A Cultivated Quest: Brianna Moore
Hi Brianna! Thanks for chatting with us + being so eager to join our blog series! Let’s start off by having you tell us a little bit about yourself.
I never know where to start with this question… ha! I’m Brianna and I am a photographer currently living in my home city of Houston, TX. My love for photography started when I was 13 and it’s been growing ever since. I recently graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX with my BBA in Digital Media Management. I wanted to get a business degree so I could pair it with my love of all things creative, like my photography. Today I work as a Digital Brand Manager and I am running my own photography business on the side.
Congratulations on graduating! What has post-grad life been like? What has been the biggest hardship?
Post-grad life has been the biggest adjustment of my life... and I'm not being dramatic. I graduated and moved back home because student loans are a lot easier to pay off when you don't have any major expenses like rent, utilities, etc. It was a practical and unglamorous decision I didn't want to have to make, but I did. I had been applying for jobs in Austin and while I got pretty far in a few interview processes, nothing stuck. I ended up getting hired at a company close to home where I do Digital Brand Management. I started in June and I've been here ever since. It definitely wasn't what I had imagined for myself but it got my foot in the door and has given me some good real world experience and the flexibility to continue growing my photography business on the side.
Whether it be my finances, career, or new business... I feel like there's just always something else to worry about. It's really hard and kind of scary to begin this new chapter of life because you have so much education, potential, and passion but no idea what the heck you're doing or how to get where you want to go. I guess you just have to do your best and remain positive that it all works out eventually.
In the next coming years, what direction do you want to take your photography career? Do you have any goals you want to achieve before you feel comfortable quitting whatever day job you have and go full force with your photography business?
I have so many different ideas for myself moving forward so this is a hard question. I would love to be a traveling photographer for various brands and businesses, but I could also see myself staying local and working with my own community through my photography and other skills. I have always had a bunch of dreams in my head of what I want to do but I really try to surrender it all and let God guide and direct me.
Being my own boss is a dream in and of itself. I would love to go full force with my photography business asap. For me personally, I will have more freedom once my school loans are gone. I know that's not a fun answer, but it's the truth!
Do you have any reservations or fears of being a freelance photographer?
UM YES. I have so many hesitations about my career path in photography, I always have. But I know my love for it outweighs that fear. Like I mentioned above, the financial stress of this job, at least at the beginning, makes me want to quit monthly. However it's also a great chunk of side change in addition to a full time job. There is always a silver lining in every doubt so that's what I have been trying to focus on recently.
There's also the fear that you won't make it because let's be honest this market is WAY oversaturated and no matter how many times a photographer says, "community over competition," there is competition. Now that doesn't mean you have to be rude, but that's an entirely different conversation. You definitely need something that helps you stand out and if I'm being totally transparent I think I am still searching for that thing.
I do know that my faith has been the one thing to get me this far though. At the end of the day I know fear does not have a place in me because with the ultimate Creator on my side, I cannot fail.
How do you get the person, place, or thing that is in front of your camera into a shot in just the way you want it to be?
Hmm.. that is a tough one to explain. Unless I have a very specific shot list or concept before my shoot I usually go with the tried and true trial and error method. Things are always a little different once you’re actually behind the camera on location versus what you imagined in your head. I think that’s what makes photography an art form; photographers are able to use their environment, models, and props to create an original image based on how they see and manipulate their surroundings right then and there.
As far as what attracts me to take a photo it’s usually lighting, lines and symmetry, or lack thereof and sometimes even color palettes. I am constantly inspired by other artists’ and conceptual ideas that I try to turn into images. Or sometimes I just want to work on a shooting technique so I’ll create a shoot based on what I want to practice.
What is your favorite photo you've ever take and why?
I have two images that I absolutely love because I still remember the exact moment and feeling I had when I shot them.
One was of my friend laying in a creek. It was actually a boat ramp into a creek near my house and I had her walk down the algae infested ramp and float in the murky water (I have been known to ask my models to do some crazy things) and the way the image came out was so cool to me. Although this was taken when I was in early high school (I haven’t re-edited it so be nice) it’s still one of my all time favorites.
The other one I love was from a trip I took to the Philippines. I was on a hike up to the summit of Mount Pinatubo, an active stratovolcano in the Zambales Mountains.
I had stopped to take some pictures of the little boys that lined the path trying to sell their little handmade trinkets to the hikers. When I was done taking their picture, I turned around and saw this little boy running towards me and he was holding an even smaller kitten. It was almost as if I had predicted the moment cause I waited for him to run closer and when he stopped to stare at me I captured this photo that I had in my head from just a few seconds prior to it happening. It’s probably my absolute favorite image to this day. No words were exchanged but we both looked at each other with such wonder. It was a moment that I will never forget.
What continues to inspire you to take photographs?
One thing I think about often is how photography runs in my family. My great grandfather and grandfather on my mom’s side as well as my dad were all photographers or at least dabbled. I have one of my late grandfather’s film canons on my shelf (I need to go shoot soon) and everytime I see it I’m reminded that I was made for this! I truly believe that photography is one of my purposes in life. When I’m feeling uninspired or I’m lacking motivation to go shoot, I remember this and gives me a little boost.
Who inspires you and why?
A lot of people inspire me but I think one of my favorite photographers right now is Kat Borchart. I love following her on Instagram. Her photos are incredible and I love how she can capture the beauty in some of the most ordinary, everyday things. Just take a look at her Insta story and you’ll see what I mean. Some of my other favorites are Emily Soto, Lara Jade, & Amberely Valentine.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
Does anyone know how to actually do this? I’ve been “balancing” my photo career on the side of my life and full time jobs for as long as I can remember… some days are insanely long and some days I just can’t fit photo into my day, which is sad but it’s the truth. I don’t shoot near as much as I want to right now ~ because that’s my life and ya gotta make ends meet with your full time job sometimes ~ but it is my goal in life to do photography full time so I believe that it will happen one day very soon. I just have to take it day by day and give myself grace when I feel like I’m failing or not “chasing” my dreams.
After spending several years exploring many different facets of the fashion and social media industries, Jacqueline decided to merge her creative passions into creating JMK Media.