Vendor Spotlight: Photography By Brea

Once a week, we’ll be sitting down with someone from our industry for a quick interview. Let’s jump into the first one with Brea.

How did you start in the wedding business?
I started off my business doing family photography. I’d have people ask me to photograph their weddings fairly often, but I’d always turn them down, as weddings are a BIG dealand I didn’t want to take one until I was truly ready. Although I was a professional photographer, there’s a big difference between having any photographer photograph your wedding and having a wedding photographer photograph your wedding. A few years ago, I had a couple ask me to photograph their wedding, and I turned down the job – as I usually did – and offered to refer them to someone else. The bride insisted and said that she thought I’d do a great job. I slept on it, and agreed. I spent the next few months doing everything I could to prepare, and their wedding went perfectly. It snowballed from there, and less than a year later I was fully booked with weddings and was able to make the leap to photography full time. I’ve photographed well over 100 weddings since that first one and I LOVE it.

What is your approach to weddings?
My approach is very relationship based. I always make sure to meet with a couple in person before they book with me, to make sure our personalities mesh well. On the wedding day, I’ll spend more time with them than they will with each other, so making sure we get along is just as important as making sure they like my work! I also include an engagement session with all of my collections for this reason. Spending a few hours together allows us to connect and I can see how each couple interacts and shows love. This way their photos will capture them in the most genuine way possible, and the experience is more relaxed and fun – it’s more like having a friend photographing you rather than a complete stranger.

What inspires you in your work?
I think it’s the coolest thing that people hire me to create artwork that is unique just to them. I absolutely love what I do and I don’t take that honor lightly. My clients trust me and my creative vision, and with that comes the desire to push the boundaries and keep learning new skills.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?
There are a few things. I really love when clients become real friends after their wedding, and I love getting to hang out with them months or years afterwards.

The most rewarding part is that I’m capturing such an important day in their lives and they’ll be able to look back on those photos and remember the fleeting moments forever. From looking at my parents’ wedding photos, I can feel the excitement and the joy from the day and it gives me the warmest, happiest feeling. I love that I’m giving that to my clients and their families. On my parents’ wedding day, it was just them and my Uncle Tom. His joy was just as beautiful and palpable as theirs. He passed away a few years ago, and those pictures are some of my favorites ever taken of him. The images from your wedding day are the one thing that will become more valuable as time passes.

What would you change about weddings?
The best weddings I’ve done are when they make everything their style, rather than the ‘pinterest’ weddings where every event starts to look the same. A couple that I photographed in April had a wedding that was perfectly them: delightfully nerdy. The bride walked down to the Jurassic Park Theme, they had replica sword from Lord of the Rings for cake cutting; it was so cool!

What’s the best piece of advice you can give clients planning a wedding?
Talk to your vendors and see who they recommend, they know who is great to work with! It’s good to have a vendor team that gets along, which makes it so much more fun for everyone. Make your wedding your own, don’t be afraid to break away from tradition.

Best party you’ve done?
I did a super crazy barn wedding where the guest count was at capacity, and the coordinator at the venue told us they didn’t reinforce the floor yet that year, so the floor was bouncing as guests danced and jumped around. We were a little worried it was going to cave in! The bustle on the bride’s dress broke so guests held up the extra fabric while dancing with the bride. Such a wild night!

What do you do when you are not working?
Watch Netflix in pajamas, snowboard, and travel. My favorite trip so far was to the Galapagos Islands in 2014. It was life changing. I also love teaching, and teach a part time class on video production at the Sheffield Institute of the Recording Arts.

Interesting fact about you?
I was one of two video editors at the 2011 Super Bowl, editing all of the content that played on the Jumbotron at the Dallas stadium. It was especially cool because I was the youngest person on the crew by at least 15 years, and the only female.

Best trends in wedding?
I love that unplugged wedding ceremonies are becoming trendy. This is an awesome idea that allows you to see your guests’ faces instead of their electronic devices during the ceremony, forcing them to be present in the moment rather than racing to be the first person to post on Instagram. Let’s be real, taking a photo with an iPad looks silly now, just imagine how silly it’s going to look in 20 years. Keep that out of your friend’s wedding photos, please. This also ensures that no one is getting in the way of your photographer to capture their iPhone photo. Most photographers offer digital files as a part of their collections these days, so they’ll be able to see the photos on social media when they’re ready.

Lighting is another thing that I love that more people are thinking about. What I don’t mean is the distracting low-end DJ laser lights. There’s nothing like a beautiful photo of a bride and her daddy sharing in the father-daughter dance with little green dots all over their faces. However, uplighting really helps to transform the look of a space quickly. It can really make a room pop!

Thanks for chatting with us!