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Meet Brianna Nelson of Brianna Nelson Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brianna Nelson.

Hi Brianna, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My story begins in my hometown; Brownsville, Texas. My parents gifted me a nice little point and shoot camera. I started taking photos of flowers with blurry backgrounds, then I’d saturate and vignette to 100- (all the usual things that 13-year-old “photographers” do). At some point during high school, I decided I wanted to challenge myself, so I picked up an old Canon DSLR from the pawn shop and started making some sense of my photos. I graduated high school in 2014 and moved to NYC that fall. I studied theatre and acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. During my third semester, my film teacher, Jim Elliott, taught my class the basic in-and-outs of a film crew so that we could work as a “skeleton crew” for our classmates’ film scenes. It was at that point that I realized my heart was behind the camera. After graduating in the fall of 2016, I worked in the city, where I practiced taking portraits of my friends as a hobby when I had the time. I lived there for 8 months before moving back to Brownsville with my family. For the first time in a while, I was able to breathe without the pressure of working to survive. I would go on late-night adventures with one of my best friends, Alexandria, and we would take photos and record video clips of each other in cool lighting. Those few years after college really set a basis for what I want to accomplish in my life through photography and cinematography. In early 2018 I decided I was ready for the city life again, so I moved to Austin and was fortunate enough to find a job as a full-time birth photographer. I am really grateful for that job as I was finally able to focus on improving my work. COVID quarantine happened and here we are, two and a half years into my new life in Austin. I upgraded my equipment, worked on my photography skills, and started learning about business, and now this is my full-time passion.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
When I was living in New York, I pushed to do a lot of things that I shouldn’t have pushed for, simply because I wanted things done my way, on my time. Looking back, a lot of those things ended up being things that weren’t suited for me. I ended up moving back to Brownsville from one day to the next because of a health emergency in my family. That summer, leading into the New Year, was very difficult emotionally and mentally; but it was also like my mind was finally clearing up from being up in the clouds. The city life had left me jaded and numb. That whole “I-did-college-and-now-have-decided-I-wanna-do-something-different-but-I-owe-thousands-in-student-loans-and-I-feel-like-a-failure” feeling started to creep up on me and became a prevalent one for a while. Starting a photography business while having no prior knowledge about business has definitely been a challenge. Moving to a new city and not knowing many people is one thing, but after being quarantined indoors for a year, I feel like I am marketing into an empty void (which is absolutely untrue) because I don’t know anyone. I have been taking time to learn business and marketing on my own, and although it’s been a huge learning curve, I know I will figure it all out.

I can’t complain though, I am thankful for the challenges that help me grow. There’s been a lot of self-discovery and acceptance that “timing is everything.” It hasn’t been a smooth road, but I’ve been able to establish myself and grow my business at my own pace thanks to my little support system; my mom, my dad, my sister, and my best friends.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I like to ensure my clients feel comfortable. I welcome conversations during the shoot because I love candids of my clients just being themselves. I want my photos to tell a story; a story about them and whatever moment they wanted to capture that day. After working as a birth photographer, I have found myself more appreciative of life… the little things, the details, the small celebrations. I’m practicing different kinds of photography and figuring out what’s best. I’d like to think of myself as the person that gets to capture those small celebrations, the milestones, the births, the unifications, the announcements, and all of the “day-in-the-life-of” moments in between. Lifestyle and portrait photography are my current favorite!

I would also like for everyone to know that not all of my sessions are going to be the same. I think every person and family brings their own little vibe and personality and it should be reflected in their photos. I like my editing to compliment them and their chosen type of shoot, while staying true to my own brand. I am open to creative and cinematic shoots, like the sweet-tumblr-esque, bokeh-city-lights, moon-over-the-beach-type shoots, just reach out to me about it at @briannanelsonphotography on Instagram!

Any big plans?
Looking back, my biggest inspirations were always great music video cinematographers. I try to incorporate that base of aesthetic inspiration into my photography now. At some point, I want to offer film services and create grand, epic, cinematic short films. I want to make art out of their little moments. I’d love to provide that for my clients. I would also like to get into elopements! Anyone looking to elope somewhere nice before the year ends and would like to bring my assistant and I along, please inquire (not joking)!

I will also be launching my new website this summer, so look forward to it!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Headshot by Claudia’s World Photography

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