - between photos, we shared stories, memories and laughs! I have never had portraits taken of myself but Sam totally put me at ease and really captured my personal style.
Sam, thank you for being so intentional and capturing me truly as an individual - I very much appreciate it and I'm forever grateful! I love the final images!
Julianne Fong, USC Class of 2020
"How did you feel while
shooting with Sam?"
"Comfortable, excited, thrilled, giggly!"
"Confident, comfortable, and happy!"
"Confident, beautiful, excited, proud, fabulous, gorgeous, happy"
"Comfortable, confident, empowered!"
"Encouraged, understood, confident"
"Grateful, joyful, thrilled"
Sam was the most enthusiastic, warm and welcoming photographer. She made every shot feel exciting and fun, and communicating with her throughout the process was seamless and lovely. She is truly a ray of sunshine! Not to mention, our photos came out BEAUTIFUL. The final images were so unbelievably beautiful that I spent hours looking them all over. I already uploaded them on every social media platform, and of course, sent a whole bunch to friends and family.
I've shot twice now with Sam, and I loved both the experience and the results each time. The first time, I wanted a really out-of-the-box graduation shoot, and she was right on board! She scouted incredible locations that fit my vision! I wanted to capture all these different parts of my college experience, and she helped me get on the freeway and roam in downtown LA very safely.
The second time, I wanted a very traditional professional headshot shoot, and she was again just lovely to work with. She understands lighting really well, and she made me feel comfortable fast, so the pictures turned out lovely both times. I will reach out to Sam whenever I have any need for beautiful pictures.
The final images were beautiful! The grad pictures were used on social media, but filling out this survey makes me think I should ask my parents if they want to do anything else with them! The professional photos went on my LinkedIn and they will go on client proposals my firm sends out.
Audrey Chu, USC Class of 2019
Sam is truly the best photographer and human out there! She was awesome and walked us through every step of the shoot, preparing us on what to bring and how to get ready. Sam walked us through how to pose and find the best locations and lighting which made the photos come out awesome! The final images Sam sent were phenomenal. We had 30 plus favorited images that had amazing lighting and editing. We couldn’t be happier!
Sam is the ultimate professional, but also friendly and encouraging. This was my first photo shoot and she put me at ease immediately. Sam made sure I was fully prepared even days ahead of the shooting. We discussed the setting and various aspects of the shoot before getting to work and she arrived promptly.
I felt very relaxed with Sam - she is so easy to work with. She had insightful ideas that ultimately led to a very successful collection of photos to choose from. There were so many great pics, and in the end I had some great author photos for my new book and website.
Norma Richman, Teacher & Author of "Galilea, Galilea: A Novel"
Sam made shooting incredibly fun & an experience I will remember forever! Before the shoot, Sam was extremely organized and truly wanted to understand my family's vision for the shoot. She gave helpful suggestions for the location and what to wear. Throughout the shoot, Sam thought of creative shots and poses that would have never crossed my mind. The final shots we received are truly beautiful and pictures I will cherish forever. I will definitely recommend Sam Hardy to all of my family and friends!
I was one of Sam's very first clients and it's been amazing to watch her photography business take off. She is so passionate about everything she does... I have been able to book her for two shoots so far with USC Xpressions Dance Company and everyone always raves about how kind and bubbly she is. For people who are usually more shy around a camera, Sam really knows how to work with them and pull out another side to their personality. The work she does is always so thorough and thoughtful and she makes all her clients feel so comfortable. Sam is truly a dream to work with and her work is nothing short of amazing.
Tiffany Chang, USC Class of 2020
"Sam was wonderful. Super sweet, charming, and professional in every way possible. There was a prep meeting through FaceTime before the shoot to discuss details and for her to answer any of my lingering questions. When I arrived on set, Sam was right on time to greet me and begin the photoshoot. The photos turned out great and I highly recommend her!"