Photographer Interview: Brandi Nicole
Photographer Interview: Brandi Nicole
Can you briefly tell us a little about your life, where were you born and raised?
I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, MO - Independence, MO to be exact. Then proceeded to live there until college and ultimately moving to New York City.
Have you always been a photographer? What was your path to photography and specifically to shooting weddings?
I have always been an artist and an appreciator of art in all forms as far as I can remember. As soon as I was able to stand on my two feet I was coloring murals on my bedroom walls (with permission from my mom!)
Do you remember the first moment or time a camera/photography jumped out at you as something different/interesting/worth pursuing?
I found photography after being given my first digital camera while I was in middle school, then I took a class with an amazing photo teacher in high school, and ended up photographing my high school art teachers wedding as a junior! I was both honored and overjoyed to capture that first wedding. I distinctly remember that was the moment I considered idea of being a photographer full time, and thinking that must be the best job in the world.
Do you have a style or widely understood approach to shooting weddings ie fine-art, documentary?
In terms of photography, my approach to my clients weddings is no different approach my closest friends weddings. I share in all the excitement - from maybe shedding a tear when we got that beautiful moment of you and your sweetie, to giggling at how funny the best man is dancing on the dance floor. I am both invisibly getting those candid moments, and easily directing you into the most stunning portrait poses fit for a magazine. I find my style is a bit of a mix of documentary and a strong fashion flair on the portraits.
What/who do you look at for visual inspiration? It could be a favourite photographer or blog? movies? etc
I find inspiration in most things. From a purple sunset, to architecture, to fresh flowers, to magazine campaigns. I find a lot of my inspiration from the work of Patrick Demarchelier, especially his photographs with Dior- which is my all time favorite brand to gather inspiration from. More of my favorite visual artists would have to be: Rosie Hardy, Emily Soto, Lara Jade, and of course Annie Leibovitz.
What would a perfect day shooting a wedding look like for you?
My absolute favorite part of a wedding is the little moments when we can sneak away for romantic portraits. Whether its midday with soft natural light in a romantic location - or sunset getting a stunning silhouette. A wedding is made perfect when we have time to capture a few really romantic images of just you and your loved one to remember your big day.
Do you have any sort of routine before a wedding to get yourself into the right frame of mind to achieve that perfect day?
I drink about 4 cups of coffee. I find a highly caffeinated Brandi makes a smiley and wonderful wedding day photo-machine. :)
Generally speaking, what do you focus on when you are shooting a wedding, by which I mean, what (this could be anything eg your own artistic satisfaction, the couples emotion, people, details) about a wedding is important for you to prioritise while your shoot?
While I am at a wedding, it is my priority to ensure you are happy and comfortable, and that I am capturing the moments that will help you remember the day for years to come. I often find myself helping throughout the day, ensuring that the client is happy and that me and my team are doing our best to capture the big moments to the small details.
I often think peoples experiences of marriages, theirs or their parents, can have an impact on their involvement in working in the world of weddings. Can you explain what weddings mean to you personally?
Personally, I find weddings to be a magical day. When my clients say their vows to each other it almost always brings a tear to my eye. I am a true romantic at heart - and seeing two people be so kind and crazy about each other brings me so much joy.
In the feedback you've received from wedding clients over the years, would there be one word that keeps popping up again and again?
I have actually found recently in the feedback from clients - more times than not -they have actually thanked me for my passion for what I do. This to me, means so much more than a buzzword that continues to pop up in my comments. To me, it means that my love for what I do shows through, and that it elevates their experience to a point that sometimes inspires others or simply makes an impression.
Having seen lots of weddings, what would your advice be to a beloved family member if they came to you and said they were getting married and asked for (any) advice on how to approach their wedding day?
Oooh, this is a great question. I would have a few points of advice, but one that I figure most people won’t say is to not get too caught up in the details ! I have seen a few times a couple obsess over x and y and completely forget to enjoy their day! Because of this, I advise anyone getting married to hire people and services they totally trust. Ensure that you will be able to relax and enjoy your day and also remember you are planning this day to celebrate your love.
What three pieces of advice would you give young photographers starting out?
I could really write a whole article on this! But maybe a short list will suffice:
-Bring a backup of everything to a wedding (camera/lenses/cards/flash/ especially batteries——beg/borrow if you must!)
-Bring another person to help you photograph! When I started I seldom had second shooters - but wow, I would never shoot a wedding without that second angle during those important moments!
-Consider joining an organization, or taking up an internship with an established wedding photographer in your area - you will learn SO much!
And lastly I would just say - Photograph often and share what you take. Share in your passion, and be open to learning. Find what inspires you and fill your life with it.
How can couples get in touch with you?
Couples can reach out via email or with a simple phone call! I would love to meet you in person or over Skype too .
My contact details are: Brandinicolephoto@gmail.com and (913) 214-9815
Photos by Brandi Nicole