Thursday, October 8, 2009

The V-Spot: Brooklyn Photography

As you can tell on this blog, photography is one of my favorite things. When I ran across this photographer's blog, I just knew I had to feature her in a V-Spot. Her sense of style and self was too unique and real to pass up. Her name, Brooke Fitts (she's the one on the left :-). Learn a little more about this amazing photographer and her work below.

+Please briefly detail your business and what you do.

Freelance photographer specializing in weddings, people, and love in general. Editorial photographer for Seattle Magazine. Sometimes fine art photographer and restaurant server.

+What and when was your "aha!" moment (if one) that you discovered photography was something you wanted to turn into a profession/career? If applicable, what was your previous profession?

I'm never sure how to answer this sort of question, as I've felt a pull towards photography since my teens. I was always trying to get into the photography classes in highschool, but it was always full so I never did. I've always been incredibly determined to figure out a way to do something I truly love and get paid for it, so I just never stopped pushing myself harder to get better and create more compelling imagery. I've waited tables for years, (and still do a few nights a week) and have always been so grateful for the opportunity it lends to being able to make rent and still provide free days for productivity in other fields.

+How did you get your start in this industry?

Photo taking and picture making has always felt very natural to me. My mind just sees images in everything everyday. But wedding photography per se was never something I had intended on doing. I was living in Hawaii and simply wanted to assist other photographers for experience. There were plenty of wedding photographers around who were happy to have me tag along and ask questions while carrying heavy bags and lights, so I just began feeling really comfortable being a presence on someone's wedding day. Assisting turned into second shooting, and when I felt like I had enough of a portfolio, I started shooting for friends and friends of friends. I feel blessed and lucky to say that 99% of my jobs are word of mouth.

+What is the passion that drives you to do what you do? In other words, what is it that you wish to express to your clients and the world through your work?

I love striving to find and capture that moment within someone when they relax in front of my camera and their true self and beauty comes thru. Making my clients feel comfortable and beautiful is half the job of taking a good photo, and I'm driven to never stop looking for that instant. I see beauty all the time, everywhere. I want my images to communicate an uncommon beauty in common things, a story, and expression.

+Have you had a moment where you wanted to quit? If so, what made you want to continue? If not, what would you say to encourage someone who has?

You have no idea how many moments I've wanted to quit. Nobody said being an artist was easy, and there's been more than a few times that I've thought how nice it would be just to have a steady income, 401K, and health insurance. Or how many times I've felt so inadequate and inundated by all the amazing photography and photographers out there. But my love of photography keeps me coming back every time. Whenever I've thought about quitting, I just can't imagine what else I would do that would bring me as much happiness and contentedness, so I just keep plugging along. Pluck and determination are two of the major components in pursuing any passion or dream. And I firmly believe that with enough of those two and timing in the mix, there's just not a whole lot of room for failure.

+What has been your most memorable (good, bad, funny, etc.) experience so far?

I once had a bride that cried and cried most of her wedding day because it rained. Pouring torrential summer rain. She had even researched 5 years of weather to find the least likely day for rain, and had her wedding on a weekday because of the prognosis. The ironic thing is that her photos turned out beautifully. The light was all pretty and diffused, and we did some fun stuff with umbrella and reflections in puddles. I'm a big believer in just dealing the best you know how with whatever life tosses your way. See the beauty in everything and the possibility in things going unexpectedly. Kind of like that quote... "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade."

+What is one thing you know now that you wish someone had told you before you started in this profession?

I wish someone had told me how to manage my time and to take Sundays off. I wasted a lot of good working hours surfing the internet and looking at other people's work... and then feeling badly of my mismanagement of time, I would feel guilty taking a day off and not working on "work". So I got really overwhelmed and felt stretched too thin by being in a work mode 24/7, but never feeling like I was getting that much accomplished. Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art" has been hugely helpful in my case of time management. Sometimes we just have to turn off the internet, and facebook and twitter and get down to business... And take one day a week away from the computer, email, and maybe even your phone!

+What did you eat for dinner last night? :-)

mmm... you caught me on a good night! I had fresh rigatoni pasta with italian sausage, tomato sauce and marjoram, glass of wine, and a baked apple bread pudding with caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream for dessert.

Check out more with Brooke, here.

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