Sara Haile is the Creator and Photographer behind People Who Do. As a digital media professional living in NYC, she believes in the power of storytelling and People Who Do is a platform celebrating those who take action to do what fulfills them.
What were you doing before People Who Do? What did the journey look like to get you where you are now?
Before People Who Do, I had several different marketing and production-based roles. Looking back at my previous positions, I jumped around a bit, but I think it’s a true reflection of my love of so many elements that can contribute to a final campaign – photography, video, copywriting, production coordination, PR and even graphic design.
People Who Do’s journey has consisted of a lot of learning. Whether it’s me learning how to be a better photographer or even growing the interviews to incite more honestly from the people I feature. I’ve also learned a lot process-wise. Currently, People Who Do is only one person–me! It’s been liberating to have full control but I’ve also had to learn how to use my time efficiently to keep the content steady and produce quality stories that I’m proud to publish.
What about New York drew you in?
I’m from a small town in Central PA and from a very early age, I remember always wanting to be around things or people that kept going. When I knew NYC existed, and then when I eventually visited, I got hooked. I love its energy, its variety of people and the hope that’s always here. The skyline never gets old, the opportunity is constantly fresh and it just really fun.
What surprises you most about the people you meet and their stories?
Not that I’m necessarily surprised but sometimes I’ll be reading back someone’s interview and I’m just floored with the insight they provide. I can be having a bad day, not feeling super motivated and I’ll look over someone’s answers and at that moment, my frame of mind can be turned around completely.
What is success to you and do you think you’ve achieved it?
Success to me is that gut feeling you get when you’re really proud. There’s no second guessing yourself, you don’t crave validity, it’s just an undeniable visceral feeling–an unapologetic moment where you’re like, “I did that and I’m happy about it.” For example, sometimes I’ll really love a photo I shot and I know that even if that photo doesn’t make it to the internet or touch a social media feed, I still love it all the same. I use that as a template to equate success in other areas of my life as well.
Respecting the craft and the story. NYC and the world, in general, is fast. Sometimes we’re only focused on consumption and forget to slow down to recognize how things are made and the artistry behind them. As an artist myself, I love MATTER’s mission and the focus on the process and narrative behind the clothing that we own and wear.
What is one thing you stand for and believe in, and why?
Compassion. Though I’m certainly not perfect, I try to exercise this daily. I recently listened to a podcast where a psychologist talks about something that’s called an “orienting response”–something that our nervous systems do when we feel something is wrong and we immediately go looking for the source of it. As humans, we’re quick to assume things about people and maybe even place blame on them for how they’re making us feel, but when you try to understand someone else or consider why they may be acting that way, you’re able to ease up on your frustration. Compassion is also a way to connect with others, which I feel so important now more than ever. A question I always try to ask myself is, “how can I try to empathize more?”
How would you like to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who was compassionate, curious, determined, funny and uplifting. And also as someone who could take a photo or two 🙂
We are inspired by Sara’s perspective on storytelling are proud to have her as Fieldtesters, a group of inspiring individuals that test MATTER products in their everyday journeys of passion, to help us improve durability and design. Sara is wearing the Cross-Back Top + Indigo in Size 1.