5 Elegant Phrases Unique to this Louisville Photographer’s Work

Louisville wedding photographer Adam Brennan photographs the emotion of the bride and her father.

Louisville wedding photographer, Adam Brennan, photographs the emotion of the bride and her father dancing at Polo Barns in Lexington, Kentucky.

Written by: Lindsey Overstreet
*disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the author.

A picture used to be worth a thousand words. Images such as the 1936 “Migrant Mother”  by Dorthea Lange hold their worth throughout the decades because of the genuine authenticity of the subject and the commentary on life at a particular time. Now as we scroll through our social media feeds, photography and their respective photographers have collectively become a mass of redundant poses, filters and #liveauthentic hashtags. So many photographers are attempting to craft the ‘perfect shot’ that the individuals become a shallow prop in the composition of a stock photo. The vulnerability, intensity, and character that resides within every human gets shut out. Their eyes glaze over and their lips pout while the camera shutter clicks, capturing a lifeless form that evokes nothing but passing lust within the viewer. If photography, especially wedding photography, is about “capturing moments” then our Insta-fed world should let go of trading the facade of faultlessness for likes and embrace the impermanence of sincere moments.

Louisville photographer, Adam Brennan is one of the few photographers I’ve known who truly photographs the independence of personality within each person. He fosters continual friendship with his clients, allowing them to unveil their humanity in front of the camera. Below are the beautiful phrases and sayings that capture this Louisville photographer’s work.

1. Ichi-go Ichi-e: Literally meaning ‘one moment, one time’. This philosophy reminds us that our history and our experiences have led to the conception of the present moment that cannot be faked nor re-created. Each day, each wedding and each event is its own entity. Adam has photographed countless Louisville weddings, events and family portraits (just to name a few) yet each person’s energy exudes their personal ambitions and reservations for that moment in their life.

2. “La vie a beaucoup plus d’imgination que nous.” ~François Truffaut: “Life has way more imagination than us.” Nothing compares to the beauty of the natural state of life. There are wild phenomena happening every day among us. Instead of focusing on fantasy, Adam delves into the creativity of existence.

3. Couper le sifflet à quelqu’un: to leave someone speechless. We have all experienced that tempo of silence. Be it the moment a groom watches the love of his life come down the aisle to spend the rest of their lives together or the magnificent feat that leaves us suspended in the second. These details pass with a glance. Without the skill to capture it, they will be lost in the crevices of waning memories.

4. Maraki: to leave a piece of your soul in your work. Every photograph Adam takes is a legacy of the life he has lived and the people he has encountered. Through his viewfinder, as people, animals and landscapes come in and out of frame, he documents his character in how he views others. This has led to photographs of laughter and fulfillment of life. Strangers turned friends stand in front of his camera as they banter about their own musings and observations.

5. Être au four et au moulin: to be in two places at once. Not many photographs feel like a memory if you weren’t there to begin with. Yet Adam’s photography transcends the present reality and brings another existence before you. Physically, we may not be able to be in two places at once but on an emotional and spiritual level we can experience the present with another’s past. His photography curates empathy within the viewer. That is one if the most difficult tasks a photographer can not only achieve, but excel at. His work demonstrates this excellency on a continual basis.

If you have the chance, see these philosophies in action by popping over to his gallery.

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Commercial photography photo shoot at Willis Hair Salon.

Breaching the Barrier of Comfort to Enter the Extraordinary

Written by Lindsey Overstreet

“The time will pass anyway. You can either spend it creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don’t want. The choice is yours.” ~Unknown

When I first saw Adam Brennan’s photography I was captivated by the humanity he documented. It was more than just pretty people standing in the pretty light. The soul of the subject dominated the photograph. Their character was revealed. What struck me the most, was that his photography is consistent. His shots weren’t lucky or because he just so happened to be in the right place at the right time. He sought out natural expressions. He refined his skill to know precisely where the light should fall across. His camera became an extension of his arm. Most importantly though, is he became friends with the individuals he photographed.

Meanwhile, I was still squinting through my viewfinder, stumbling over my words trying to make small talk and embarrassed to reveal my shots until after I had edited them. I wanted desperately to become better, so I messaged Adam on Facebook hoping to meet and gain some pointers, but as it does, life kept schedules occupied and the time passed. Then in November, Adam reached out to the world of Facebook, posting an available assistant’s position. Immediately I shot him a message of interest. He replied by telling me it wasn’t a glamorous position and that it would be carrying bags of heavy gear and to keep things organized. Undeterred I told him I was still interested and he agreed to meet with me. Yet our schedules still did not line up and I was about to leave town for Thanksgiving week. He had other interviews and I saw the opportunity waving goodbye and welcoming someone else. I called back asking him if we could instead meet at 6 a.m before I caught my flight. He had a meeting that morning but assured me we would meet when I got back. True to his word we met up and he decided I wasn’t as awkward as I sounded on the phone. He connected me with Emory, his previous assistant, for a second interview and to learn more about the position. He also offered me the opportunity to observe a commercial photo shoot at Willis Hair Salon in Louisville later that week. It may not have been mandatory but I made sure to make myself available.

The morning of the photo shoot I woke up full of nerves, busted out the door and hopped in my truck. The engine wouldn’t turn over. I tried several more times hoping for a miracle. Nothing. I quickly messaged Adam that my truck wouldn’t start but I would be there as soon as possible. It’s the oldest excuse in the book and I was sure he thought I was going to flake out. Uber came to my rescue and I made it with a minute to spare.

