Recently we interviewed Bryan Miller of Bryan Miller Photography, and lets just say, it is really interesting how he got his start as a San Diego wedding photographer! Read on to find out how this great wedding photographer found his special place in the industry.
> How long have you been a wedding photographer?
I first picked up a camera just after high school and had photographed personal projects off and off until 2008.
It was late 2008/early 2009 that I photographed my first wedding. At the time I was working in the surf and skate industry up in Orange County, (for action sport companies like Roxy + Quiksilver), and a co-worker asked if I could shoot his wedding. That was an amazing experience! It got my wheels spinning; ideas started to build about how to do this professionally.
I didn’t jump right into it, though. I sat on the business idea for a little while and continued to work in the surf and skate industry while also shooting for other photographers and learning the ropes. It wasn’t long before I realized it was now or never, so I took a leap of faith and initiated the next steps towards starting my business. I knew I loved it; I just needed to go for it.
> So, what was your plan? How did you establish yourself?
I went back to basics: word-of-mouth networking and face-to-face connections. It was all about sharing the enthusiasm for what I was doing and how I approached documenting weddings. It’s difficult putting yourself out there for everyone to judge but I was (and still am) confident in the images I had created and that I could help couples remember a very important day in their lives.
> How are you different from then to now?
I’ve definitely grown more confident as a photographer and I feel I’m always pushing myself to become a better photographer.
> How would you describe your photography style?
Before I started, one of my biggest frustrations with wedding photography was the stale and rigid approach. I’d love to help change the perception that wedding photography should be all posed. I want to provide an experience that is organic and unique and showcases the emotions from the beginning of the day right down to the very last dance.
I would say that my style is that of a storyteller than anything else. I’m not sure how to define it, exactly, but moment-driven and journalistic are close descriptions.
> Do you have a business mantra or philosophy?
‘Capturing moments between moments…’
> How do you convey this approach to your clients?
My work tends to attract a certain type of clientele. My clients are very laid back, very organic and sentimental. I am not a formal person nor am I am formal photographer. So when I talk to clients, I tell them that if they want photographs that encapsulate the spontaneity of real life and that capture and tell stories of them as a couple at their wedding, then I can help.
> Do you shoot other events besides weddings?
My entire calendar revolves around weddings and engagement sessions for my couples. I actually try to encourage couples to have an e-session with me if I am shooting their wedding. The engagement session gives me a chance to learn the couple more intimately, learn what their likes and dislikes are, what their personal chemistry is. All are very important things leading to the wedding day.
> What does being a member of Weddings of Distinction mean to you?
It’s flattering. I learned of the group from Paula Rae, of Rae Florae. I worked with her on a project that received a lot of exposure, and since then she has really supported my career and me. She’s the reason I am in WOD.
Since Weddings of Distinction is an invite-only group, I know I am amongst high-quality wedding vendors. I would love to work with everyone in the group in time. Together we help couples create a wedding day for them to cherish and together we can all help each other create businesses and lives that we love and that reward us.
> Any interesting facts or tidbits about yourself that people would be interested to know?
Well, being 6’ 6”, people always notice my height. But I’m from the Midwest, grew up in Illinois, and I moved to California in 1995.
I also am a pretty outdoorsy person. Recently, I hiked 9 miles of the Lost Coast with my now fiancé. I proposed to her during the hike, which was a memorable time for us for many reasons. Its interesting, now that I’m engaged myself and going through the engagement process, I am able to walk in the same shoes as my couples, and I think it’s great to have that shared experience. (Blog post: http://www.bmillerweddings.net/blog/the-lost-coast)
> What advice do you have for those planning a wedding?
Enjoy your engagement. It is a pretty short period of time and the majority of it will be spent planning your wedding. Enjoy your engagement and the experience of being together during this brief time.