Christmas in July 2018 | Natalie Asfoura

Happy Friday, everyone!

Today, I'm going to be on the topic of PHOTOGRAPHY FOR FUN! Yes, believe it or not, I still get to be creative as an artist after college. It's not always about the money...and sometimes, doing business like this allows for more creative space and relaxation as an artist!

Last year, a good friend of mine from middle school, Natalie, hit me up and asked if I'd be interested in helping her create a "Christmas in July" card. My answer was pretty obvious and we set a date for it to happen in Columbus! Natalie came down and we shot on site near my house! She loved our shoot enough to reschedule 2018's session, only this time, a little more thought out and hilarious. 

Natalie then sent me a meme (attached below) which made me crack up laughing! We were on a mission to get models, the appropriate clothing/visual and vehicle too! I reached out to a few of my friends and had a ton of awesome feedback about the shoot. Natalie and I were looking for 2-3 models and instead, had 4! amazing models! Natalie finally sent out her cards, so the coast is clear to share away!

A huge shout out to my models; Amber, Windi, Tiff & Jenna. Another huge shoutout to my favorite MakeUp artist, Tatum! An additional thank you to Jacob Ryan Blume for shooting with us, too!!! One more shout out to Jake Danieri for letting us borrow his '95 SUPER CLEAN Jeep!!!! And of course, to Natalie...I can't thank you all enough for making something like this come to life before my very eyes. Can't wait for next year's card/idea!!!

 

Hawaii | May 2018

Well!  It’s obvious that it’s been a few months since I’ve written a blog, so this one is LONG overdue! Did you guys know that I went to Hawaii in May?!  Feels like just yesterday, but time flies…it’s been proven. Leading up to May 15, 2018, I lost several friends, family and loved ones to natural causes, accidents and overdoses. I was seriously looking forward to Hawaii for a recharge and a new, fresh outlook on life. The older I get, the more I realize that THIS is life…death is a part of it. I’ve learned one lesson fairly quickly-the intensity and frequent loss of loved ones can be straining on my work ethic. I become sluggish and unmotivated. All I want to do is sleep and turn my brain off from rotating in a million circles, getting nowhere fast.  Before I left for Hawaii, I informed family and friends to withhold any bad news (if any at all…) until I came back to Ohio. Thank goodness, I returned to NO bad news and felt refreshed as ever. 8 days just wasn’t enough. It never is!

The reason for this 4,500 mile trip was actually a wedding! My friend Shane, who I met while working at Starbucks in 2012, invited me to be his plus 1 to his Dad’s wedding. We shortly after bought our flight and started saving for spending money!

Fast forward, 5 months FLEW by. Next thing I know, I’m hopping on a plane, heading to a paradise that I’ve been DYING to witness my entire life. ((Fun fact; I made a goal for myself when I was 20 years old that I wanted to hit all 50 states before turning 30. Hitting, meaning I’m in that state for more than 24 hours! I have Alaska and Texas left!!!!!)) We landed in Lihue, HI on the island of Kauai, the “sleepy” island in the afternoon, headed straight to our condo, walked to the ocean—which was a 2 minute walk from our place and enjoyed the sunset, salt water and sunshine.  The next 8 days flew by like our trip never even happened. We knew it was going to happen that way, so I tried to get up early, photograph everything I saw and adventure like a pro.  I got to meet Shane’s family and felt right at home, like I was part of the crew the entire time. I adored them and am so glad I got to hang out and build new relationships with amazing people…and I got to photograph/witness Shane’s Dad marry an amazing, funny and beautiful woman. This trip was one for the books, that’s for sure.

Hawaii has a special place in my heart. I hope everyone gets to see this magical place at some point in their life. It’s too magical not to. Spend the money, you won’t regret it!

Enjoy!

 

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"!

The Babics Family | October 21, 2017

Happiest of Mondays to you all! I’ve had the most invigorating and rewarding month as a business owner..,and to top it off, it’s my first since I’ve started my business in July of 2016!  I hope your October has been as equally humbling and busy as mine!

Over the past few weeks, I have had top sales in photography amongst juggling two other jobs, one of them being new! I started working for a sushi restaurant and LOVE it! I’m embracing all of the new and challenging things coming my way, truly! 

