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6 Tips to Find the Best Louisville Photographer

Louisville and Lexington photographer, Adam Brennan, photographs Scott Heesemann and his daughter Finn at Old Blue Ribbon Farm.

No matter the type of photography you’re looking for, whether it’s wedding photography, a commercial shoot, senior portraits or an awards ceremony, finding the best Kentucky photographer can be daunting. From comparing styles and prices to figuring out which Louisville or Lexington photographer to invest in, here are 6 tips to help narrow your search before making any sort of commitment.

Know What Style of Photography You Prefer

There are many different photographers with many different styles of photography. Event and portrait photography will typically fall under the umbrella of posed portraiture or documentary.  While many photographers tend to do a little of both, their works will usually emphasize one over the other. Think about what you would prefer: mostly traditional poses or more emphasis on the candid nature of a subject’s personality. Once you have decided your preference, look through a photographer’s website, Instagram, and Facebook page to see what style their photography gravitates toward and compare them to other photographers. If you are looking for traditional portraiture notice if the photography looks generic across multiple photographers or if their portraits truly stand out. If you are looking for more candid shots, look for technical accuracy and consistency in the photographer’s ability to capture the personality of an event or subject.

A Specialized Photographer Doesn’t Always Mean the Right Photographer

Look at a wide range of photographers. If they say they are a wedding photographer but you are looking for senior portraits ask if they do any. Likewise, don’t just search “wedding photographers” exclusively but look at a broad range of photographers in your area. There are photographers who excel at many niches of photography.

Compare Cost Vs. Value

Most professional photography ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the type of shoot (i.e. wedding, commercial, headshots etc.) When comparing prices note the quality of the photographers work, such as technical accuracy and consistency. Also ask about the gear they provide, what their contract is, their experience and any references of previous shoots they can provide.

Look for Consistency and Competency

Ask a potential photographer to show you all the photos from one particular shoot. Notice if there are a few excellent but ‘lucky’ shots, or if all the photos are of the same exquisite caliber. See if all the photos are in focus, that key moments were captured, and that the photographs aren’t grainy or too bright or dark. Ask them about any challenges of the event and how they overcame the challenges. Make sure your photographer can problem solve quickly should something happen. Looking for these qualities within your photographer’s portfolio and performance will build your confidence in his or her ability to provide you with exemplary photos.

Ask About Backup Gear

As beautiful a thing as technology is, damages can occur or equipment can fail at the worst possible moment. Make sure your photographer has his or her bases covered should any equipment fail during the shoot. Ask if their backup equipment is of equal quality as their primary equipment.

Make Sure Your Personalities Mesh

Most everybody feels a little awkward and stiff in front of a camera. Having your photograph taken is an experience that should be relaxing and enjoyable instead of worrying about if you have a double chin or if your pose is awkward. Look for a photographer you can laugh with and whose personable. That allows for you to be yourself and for your photographs to truly represent your personality.

Scott Heeseman holds his daughter, Finn, at Old Blue Ribbon Farm. Photographed by Louisville and Lexington photographer Adam Brennan

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Louisville Photographer’s Expertise: Capturing Expressions

Louisville and Lexington photographer, Adam Breen captures Catesby W. Clay and his grandson, Catesby Clay at Runnymede Farm in Paris, Kentucky. Runnymede farm is the oldest thoroughbred farm in Kentucky.

Louisville and Lexington photographer, Adam Brennan photographs Catesby W. Clay and his grandson, Catesby Clay at Runnymede Farm in Paris, Kentucky. Runnymede farm is the oldest thoroughbred farm in Kentucky.

I was sitting in Cherokee Park here in Louisville with my mother-in-law when out of nowhere she declared her love of trees. She revealed to me that they are representative of the kinships of our being. The roots are our family whom our entity emerges from. The blood ties last our entire lives. From our trunk extends branches of companionship and fellowship. Some of these extensions grow stronger throughout the generations, while others break off along the passage of time. From the branches spring leaves that represent the acquaintances that endure with us through particular seasons of our lives before falling away to their own endeavors. No matter if we just brushed passed them with a simple nod and “hello” or if we joined with them enduring the ebbs and flow of life together, all these people influence our character and identity. They either reinforce who we are or encourage us to change in some form or another.

Within the soul of photography is human interaction with each other, with nature and with their environment. Our capacity for relationships is never-ending. As seasons merge and fluctuate, one of the most worthwhile sentiments is looking back at photographs of who you were and the people you shared life with. Even in commercial photography, advertisements typically use models to emulate relationships using their products as props. Your  photographer should be able to capture the split second micro-expressions that reveal who you are, the people surrounding you, and the relationships you have with them. Documenting people is the foundation of this professional Louisville and Lexington photographer.

Take some time to step outside and embrace the brevity of this life with others.

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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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