Who is Whitney Brewer?

Lately, I've been thinking about "my brand" and what it means to myself AND my clients. I want to attract like-minded individuals as my future clients AND keep the amazing clients that I have already!

So, who IS Whitney Brewer? What is her brand? Who is she trying attract? What is she trying to accomplish through her photography business? What sets her apart from other photographers?

I come from a family of mechanics, cooks, bakers, business owners, music-lovers and life-livers (note the well-roundedness!)! I started my business in 2016 with a bit of encouragement to quit working for “the man” and in turn, follow my dreams! After all, life is really short. We don’t have much time on this planet to actually live life, so I grabbed life by the balls and made moves to be genuinely happy!

My brand?

Well, I feel as though I’m aiming to focus on what makes me happy and run with it. I don’t want to be someone I’m not in this industry, trying to compete for the ideal client that will pay me thousands of dollars per session to photograph something special. Instead, my brand represents myself and my interests, which include traveling, my Harley, my dog and focusing on PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). With these passions, I plan on attracting my ideal client by sharing similar interests and in turn, creating memorable and meaningful relationships with them outside of photography!

 As far as the word “success” goes, simply creating amazing and meaningful relationships through this business means more than anything. My definition of “happiness” is doing what you love all the time with the people you love most! Making people feel good makes ME feel good!

What sets me apart from other photographers? Well, A LOT! I studied photography and through this business, I’ve discovered that a lot of photographers are self-taught! Not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m just different! I feel I have a trained eye that it takes to be a professional photographer and am able to capture moments that some artists/photographers take for granted. Although I’ve studied the art of photography, I tend to lean more towards the “avant garde” style of it all. (Avant Garde meaning “new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts, or the people introducing them”)

Last week, I had an opportunity (a break in the weather) to snag some headshots that represent my “brand”…but let’s be honest. We’ll save most of them for my next blog! For now, here’s a little snippet of "professional me"!

Jonah and Gina | PRIDE Week!

In honor of pride week, I'm featuring one of my favorite couples this week, J and Gina

Let me just go ahead and brag about these two right here! They’ve been clients of mine since their elopement in 2016 and have been returning clients/friends ever since. I have grown fond of the two of them and their strength as a couple. I’m hoping that by sharing their story, we can inspire friends, family, loved ones and even strangers to be themselves and embrace who they are and their feelings!

1)   Where did you two first meet?!

We first met in January 2012.  I was a undergraduate social work student doing a month long internship and he was a masters level social work student doing his practicum. We were both interning at the agency that we now work for! At the time he went by Elizabeth and presented as female. He says that he immediately had a crush on me. I was not out yet out as pansexual so I immediately felt a connection but could not identify what it was. In fall of 2014, Jonah was working at the same agency and then I came back to intern again as a masters social work student at OSU. We started to spend a lot of time together in the spring of 2015 and began dating June 10, shortly after my internship ended. :)

2)   How long were you engaged?

About a month or so after we started dating we both knew that this was the person we wanted to marry. I never believed it was possible to feel this way so early into a relationship but we had been friends for a while and all I can say is we just knew. Jonah proposed in November 2016 but we kept our engagement a secret because I was still processing coming out. We got eloped on March 1 2016 so we were engaged for four months. 

3)   Is there a significance to your wedding date?

 No significance necessarily in the date. We knew we wanted to be married for a while and so we decided on February 29 that we would get eloped the next day! We spoke to our wonderful officiant Windi from Run to an Elopement at 6 PM the day prior and talked with Whitney about photographing our wedding at 8 PM the day prior. It was an elopement in every sense of the word. :) But we were in love and just so badly wanted to be married. Our day was beautiful largely thanks to Windi and Whitney. We treasure Whitney's photographs and not a day goes by where I don't look at them again!

4)   When did Jonah start going through his transformation?

Jonah started talking about transitioning to male shortly before we got married. He was not sure he wanted to complete a full transition but was interested in looking into changing his appearance to more closely match the way he felt on the inside that he should look. Shortly after we were married he decided to complete a full transition to male. At this point he is out to all of our family and friends. He is current at military training in Texas but shortly after he returns he will begin testosterone!

5)   Could you share some fears/bumps along the road for you two along the way?!

I would say that coming out for me as pansexual was definitely a challenge we faced in our relationship. When you come out, you deal with a lot of internalized shame that you did not realize was there about your sexuality. I would also say that Jonah's transition has been not necessarily a challenge but definitely a big change. When you fight so long for acceptance and for the right to marry your same sex partner, it's weird to have a transition cause you to present as a "straight" couple to the world. Although both of our coming out processes have been hard at times, we have also grown stronger together through this. Coming out is both a beautiful and tough journey and getting the privilege to go through this together has been amazing. It has been so incredible for me to be there for Jonah's transition and see him slowly become the person he is meant to be. 

6)   What’s the best thing about being married?

Sharing our lives together is such an amazing part of being married. Getting to go through life and experience the ups and downs with Jonah has been amazing! This has definitely been the best year of my life. 