On Saturday, October 21st, I had the pleasure working with my NEW and FABULOUS clients, The Babics Family! I met Derica (A Mom of two girls!) at Harmon’s Pub in Canton, OH (my hometown) on the 18th and she was eager to get family photos without going to JCPenny. She mentioned she had been going there for years and was looking for a somewhat more memorable and fun experience with her family. I told her I was a photographer and she never hesitated once! She hired me right there on the spot!

I arrived at Derica and Joe’s beautiful home in Perry Township around noon and we spent a good hour outside of their home giggling, smiling and having a great time. I am so grateful I met them and hope to work with them again because it was TOO much fun! They were genuine, sincere and accepting of me coming to their home to capture them in their natural environment. (Us photographers call that a lifestyle session!) I loved that each of them wore what they felt comfortable in and that represented them best, while also coordinating perfectly! Can’t wait to work with them again!

Hope you all enjoy the images and have a great rest of the week!

Retouching | Before + After

Happy 2017, everyone! Cheers to a fresh new start in the new year. I know some of us have goals and resolutions that we hope to stick to this year...I am sending out my good vibes and positivity that we can all attain them, especially if they're simple. (For example, one of my goals for 2017 is to focus more on flossing my teeth. I'm in a terrible habit of not doing it and my dentist is sure to point it out every 6 months! Tired of it, so I'm going to take 30 whole seconds out of my day each day to do it! I even wrote myself a note on my bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker! I've found that notes help a lot too.)

Today, I'd like to touch base on what retouching looks like in the eyes of a photographer and what the client might miss being "behind the scenes." Each photographer has their own post-processing style, some being bright and bold, others being more "contrasty" and some being a bit more "soft" or "flow-y". Regardless of the style, each photographer all must dive into your hundreds (or even thousands) of images to choose the perfect ones and then retouch them to fit our liking as a photographer. We spend countless amounts of hours staring at a computer screen, sometimes taking longer breaks than we want to because we're constantly looking at a digital screen! There are also times that we must step away from retouching a session because all of the images sort-of run together. Stepping away and coming back refreshed is one of my favorite techniques because my job never gets boring! It's like coming back to a whole new session each time! (I recently had an eye appointment with a new optometrist and he shared with me that my eyes have drastically changed because I switched professions. I told him I quit working for the Starbucks Corporation in June and that I'm a full-time photographer now. He 100% blamed my computer for my change in eyesight! Crazy! Moral of the story, be sure to keep up with your Optometrist! An updated prescription can make a ton of difference and your eye health is SO important! Take care of them eyeballs!!!)

Okay, so back to the actual action of retouching. What is retouching, you ask?! Well, to put it simply, it's (for me) finding all ranges of the images' tones and then applying those tones to be 100% true. 100% blacks, whites and middle grays. I prefer Adobe Lightroom over Photoshop. I was taught how to use Lightroom in college and I feel that it is a program that respects the actual idea of the "truth" in photography. In contrast, Photoshop allows the user to completely turn an image into a lie, and to me, that's not photography. Photography is TRUTH. Photography captures "facts". Actions in Photoshop, I think, allow the photographer to completely change an image into what it is not.

As a Professional Photographer, I get asked frequently after MANY sessions if I could slim faces, hips, waists and other body parts while in my post-processing mode. My answer is always going to be NO. I studied photography as an art in college. I learned the truth of this medium and that's why I love it. I refuse to change my style due to clients not wanting to accept the "truth" about their images. If you want your body parts fixed/retouched in post-processing, I hate to say this, but it's the truth and I back it up...I am NOT the photographer for you! If you want raw, real and truthful images...moments captured that other photographers aren't focused on, I'm your girl! The truth is such a beautiful thing!!!! 

 

Client Questionnaire

Happy Saturday, friends! It's been a really busy week here at Whitney Brewer Studios.  We've been working diligently on blogging and marketing about what YOU guys care about...and we've gotten to a point where we said "Okay. We've done the research...but how does this apply to MY audience?! How can we change what we're doing to be more successful at spreading the word about Whitney Brewer Photography, while still giving an excellent experience to go along with the great images?!" I'm truly stuck and need your help! You're my audience. You're the ones who are the consumer. If you'd be so kind to answer these few questions, I'd like to offer you a special offer! If you answer these few questions honestly and kind-heartedly, I will provide you with a 15% discount off of your next session with us and the offer never expires. Once you provide answers below to this question, I will personally get a hold of you and mail you your coupon. Thank you in advance!