It was a full day of work, getting to know the beautiful strangers that filled the salon and learning about gear and lights. At the end of the day, Adam offered me the position. I went home full of excitement until I noticed my tunnel vision caused me to run before I’d walked. When I slowed down enough to look around I realized I ran straight out of my comfort zone. All the doubts began to creep in.
‘I must have oversold myself’.
‘I’m not qualified’.
‘I’m going to make a mistake and get fired’.

After several more photo shoots, I realized that the fear didn’t indicate that I was going to fail at  photography or being an assistant, but that I am exactly where I need to be- growing. It meant I had seized this opportunity despite the obstacles. I didn’t take a shortcut and I didn’t settle for less. Becoming Adam’s assistant and apprentice in his photography business shifted how I’ve decided to approach life. Instead of hesitating, I embrace the adventure and maximize this experience.

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Louisville Lexington Wedding Sendoff

It wasn’t until I came across Louisville Lexington Kentucky wedding photographer, Adam Brennan’s work.

There are a whole lot of things I remember about my wedding day 12 years ago. I remember that we only had 2 months to plan it before our move to Texas. I remember that the groom and I were both awkward and not particularly anxious to be the center of attention for a whole day. I remember vendors miraculously being available 2 months before a June wedding in the Seattle area. I even remember the vendors. Most of all, I remember the feelings of that day. But of the things I most remember, those feelings, I don’t have real record of, and fear losing the most.

When you plan a wedding in 2 months, when the top recommended vendors just happen to be available, you don’t question, you don’t hesitate, you just throw up a quick prayer of gratitude, book ’em and keep rollin’. And we did. 12 years ago everyone didn’t have websites to check out and digital photography meant books of tiny photo thumbnails to pour over. Referrals required actually calling a past bride and groom and talking to them.

Truth be told, I had no idea what I was doing anyways. Even when I called the referral number for the photographer, I was basically making a general inquiry to make sure the photog hadn’t started any bar fights or thrown a camera at the mother of the groom. I hadn’t been the girl planning my wedding day since I was 6, artistic is not a word often associated with me and if a wedding planner tells me “goodness yes, this guy” I will believe her. And after the fact as I did, indeed, pour over what seemed like millions of microscopic thumbnails, I just remember feeling “blah.” My husband was handsome, there were a couple of me that looked like me in a wedding dress, there were some sweet ones of kids on the dance floor, all the people we wanted were in there, but I just couldn’t connect and beat myself up a little, thinking I was being too critical.

It wasn’t until I came across Louisville Lexington wedding photographer Adam

‘s work, years later, that I finally began to understand the disconnect for me. I mentioned earlier that the groom and I are awkward and that’s being kind. We are Chandler Bing in front of a camera and couldn’t bring ourselves to dramatically stare into each other’s eyes in front of a well placed potted plant. It simply wasn’t us. And as I scrolled through Adam’s work, I was wowed that the Louisville Lexington wedding photographer Adam found all the emotions and all the feelings and all the things I wanted to remember, in brief heart-achingly simple moments. There were no manufactured moments or feelings. Weddings, by nature, bring plenty of the real thing.

The moments I remember are the glimpses of loved ones simply being a part of the day that changed my life so much. I remember the moment my dad first looked at me in my dress and I could have sworn he teared up. The kiss my sister blew me after singing at my wedding. All of the personal moments that are special on their own, without any need to create it. The real stuff. And there, picture after picture in Adam’s gallery, was the real stuff, caught by someone who trusted it was more than enough because it was perfect.

Which brings me to the whole point of this. What would I have done differently? What questions would I have asked? Could I have had a different experience?

If I could do it all over again, the only thing I would have done differently is really take the time to be honest and examine my priorities. I would appreciate a time in technology that allows access to some many people and their work and their vision and I would talk to them. What do they “see” at weddings? What do they “see” as their role in my wedding? Are they making perfect pictures and photo ops, or are they capturing memories and moments?

I think before anyone chooses a wedding photographer, you need to know what’s important to you. Do you have the pictures in your head that you have always wanted or have seen somewhere and the “glossiness” of the photos are a deciding factor? That’s a real thing. And it’s a fine thing. I have friends who could have drawn their wedding albums before the event ever happened and to get what you want is going to be the most important thing you can do, so be honest with yourself. Be really honest.

For most, I believe, you desire, Louisville Lexington wedding photographer, Adam’s unique gift of finding the balance between traditional “wedding pictures”, and finding raw moments. And each one is infused with the sweetness and the emotion that magically captures people and not faces. That haven’t been photoshopped to the point where you just see a picture. I have photos Adam took at a friend’s wedding that I actually laughed out loud at, along with the moment in the photo because it was so real. It was exactly her, as I always think of her, in the middle of her beautiful laugh and then I cried. It was perfect.

So get out there. Visit sites, visit people, talk to them about your priorities and get honest. Get really really honest with yourself. If you have a photo list a mile deep of pictures you definitely want included, tell them. If you want a good party and the photographic evidence to go with it, tell them. But before anything else, I would say visit Louisville Lexington wedding photographer Adam Brennan’s site and really look at the pictures. You can have all the beauty and more with someone who has the talent and the confidence to let your special day determine the special moments and a wedding photographer who is patiently looking for them.

– Lindsay Cruser, Lexington, KY.

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