I'm Bri, it's nice to meet you.

To say I haven't been struggling would be lie, a huge lie. 

Last fall, school really drained my inspiration and motivation out of me. Being in a program that doesn't feel that the type of art you make is considered art and constantly not being able to produce the work you love is draining. 

I slowly started to set my camera down and only pick it up when I had jobs - which is something that is truly terrifying. Then, going on this trip this past semester I had hoped it would pull my inspiration back, which it did..until I got back home. 

I've considered putting my camera down for good and that's honestly such a scary thing for me.

Photography is my passion and I love capturing the people and things around me so much. So, when I get in these slumps with it - I typically pick up my film camera to get the motivation moving for a few weeks, but that just wasn't cutting it this time. 


I looked into possibly switching cameras to a mirrorless, possibly stopping portraiture, heck I honestly even considered giving photography an  all around break for a while. Then, I really sat down and thought about everything and why I was feeling this way.

The conclusion was, I was comfortable.

Too set in my ways of how I shoot, what I shoot, what I show you guys, everything. I've gotten really comfortable with only showing you guys a little bit - masking out my life to only show you about 10% of it. 

So, I decided it was time to change things up a little bit and stop being so pick with what I post on my social media accounts. 90% of my photos (not just photos that don't make the cut either) never make it on social media because they don't fit the "vibe" and I'm really over that. I want to show you guys everything - my days, my life, my friends and family, my adventures, travels, high points and low points. 

I figured the best place to start, is with myself. So, I'm getting myself out of this slump with pushing myself into something I'm incredibly uncomfortable doing - self portraits. Heck, even being on the other side of the camera in general.

Welcome to my life. I'm Bri, it's nice to meet ya.  

 

 

12 Weeks Away

This past January my best friend Melody and I set out on what was supposed to be a 16 week adventure, living out of my Subaru. Though, right around the 9 week mark, a series of events happened that shortened that to a 12 week adventure. 

When we got home, all I could think about was that we had failed - we had talked about this trip for months, told everyone about it, planned for so long, for us to come home earlier than planned. I beat myself up about it, and then one day while looking back through the photos - it hit me. We didn't fail, we grew. A lot. 

It takes a lot to decide to not finish something - to just accept that the best option in the situation is to take a break. Which, is what I'm calling this - a break. We didn't quit, we didn't give up, we evaluated what was in front of us and decided that this was the best thing for us to do, to come back and finish when we have more resources. 

The trip was amazing, living on the road for that long you really find yourself. 

I went into this trip thinking that I was going to fall in love with videography - that I was going to make a lot of short cinematic clips and be so happy with how they turned out, but in reality that's not what happened at all. Now, don't get me wrong - I love video a lot but not in the sense that I thought I would. I ended up falling in love with chopping, vlog like videos (essentially the way that Expedition Happiness on Netflix is filmed) - I have always been someone who loves raw, unopposed photos and I think that is what drew me to this type of videography. It's exactly what happened, and  it may not be the prettiest always - but it's real. 

During this trip Mel and I also created a blog that we are planning to continue on with past this experience (Planted on the Road). Within this blog, we created a Youtube Channel and Instagram account as well and this is where I unexpectedly found what I want to be pursing. Content Creation and branding. No, I'm not saying that I want to be a Youtuber (even though hey - that wouldn't be a bad gig) but I ended up loving creating content for a "brand" that has a certain look, a certain audience, vibe and feel. I had always liked having my Instagram "branded" but this was a whole new world - creating a brand from the ground up - was amazing. Deciding on the logo, the colors, typefaces, deciding everything based on how we want to be seen and who we want our audience to be was seriously so exciting. 

I started playing around with the logo and branding for my personal photography company Balsam Hills Co.  and that's when I knew that this was something I wanted to start working on, enter: branding. I then realized that integrating photography into this made it EXACTLY what I love doing. Helping brands show their identity through styled photos, and through maintaining  a "look" while marketing to the correct customer.  

