Building the right connections for impossible projects: HLabs meets photographer Sane Seven

Hlabs Meets
Are you ready to meet a superwoman? HLabs dives into the world of Sane Seven and explores the intricacies of creating meaningful connections
17 January 2024
4 min read
Written by Bea Del Campo
Sane Seven Hero
Sane and Marius, the two brilliant minds that make Sane Seven possible

“Prepare to get to know someone incredibly inspiring”, our Founder & CEO Hannah pre-warned us before we met our next  ‘HLabs Meets’ guest Sane Seven. HLabs Meets are the informal chats we have at the company to learn from the amazing work other industry creatives do and we’ve been lucky enough to talk with some extremely talented people so far. Our latest guest certainly didn’t disappoint either! 

When we arrived at our seats each of us had a little gift on the table, a pristine white book with a big title that read “None of us are Superman”.  You can agree or disagree with that statement, but if someone is close to being one (a Superman, I mean) then it’s the author, Sane.

Sane has somehow found time to write and publish this book alongside her professional photography work. It’s clear that taking photos is her true passion and it’s this side of her creative talent that we will be learning about over the next hour. “I started to take photos because it was the only way to my husband’s heart”, she jokes while explaining how she started in the industry long before she could even think of starting her own business, Sane Seven. But the truth is, Sane’s pure talent and hard work meant she was always destined to reach the top.

She shows us some very elegant and powerful photos from her portfolio as she speaks, most of them starring women. She tells us a few interesting anecdotes about each of the shots: from how nice Helena Bonham Carter is to work with to how challenging it was to make a female portrait that involved wolves. You’ve read that right. Real wolves!

If you're a frequent reader of the Sunday Times Magazine you’ve probably already seen her work on many of the striking front covers. But between commercial projects like that, Sane always makes sure to leave enough mental space to self-initiate her own projects. She and her husband Marius, who’s the other half of the Sane Seven team, aim to work on what she likes to describe as “impossible projects that we make possible”. These ones make her the proudest.

"I always say that there are no people that you wouldn’t be able to connect with" - Sane

The most ambitious one to date? They’re going to photograph all the most influential female political leaders in the world. Past and present. We’re not talking about the mayor of a village or any local council officer somewhere. We’re talking about people who run countries. Powerful global figures like Angela Merkel, and Theresa May.

Sane Seven chatting with the HLabs team

But…how? How does someone from a small community in Lithuania, who only started her photography career in her 30s after working at Pizza Express for a while, have access to these leaders? Does she just befriend them through Instagram? Maybe LinkedIn? 

She attributes her success to creating meaningful connections. “I always say that there are no people that you wouldn’t be able to connect with. Yes, there are many assholes you come across who want to boost their egos and won’t help you. But then you’ll also meet these gems that are so incredible and you cannot believe how much they will do for you. Those people do exist,” she says passionately when asked about her way of finding that right connection. Because, in the end, kickstarting her dream project was as simple as that. Sane was talking about it with someone she met at an event, and it just so happens that person connected her to a very selective platform for women leaders all around the world. She doesn’t disclose any more detail than that, but obviously, a magician never reveals their secrets.

Sane and Shadi (Hlabs Creative Director) share inspiration after the talk

‍By the time the Q&A is over it’s very noticeable how inspired everyone in the room is. Some of us don’t hesitate to ask for a signature on the book. Something was clear, Hannah wasn’t lying: we just met a superwoman.

Genuine interactions lead to ambitious projects.

Sane emphasises the power of meaningful connections, illustrating how genuine interactions led her to ambitious projects, including photographing influential female political leaders globally.

The 'HLabs Meets' session with Sane Seven leaves everyone inspired, highlighting her journey from a small Lithuanian community to capturing the attention of powerful global figures.

Sane's story proves that passion, hard work, and meaningful connections can turn dreams into reality.