I remember very clearly going to the photographer’s studio as a child. My mom dressed all of us up in our fanciest clothes (long dresses were in fashion back then), and then driving over to the photographers to be purposefully posed in front of the camera. I recall putting what I thought to be a goofy smile on my face, but which just turned out to be a terrific grin.
I look at the photo and the accompanying ones of my family and I do admit that I cherish them. But scroll down – wouldn’t it have been so much better to have some of these exquisite shots as family mementos?
Over the next while, I’ll be posting profiles on some of the best portrait photographers in Vancouver. The first is Brittney Kwasney, a Vancouver-based photographer and former collegiate-level ice hockey goaltender. When she’s not playing recreational hockey or distance running, Brittney is a singer and songwriter performing with her guitar in Vancouver coffeehouses. Vancouver Mom had a chance to connect with her.
Brittney Kwasney, One of 50 Essential Portrait Photographers
1. Why did you get into photography?
I don’t remember the day my parents put their old Pentax camera into my hand, but I do remember how natural it felt being behind the lens. So when my high school in Kimberley, BC offered a photography club, I was the first in line. From there a local professional photographer took me under his wing and I was out shooting weddings on my own at the age of 15. So despite being in my mid-twenties, I already have a decade of professional experience. Photographing people, optimizing their images, and seeing their happiness with the end result is what I really enjoy doing. Trying to translate this passion into a more formalized small business, I launched Bright Photography in 2008.
2. Tell us a bit about Bright Photography.
Even though I have been photographing weddings now for ten years, Bright Photography was born just under a year ago. I felt after many years of getting jobs solely through word of mouth, it was time to officially launch a photography business. It just made sense. My goal is to keep Bright fresh and friendly. I want you, the client, to come out of every session happy with your photos. I avoid what I call “cookie-cutter photography” – using an identical strategy with each client. Whether it’s a wedding or family portraits, I go into every session with a fresh eye in the hopes of capturing unique reflections of your personality and relationship.
3. How would you characterize your style of photography?
I love to photograph people. I find emotion intriguing and love the challenge of trying to bring out the true essence of my subjects in still life. This lends itself well to my photo journalistic style of photography. I like to be the fly on the wall, capturing all those special candid moments. I also shoot all my sessions on location. Wherever you feel most comfortable and natural, is where we will take photos. I have been told I’m very good at putting my subjects at ease. Maybe it’s my small town upbringing coming through. Often families and couples tell me that although they were shy going into a shoot, it was the fun-filled highlight of their week! I can’t express how fulfilling it is to receive that sort of feedback on a job I love to do.
4. Who are your clients?
I started out photographing weddings and they’re still the main focus for Bright Photography, but not exclusively. Over the years I have expanded my repertoire to family, maternity, newborn, child and even pet photography. I’ve also done some freelance work for a local paper, some commercial work, school photos, and covered numerous live musical performances. I also very excited for a Bright wilderness shot to be etched into the main wall at the brand new Pacific Rim Fairmont Hotel in Coal Harbour.
5. What should your mom clients expect when working with you?
It’s important for a client to feel comfortable with me, the photographer, especially when taking photos of a delicate period – like maternity and newborn sessions. It’s hard enough being in front of a camera, let alone feeling disconnected from the person behind it. I pride myself in having a good sense of people, being calm and non-invasive. Photos that you feel show the very best of you are the result.
Also, I will not hold your photos for ransom. All of my sessions come with a disc of high resolutions photos, ready to print. I hope this offering indicates that I want to please my clients, be referred, and grow steadily as a business. Maybe I’m too affordable, but I’m not out to fleece anyone – especially not young families.
All photos are © Bright Photography