I may not be coming out of this experience with cinematic video skills, or as much footage as I originally planned, we may not of seen everything we wanted to see - but I came back with a love for something I never expected. I came back with an understanding of how to deal with incredibly touch situations. I learned how to plan ELEVEN weeks on the road, regardless of if it played out how we planned or not. I came back appreciating and respecting the the people who live on the road, so much more than I had beforehand. I came back knowing what I want to move forward doing. 

We didn't fail, we grew.

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California | 35mm

I finally migrated my way back into 35mm film photography on my California trip and I honestly don't know why it took me so long. A month later, I finally sent the roll in to get developed and the digital files are back - I honestly don't ever want to go back to digital. 

Up Next:

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It's been a while, so I feel it's only right that we start with a little life update. As you can probably tell, I did a lot of traveling this summer (I was hardly home!), which sparked a love for traveling that I had no idea would grow as much as it did. Starting the summer out with a 2 week camping/road trip was life changing and really put what I wanted to be doing and truly loved into perspective.  

As I've said before, traveling is something I thrive on, it's makes me feel so alive and awake. Getting out and seeing all the the things that the world has to offer, is something that cant' be describe and I would've change that feeling for the world. 

So, fast forward to this semester, which has been crazy to say the least. With co-op starting next semester I've been constantly planning and trying to decide what I wanted to take on for a semester. Since, it's a new program (and since DAAP doesn't exactly appreciate lifestyle/travel photography) - there weren't many co-op options that involved the type of photography that I want to eventually have a full time job in and it was frustrating beyond belief.  During one of our meeting's regarding co-op my advisor informed us that DAAP had decided to allow a travel semester count as your co-op if it was beneficial to your practice and you better believe that I jumped right on that opportunity. 

"you better believe that I jumped right on that opportunity." 

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This fall during my fall break, I went on a mini road trip out west that was unplanned (read more here: California) and it was honestly one of the best experiences I've ever had and I knew immediately that was the direction I was going to go with next semester.

I instantly got in contact with one of my life long best friends, Mel, to see what she was doing next January - May; she said nothing and the planning began. 

So what's up next? A four month road trip in the west accompanied by a blog called Planted on the Road (www.plantedontheroad.com). Within the last 6 months, Mel and I have both transitioned into a vegan lifestyle and are working toward living a minimal lifestyle (minimal waste too!), so we figured why not blog about our experience's of living on the road for four months while being vegan + minimalists?!

"Mel and I are getting in my Forester on January 1st and heading to the Appalachian Trail for 13 days, then out west for 3 and a half more months."

Now, since it is counting for school credit - I do have to have something to show that comes out of it - so I'm filming a 15 min (ish) documentary focused on the west, a shorter documentary focusing on the people who travel for a living, and Mel and I are going to be vlogging doing mini stories twice a week. 

I'm so excited for this adventure of a lifetime that I'm getting to do with one of my best friends in the world - and if you're exciged too be sure to keep up with us at www.plantedontheroad.com & our instagram is @plantedontheroad.

Much love,

Bri

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Memories

Recently, I've realized that the part of lifestyle photography that I love so much is the ability to tell stories through photos. Anybody can pick up a camera and take a nice photo these days, but taking a photo (or a series of photos) that tell a story isn't as easy. 

I've always prided myself in doing photo shoots unposed - but within the last 6 months or so - I've really gotten into the "just hanging out and snapping photos" vibe - which then led me to think why don't I teach myself video? 

It's a huge skill to learn and it's not be any means easy - but the emotions and feelings that you can pull away from video are indescribable.  


I'm going on a road trip next semester (keep an eye out for my next blog post explaining that!), and I happen to be going to a spot that my grandma and grandpa had went on one of their road trips. That news led my grandma to being so excited and telling me she had photos of them there and we had to find them. 

Little did I know, she had a huge box of 100's of photos that we had to look through to find them (they ended up being in a different photo album! lol).