On March 1, 2016, I photographed Elizabeth and Gina at Goodale Park in Columbus on their wedding day. Roughly 6 months later, I received an email from the two of them asking if I could update their images, as Elizabeth was going through a transformation and wanted present images of them. I eagerly obliged! Here we are, almost a year later, including them in a styled shoot that Kristin from 614 Weddings, Windi from Run to an Elopement and myself have been organizing for months!

I wanted to share their story because it’s empowering. Love is love and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of their love story! Cheers!

The Smiths | Lifestyle

A few weeks back, I got a text from a dear friend of mine asking if I could make some time to photograph his sweet little family! 

I have known Kent for about 3 years now. He is a mutual friend and also works for Hickory Hills Golf Course down in Grove City, Ohio! Kent plays pool with a mutual friend and also has two beautiful little girls with his awesome wife, Bina! (Bina's father also works at Hickory! Small world!) When Kent reached out and mentioned that he'd like to do family photos at Hickory, I was more than eager to capture their cute little family. I have photographed them before and the session was a blast at Schiller Park in German Village! Since their last session, they had another baby girl and wanted updated family photos, so we decided to meet at Darby Creek Metro Park in Grove City!

It was a beautiful overcast day (the photographer's dream! There's no harsh lighting conditions!). Kent, Bina, Bri and Everly were all perfectly coordinated, but not matching (ALSO a photographer's dream! If you're curious as to what this "coordination" means, head on over to the blog that goes into more detail. It's also my styling guide!) Photographing little ones is always a good challenge for me. I've done it enough to know that sometimes, things don't work out as planned. Kids can be extremely happy one second and the next, bawling their eyes out for what reason?! No one knows! I really enjoy it because it's different literally every single session!

Since Bri and Everly are Daddy's girls (Bina declared this was a fact, but she didn't necessarily love it! haha), they really enjoyed spending time with Kent. It's really sweet to watch Kent and Bina with their littles ones and how well they work together as parents. It always blows my mind how couples pair up and become teammates in this life-long journey!

 

Styling Guide for Whitney Brewer Photo!

I usually only blog Wednesdays and Saturdays, but consider today a treat! I've been at my desk since about 9am working diligently to get this out to my viewers and potential clients! I am excited to announce that I am going to release some juicy content for you all regarding how to dress yourselves when you come to get photographed by Whitney Brewer Photography! It's a little in depth, but totally worth the read. It's informative in both the DO's and DON'Ts...and the best part about all of this information is YOUR feedback! Yes, that's right! I want your feedback! Is this information clear? Mean? Too straight forward? Gentle? Informative? Too much? Too little? You guys are what makes my business so magical. If it weren't for you all, I wouldn't be here, so your input is just as important as my blogging!!!!

Here we go friends. Whitney Brewer Photography's version of "What Not to Wear"!

 

Whitney Brewer Photography Style Guide

 

Coordinate, but don’t match.

When styling a photo session, I like to start out with a basic color palette and go from there. It can aid to have one “star of the show” in the images who wears a pattern in their outfit that the rest of the group’s clothing or accessories pulls from, while keeping everyone else’s outfits more simple! You can do this with a neutral and a few bright colors (stay away from NEONS!), or you can also try a softer color palette that has different tonal ranges of the same shade. It tends to be easier to find the “center stage” pieces in the female’s clothing, so I will often start with the girls and then pull colors from their outfits to create a look for the guys!  Choose clothing that will be timeless!
 

Accessorize

…with accessories, try to think outside the box! Hats, scarves, jewelry, vests, jackets, flowers for the ladies, sweaters, etc…all of these things can really tie an image together. However, don’t let these accessories overwhelm the subject or images! I feel as though babies and children don’t really need any (or much!) accessories, as they are beautiful in their simplicity.  I’d rather have the kids be the star of the show, rather than the bow on their head and the big bucket that they sit on. I want the viewer to focus on the subject, not the props! Choose your accent colors and fill in outfits with those punches of color in accessories. For example, if big sister’s patterned dress has tones of aqua, coral and gray, have mom wear a coral headband and little brother in a aqua pair of converse and a bow tie. Show of the kids’ and your unique personality with accessories! The nice thing about accessories is that you can change them up during the session without having to do many wardrobe changes. They can also be something that the subjects interact with. A little sassy tip of the hat, grabbing the lapels of the hubby’s jacket while pulling him close for a kiss…these are all examples of using accessories at their finest!
 

Layers and textures

These two features are stunning and create interest in images. I love using multiple textures and layers, especially important when working with a color palette a bit on the soft/neutral side. When I say textures, I mean using tweed, crochet, embroidery details, lace, hand-knit items, smocking, ribbons and ruffles, etc. Having layers can add dimension to the overall texture of the image. These two details especially add depth and contrast in black and white images. Follow your own vision and style, also looking to what fits your subject best!    
 

Subtle props

Keep them simple, yet meaningful…something that can blend with the vibe of the session. A bunch of natural and neutral flowers that coordinate with outfits, a vintage camera, basket of apples, or a prop that is meaningful to the subject! Don’t let the prop be an odd distraction, make sure it “makes sense” being in the image and blends well with the whole vision you had in mind for the shoot.
 

