Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BEHIND THE LENS: Amanda Brisco Photography, Pittsburgh, PA

We are so excited to feature the beautiful work of Amanda Brisco Photography this week.  As you will see from her images below, she truly has a way of capturing light and natural, candid moments.  Thank you Mandy for sharing your story with us and your gorgeous images.  

Your Name:  Mandy Brisco
Your studio/business name:  amanda brisco photography
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Your Style:

In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography?  I would hope that my clients would describe my work as totally candid, emotional, and romantic. With each session I do take posed shots, you have to, but my style is centered around candid and natural looks.  A lot of my clients laugh when I tell them to pretend I’m not there.  I am addicted to natural expressions, and with my sessions with couples, I especially love getting those romantic shots.

Are you self-taught or classroom trained? Both.  I did a ton of self-training when I started.  I love education and schooling so I knew that both studying photography and learning from other photographers would be extremely beneficial and enjoyable.  I started an online certification program and became a certified photographer and began taking classes and mentoring with photographers in the Pittsburgh area. 

How many years have you been a professional photographer?  I’ve been in the business one full year.  I’ve been shooting and learning for almost four years now.

Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years?  I would love to have the opportunity to teach and mentor.  I have a Master’s Degree in Education so I’ve always loved teaching and helping others.  Once my boys are in school full time and I have some extra time on my hands, mentoring and helping other photographers reach their goals would be my next long term goal.

Is there a photographer who inspires your style?  Who would that be? My mentor, Heather Lahtinen of Weddings by Heather.  She has been a tremendous inspiration to me both personally and professionally.

Favorite location to take photos? Oh that’s a tough one.  There are so many gorgeous locations in the Pittsburgh area.  I love the look of a park with tall grasses.  On the flip side, I am absolutely in love with the urban city look as well.   I’m obsessed with downtown Pittsburgh! 

Favorite vacation spot? I love Florida.  I love the beach. 

Your Business:

What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? When I started editing photos I was taking of my children.  I love the continuation of creativity that it allows.
What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? Absolutely, hands-down, Facebook.  I built my entire business using Facebook.  It’s been a tremendous tool.  From Facebook came word of mouth and there’s no better compliment than word of mouth!

What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you? I had a client refer a family member to me prior to her session … I hadn’t even taken her photos yet!!  To me, that was a surprise and a MAJOR compliment!

Favorite print lab? Miller’s Professional Imaging. 

Your Gear:

Are you Canon or Nikon (or –other): Nikon.

If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be?  I’m obsessed with my 70-200mm 2.8. 

What brand bag do you carry your camera in?  Janine King for my lifestyle sessions.  I use a CaseLogic for all of my back-up equipment for weddings.

What gear would we find in your camera bag?  Two camera bodies, Nikon d700 & d7000.  I always have my 50mm 1.4, 28-75mm 2.8 & 70-200mm 2.8 lenses.  A Nikon speedlight, extra batteries, chargers, memory cards, and chapstick. 

Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan?  Natural light.  I’m addicted to sunsets and beautiful haze.

Are you PC or Mac?  PC

Your Tips and Tricks:

What post processing tools do you use? Lightroom

Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? Raw

Best advice you would give your 20-year old self?  It is okay to not know what you want to do when you grow up.  You will find your passion (this was a huge fear of mine for a very long time).

Best advice you would give a new photographer?  You must have confidence in yourself and your work.  Whatever you have to do to achieve and maintain that confidence, you must pursue it, but take your time and enjoy the process.

What site do you use for your photography and why?  ProPhoto.  Everything is in one place and I like that.

What Else Should We Know? I have a twin sister … she’s my best friend.

What was your worst photography experience?  I can thankfully say that I haven’t had a bad photography experience.  I always have the fear of showing up without a battery or memory card and have had dreams of forgetting things the night before a wedding.  I double, triple, and sometimes quadruple check everything often and when necessary.

What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not?  I love tattoos … and have a lot of them.  

And just because we want to know you better, fill in the blanks

Three things I can’t live without…. Aside from my husband, children, and family, it would have to be my camera, my iPhone, and Blistex Silk & Shine chapstick.

I wish I had more…..Time in the day.

The best thing about being a photographer is…Making people happy.  It warms my heart when my clients tell me that they are in love with their photos. 

The most important lesson I ever learned was…. Become obsessed with light.  I’m constantly looking and searching for beautiful light.  It will make or break an amazing photo.

My favorite time of day is…The golden hour!! 

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