I started as a wedding and senior portrait photographer during my freshman year of college while I pursued psychology and history degree. Throughout college, I continued to pursue various forms of photography (from street photography to weddings, to summer camps, and much more). All to figure out where my real passion was in photography. After many years of taking pictures on the streets of Atlanta and meeting various models along the way, a need to help make women feel beautiful began to spark within me. However, I continued with wedding photography as I enjoyed being able to love and support a bride on her special day and deliver such meaningful pictures.
After taking a year break from photography, getting married, and moving across the country to Montana, that little spark that had been stirred in me so long ago, began to ignite itself once again. I started reaching out to models and friends to take portraits of women to make them feel beautiful, not just with my photographs, but in the interaction, we had throughout the entire process. I enjoy creating work that reflects a woman’s real beauty, which comes out when she feels a sense of understanding and acceptance in being herself.
Brea specialises in
•Lifestyle and Glamour Portraits
Our readers would love to get to know you more Brea. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you, your brand or the services you offer?
While I enjoy taking pictures of people and being able to sit down after a shoot and cull through the photos to find the best ones, I appreciate even more getting to know the people that I work with. I feel that my pictures have the ability to “go to the next level” when I have taken the time to get to know my subjects. My biggest goal during any session is to capture portraits that my clients look back on and say, “Wow, I didn’t know I looked that good.” I want them to be able to see how beautiful they are and understand that it wasn’t because of how I edited the photograph that they looked beautiful, but because they felt a sense of comfort to be themselves during the photo shoot and I was able to capture that RAW moment.
Brea, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion is to travel the world using the gift God blessed me with, to photograph, love on and share how beautiful women are all over the world.
I started with my grandfather’s Polaroid camera that he used to take pictures of cars and houses he was selling. He soon gave me that camera to have and take pictures with, not knowing that he was preparing for his departure to heaven. Since then I have pursued photography starting with senior portraits and moving on to weddings. Throughout college, I photographed many weddings as well as worked with the school magazine. I then turned to Street photography where I got to meet many other creatives in the Atlanta area, and we began to build each other up, supporting one another and shooting together. Eventually, I took a year break after getting engaged. We then got married and moved across the country, where I finally picked photography back up and began to pursue portrait work with models and couples.
Who is your inspiration in life Brea? How do you stay inspired as Photographer?
Jesus is my number one inspiration. I know many people think of Him to be just a good guy, but I believe He is much more than that. He is perfect and reached an unattainable level of love for others that I haven’t been able to witness by anyone else on earth including myself. Moreover, that’s what makes me sure of my need to love and believe in Him as my Savior. He is who pushes me to love God first and love others as myself. I get to enjoy life with this Truth. Being able to continue working with new people keeps me inspired because it’s another story I get to hear and another soul I get to meet. As far as an inspirational photographer? That would have to be Julia Trotti, whom I adore!
We all make mistakes Brea; we wish we could take back. What was the error you made in the past that you want to you can bring back?
I wish that I wouldn’t have stopped taking pictures for that year that I took off. I would have continued taking portraits of all the beautiful people around me that I got to meet in that time at Pizza Joint as a server. I met so many incredible human beings with intense and inspiring stories, and I wish I would have taken the time to photograph them.
Brea, How do you describe yourself regarding working with clients?
I am a very personable, easy going, and kind person. I try my very best to crack jokes, but I end up being that corny person you have to hush up when you’re out in public with really cool people, whom you’re trying to impress.
Please tell us, Brea, how do you prioritise work, social life, friends, and family?
Right now, my husband and I live in Montana, and our families live in Georgia, so we do our best to make time to call or text. I currently work in the mental health field which can become very draining, but since jumping back into photography, it’s helped me to have an outlet on the weekends. Days are long here in Montana, so I work my full-time job four days a week and then when I get off, I still have plenty of daylight to either does a shoot, edit some shots, or update the website. My husband is gone seven days at a time due to work, so at that time I try my best to fill my time up with work, photography and reading. When my husband comes home for the six days back, we travel together, volunteer at church, go out with friends, and he even sometimes helps me with photo shoots.
Brea, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I was trying to show someone something outside, and they couldn’t see it, so I moved their head some, and they could see it. (My answer because I don’t have a good example off the top of my head).
Brea, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer.
My proudest moment was when I was asked to be photo editor of the school magazine at Kennesaw State University, and I was able to work with a team of photographers to plan out shoots for the magazine, and I was only 21!
Brea, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or challenging about it?
I always get to be creative with my work! However, I guess the best time I get to be creative is when I’m taking portraits at golden hour, and I’m in a field or on top of a mountain with full view of the sunset, and in those 20 minutes the light is continually changing and I’m having to continually improve my settings because I shoot in manual, and then I’m able to get these really great portraits with the perfect lightning, and then two minutes later I’m getting these rad silhouette shots of a couple or person with this sky that is on fire, and it’s all just so fast paced and breathtaking.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?*
Don’t stop believing in yourself. There are going to be days when your work is total crap. I have a ton of those days, but you don’t give up. You study those crappy photos, and you tell yourself what you did wrong and what you need to do better next time, and if you don't know what you need to do to be better, you find inspiring photographers, and you study their work and then you find photographers that vlog and you watch them and take notes. You network with other photographers in your area, and you go out and shoot together and share ideas, and I promise it will all make you better. Don’t stop believing in yourself and don’t stop collaborating with other photographers. Keep taking pictures.
Photographer: Brea Boutwell Graves @littlebirdbreath