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About Me: Color Me Photography

I remember when I was younger (middle school maybe?) an aunt of mine wrote a paper on me for college. She said something like "color me surprised" (in the title or the paper, I can't recall) and it stuck in my head. My first email was Why? Well, I loved blue. Loved it. And I thought "why wouldn't I love to live in a blue world?" From then I was always fascinated by the saying and took it to heart which is why I named my business Color Me Photography. Because I'm about it inside and out. I may not have the top-of-the-line equipment or know everything about lighting but I have the passion. I identify myself as a photographer. I am a photographer. 

I've been through a lot since 2020 in particular. Skipping the list, the biggest thing was losing my sister. Since then, I have learned so much about myself and my strength. I always seek her advice and remember she's always been my biggest cheerleader. When the world stopped from COVID, so did physical contact which meant I wasn't shooting. She got me back on track when everything was safe again. She was going to be my social media helper...and probably would have written this bio much better than me! I carry her heart with mine and hear her cheering me on with everything I do but especially my photos.

I shared that last bit specifically because it impacts me personally but also professionally. I do photography because I love it and it is therapy for me. It's not just about the income, but about the connections and the happiness I can provide. I shoot for fun, donate sessions to causes and those who couldn't afford it otherwise. I work with budgets and do my best to make capturing memories affordable to all.

Another major life event was being diagnosed with autism. It's not that I needed a label for the "weird" things that I do but knowing this helped me significantly when it came to processing emotions, anxiety, social situations, and everyday tasks. I feel my traits of honesty and genuineness can get in the way in everyday life but, more importantly, bring a uniqueness to my work. I'm weird and I love it! I want to capture what makes people who they are, too. 

I officially started doing photography in college. As a kid I usually had a camera in hand when I wasn't sitting at the coffee table doing various crafts. My Papa was really interested in photos too, just less artistically and more to capture the moment. He loved birds and would watch them outside the kitchen window. He always made sure I had film for my purple 110 Mickey Mouse camera! (Speaking of ...where *are* those photos...?). When I got my first "real" camera I started with nature photos and birds (great practice for sports photography!) to honor a piece of him.

College (and school in general) was a nightmare for me. I started my mental health journey about a year in and was not accommodated for as I should have been. The biggest problem, however, was the art program, as they were very stuck on realism. During a painting class I decided to paint a still life as I preferred and not as it was in front of me. I got a talking to about it. I was finally so frustrated I decided "fine, I'll just take a photo instead" and ended up in Photo I with an amazing professor. I never looked back!

Shortly after starting my photo major, I began working for Lifetouch. Though ultimately the company expectations became too much for me, I learned so much more through those I met there than in my college classes. The greatest thing about that job, though, was the kids. I absolutely found a passion for portrait photography! I loved showing the students what they could be! Whether it was a simple yearbook photo or an elaborate horseback riding photo (yes, some schools I shot at had riding programs!), I was in love with showing the students what they were capable of on film. The kids with low self-esteem, the ones with difficult parents, those that only took selfies, those that hated every picture day they ever had...they were seeing a photo that they loved. Nothing can beat the joy I could see when they looked at the back of my camera. To say things to them like "Look - see! You are amazing! YOU did that!" And "This is stunning and all I did was pose you..." Was euphoric for me but especially for them. 

Now I shoot from the heart. I create in my head and ask my friends to model for me. I have clients who have more traditional sessions and then some who love to get creative. I'm here for it all! One thing I've grown into quite deeply is tolerance. I am very proud of this. My sister loved me unconditionally, as I did her, and I have realized that there's no reason not to love everyone that way. The biggest thing I want to spread with my photography is exactly that - unconditional love and who you are and change nothing about yourself. Express yourself! Do not change for anyone because you are a beautiful soul and deserve to show the world. If you're not ready to show the world, at least show yourself! Have photos that you can look at and get confidence from. I want to be the one to see the light in your eyes when I show you images of your heart and soul, your passions, your families, anything that makes you smile! 

Who am I? I'm an assortment of mental health issues and love. I'm weird and compassionate. I am silly and scared. I am corny and awkward. I am kind and gentle. I'm passionate and a hot mess. I am someone who wants to spread joy and show you your best self. I am a sister and a daughter. I am a photographer. I am so much more. I am Brianna. 

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