1) When you hire a photographer for lifestyle, wedding or family photos, what kind of incentive would you look for when referring others to that photographer? (What type of gift would be most appreciated for you as the client from your photographer as a "thank you"?)

2) What type of gift would be most appreciated for you as the client from your photographer as a "thank you"?

3) What do you look for first on a photographer's website?

4) Would you prefer: a free print, a discounted session, a gift card or other (feel free to add suggestions!)

5) How did you find your wedding photographer? Lifestyle photographer?

 

Thank you so much for your participation! It's greatly appreciated!!

 

 

PS-For your viewing pleasure, I have included a photo of my Dad and my dog. Two of some of my favorite men! :) Happy Weekend!

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!

 

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Ever read the the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"?...If not...and you enjoy philosophy & motorcycles, you'll love this book! It has taught me a lot in regards to keeping calm and taking my time to diagnose problems. It's taught me to enjoy the small things, like the flowers on the side of the road where you are stranded. It's taught me to travel with those you can get a long with for long periods of time. 

Although this book has taught me a lot about riding and maintenance, being on a motorcycle and actually experiencing/relating to this book makes it even BETTER. There's nothing quite like going 40mph and having the ability to put your feet down and touch the ground. There's some kind of amazing "grounded" feeling about riding your own motorcycle. (Notice I didn't say "being a passenger"...although that's a pretty sweet experience, there's literally nothing like steering, holding, feeling and connecting with the bike. Not saying being a passenger is awful, it's just a whole different happy vibe!) The way your body hugs your bike going around curves and turns, the way your hair sways every which way, the way you can easily slide in and out of traffic, the ease of finding parking, the amazingly diverse people you meet, the adventures you partake in, the magical common interest that makes people connect in a whole new way...everything about this, I love.

Now, with all the perks and pros of motorcycle riding, there obviously has to be some sort of con, right? Yep. Nailed it. I'm about to explain to you why I have been so crappy about updating my photography blog and other social media. Human, I know, but still. Not responsible as a business owner. ANYWHO--->

Jason, my fiance, bought me a gold 1975 Honda CB 200 (her name is Lucy) in the summer of 2014. I was eager to get my license and passed first try without a single class! (Totally tooting my own horn here. Sorry. lol) After riding for a few months, we realized something was killing the battery if we let Lucy sit for a long period of time without riding her. Since 2014, we've had SOME issues, but this year has been the year of patience and problems. Talk about ZEN and the ART of LUCY MAINTENANCE. WHEW.

To make a very long story short, we have rebuilt carburetors, performed a tune up, slapped some new tires on her, troubleshooted electrical problems, broke shit, troubleshooted other random issues, broke some more shit and well, finally, we said "Screw it. we're taking it to Courthouse."

There is nothing more I'd rather be doing than spending my free time on my motorcycle, don't get me wrong. I know that I should be in my studio working. I know that I should be working harder to promote myself. I know I'm being lazy. My goal has been to help my Fiance as much as possible with Lucy because her being down is driving us both nuts (let's be honest, I'M the one driving Jason nuts about Lucy.) When everyone's motorcycle works in this house, we're all happy. Once the happiness happens, I'll be back on the social media faster than a racing turtle! 

At any rate, here is Lucy after nature gave her a bath today. It's a humid one!

Danielle + Parker Elopement

Good afternoon my beautiful friends!!!

Out of nowhere this past Sunday, I sent a text to my friend Windi (who is an super fun/professional officiant! Check her website/facebook out! (((http://windicnoble.weebly.com/)))  (((https://www.facebook.com/runawayweddingsohio/?fref=ts))))

Any who, I was thinking about her and just simply wanted to let her know! Turns out, she had booked a wedding with Parker and Danielle at Jorgensen Farms the next day!!! I haven't seen her in a while (or the farm!) and asked if I could tag along and snag some photos of her and her clients...basically some action shots on her end! 

I am so glad I went! The farm was absolutely stunning. Windi and I got to spend some time together. We marketed ourselves. We brainstormed. We worked and we had fun! Here are some shots from Monday evenings' 6pm wedding. Enjoy!