Shoes matter!

Please do not wear sneakers-unless we’re talking about some funky converse that go with the feel of the session. The choice of shoes can make or break a session. A pair of hip boots or some colorful flats can tie everything together in an image.  For instance, if Mom is wearing a bright blue scarf, daughter can wear bright blue flats to complete the amazing vision! It ties everything together without looking to matchy-matchy. Believe it or not, many times, NO shoes at all look best! Don’t forget socks! You can get crazy fun with them; they are just another accessory!
 

Kids

When photographing children, especially in wide-open spaces, I tend to enjoy lose and free flowing clothing. Little ones love to jump around and play and I feel as though this type of clothing allows them to really be “themselves” in a session. A super hero cape can be fun for the boys and soft, flow-y dresses are fun for the babes!
 

Be comfortable!

Make sure the little ones are comfortable in their outfits and that they are not going to be pulling at their new clothes. We all want them happy and comfortable, it makes for the best images! (This means letting them have a small say in what they want to wear!) I promise you won’t regret this. Their personalities will shine in the images! Try to avoid having the children change into multiple outfits. Layers will be your best friend in this case. The same rules apply for all of the people in the shoot! Everyone should be comfortable and relaxed!
 

Patterns

These are always great, but in moderation! Patterns provide texture, interest and show a bit of personality as well! Please be sure that you are only allowing ONE person in the session to wear patterns. Otherwise, the image could get really busy and we want to stay away from that.
 

Location

Make sure that your outfit choices will not clash with your shoot location! It is very important to make sure that your clothing will compliment your surroundings. For example; if your session is booked at a rustic barn, it would be perfect to have your little girl in a sundress or vintage dress with a pail of wildflowers and pigtails. This same look might look weird with a graffiti wall in the background. Also consider how well the colors and patterns in the wardrobe might look against the background of your images. I tell all of my clients to stay away from green during the summer months because most likely, the background will also be green. Many times, I will select the location first and then create the wardrobe, accessorize and then find props to fit appropriately.
 

How are your images being displayed?

Think about the primary reason that you are doing the session and dress accordingly! For instance, if you’re going for a Christmas look, wear clothing that reminds you of the season. It’s more of a personal choice here, but I really enjoy clothing that never ages. You don’t want to look back on your images 5 years down the road from now and think “wow,  that outfit is so 5 years ago!”  Although I tend to stick toward neutral tones, brights are okay in some occasions. As long as the colors aren’t obnoxious and they don’t take away from the actual subject, I don’t mind a pop of brights.
 

*If you are unsure of what to wear and want the photographer’s input, please don’t ever hesitate to send photos via text or email! I am here to help you look the best you possibly can!

 

The DONTs

1) If at all possible, please avoid:

Logos
Graphics
Characters
Labels
Neons

2) If you are planning on getting haircuts, please cut ONE WEEK prior to the shoot. If you cut it any sooner, the hair may look unnatural.

3) Please refrain from making everyone wear the same color. Matching is boring and dated! Also, please no families in all khaki or jeans and white shirts.

4) Don’t wear pony tails around wrists or anything that is distracting in an image. Do not wear anything that will clash with the vibe of the session.

 

 

 

Chasin' dreams...

Hey friends! Hope you're having a great week. Happy Hump Day!

This past weekend I got lost in friends and family. On Saturday, I gathered up my dad, my best friends (Samantha and Rory...they're pictured below!) and my comfy clothes to jump out of a perfectly good airplane in Xenia, OH. It's been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I was so excited to finally be doing it.  The weather was smoldering hot and muggy until about 4:30pm. All 4 of us were sweating profusely, drops of perspiration descending from our foreheads and eyelashes. We noticed black clouds coming our way so we eagerly checked our radar apps to make sure that jumping was still looking promising. We sat and waited the storm out. Guess what? It never stopped until we were all on our way home to Columbus.

Skip forward to Sunday.

I worked until about 5pm, ate some dinner, geared up and moved my in-laws into our house! It's been a long and exciting week. I consider this a opportunity to get to know my family on a deeper level and I couldn't be happier to have them here with us.  (Plus, I never had a sister until Jason asked me to marry him...I went from zero to 5...inheriting a sister is pretty cool, actually!) Monday we all got a bit more settled in and then Tuesday was my sister-in-law, Ashley's, 31st birthday! Her and I treated ourselves for most of the afternoon and then the boys spoiled her and I at the Hilton downtown for some EPIC dinner! (Scallops, salmon, short rib, pork belly...drools)

Now that I've had some time to sit down and pay attention to my WORK (insert apology for taking a mini vacation. Sorry, y'all!), I had a hard time trying to figure out what to talk about today...but fear no more! I conquered another dream today and I wanted to share it. I've been dreaming about this since college and 5 of my favorite people made my dream become a reality. I really couldn't even thank them enough for this, from the bottom of my heart. (and also the amazing friends that donated this amazing truck and land for us to use for the shoot!!!)

When you think your dreams are just dreams, keep reaching. With a positive attitude, anything is possible!