vesselcollective

Brittney’s Words

In Interview on June 4, 2013 at 3:56 am

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Brittney and I attended high school together, occasionally crossed paths in the theatre productions our school put on, and later became friendly on Facebook, but didn’t speak face to face until her wedding day when I was helping with the last of the decorations before the ceremony started. She’s kind, lovely, a fantastic photographer and one-half of Massachusetts-based Love + Perry Photography, and I’m very pleased to share with you, her words.

If you weren’t a photographer, what do you think you’d be doing?

Oh gosh, that’s a hard one. I’ve honestly never thought about it. Straight out of high school I knew I wanted to be a photographer, and while it took me a few years getting to the point where I could actually make it a business, I always knew I’d get there. Before making a living as a photographer I was working for minimum wage as a barista, so I sincerely hope I wouldn’t still be doing that. But if I had to choose a different profession, I guess my next favorite thing to do is graphic/web design, so that.

How did you figure out that you could take photos for a living and what was that realization like?

I don’t know that it was ever a realization on my part. I knew I wanted to be a photographer, I didn’t know what sort of photographer, just that I wanted to be one. I think I thought I was going to be a starving artist the rest of my life, working odds and ends jobs to get by while photographing on the side. It was my wife, Shana, who kind of bonked me on the head and told me to get my act together. She started managing my business for me in the beginning, being a business woman herself it was an easy transition. She kept me in line and calmed me down all the times I thought I might pass out or barf from the pressure.

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[Brittney and Shana’s wedding day in 2012.]

What has your wife and other half of Love and Perry photography taught you about photography?

It’s funny that you’d ask this, because even though I was the photographer to begin with, and ultimately taught her the trade, she is constantly teaching me new things. Her eye is completely different than mine. We both approach weddings and other various shoots in the same way because we built our business on a certain style, but we’ll come home and pull up our images and sometimes they’re so vastly different. She’s incredibly good at very close in your face portraiture, where as I tend to stand back and capture more of the scene as a whole.

What would you say a typical day at work is like for you? Do you and Shana have different responsibilities that play to each of your strengths?

It depends on which day of work you’re talking about, a shoot day or an office day. During a shoot we both know where we need to be and what needs to be accomplished. For example, during weddings I take the bride for getting ready shots while Shana will take the groom (same sex weddings we just flip a figurative coin, or we take the person we most relate to.) During family portraits Shana wrangles the family and directs while I snap the pictures. In the office Shana answers most client emails, deals with the business end of things, cracks the whip, that sort of thing. I take the website, social networking, computer nonsense. We both edit our own photos. We process them relatively the same way, but we both have a vision for our own photos and it’s part of the art, not to mention easier to divvy up that way.

What’s something you have to remind yourself often?

To be grateful. Grateful that I’m 26 years old, doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do for a living, a wonderful wife, living in a gorgeous part of the country with great people, art, food. It’s hard in this profession not to judge yourself based on other artists, and I have to remind myself not to do that, too. That instead of valuing my own art based on theirs, I should view their work as a learning tool, something to better my own.

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[Photo compliments of Love and Perry.]

What’s something you’d like to learn how to do?

There’s so many things! Every single day I want to learn something different, and I mean that. I’m constantly reading articles about new techniques for various things and I often get tunnel vision until I figure them out. Right now it’s freelensing. I’ve played with it a few times, but I’d like to work up the nerve to actually use it in my work. It involves taking your lens off your camera and simply holding it in front of the camera and tilting in different directions to achieve different effects such as light leaks and tilt shifting. Weddings are such scary things in that you really only get one shot, and messing up someone’s photos because you wanted to try out a new technique is terrifying. I’ll get there, though!

Is there a personal goal you’d like to accomplish in the next year that you could share? How about a professional one?

Personally I just want to be healthier. I think I’m on the right track with that, though, if I could only cut cookies out of my diet. Professionally I just want to manage my time better. Owning your own business is hard, especially if your wife is also your partner. You don’t have that person pulling you away from work because both of you are doing the same thing. I want enough time to have a couple of hobbies.

What would you say your tip for a happy life is?

Let things go. Don’t worry about things you can’t change, and I mean that in past and future tense.

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[Photo compliments of Love and Perry.]

What’s the best bit about running your own business?

Getting to work 5-6 days a week in your pajamas with snuggly cats in your lap all day long. Most definitely.

Most difficult bit?

Finding time.

Three things an aspiring business owner should know:

1.) You make your own hours, but that doesn’t mean you get more time off. Totally opposite.
2.) Ask for help. Trying to figure out everything on your own will drive you mad.
3.) Find something to help you manage stress. If that means reading a novel, watching trashy reality shows, sitting outside in nature, find a few hours each day to do that.

Finish these sentences:

I’m looking for… inspiration.
I can’t go without… sugar.
I hate when… it’s gorgeous out and I’m stuck inside.
I love… life.

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