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Conversations with Erin DeBrauwere

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin DeBrauwere. 

Hi Erin, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always been an observer at heart and was the girl with the coopix point and shoot at every event in high school. Post-college, I was looking for hobby to fulfill my creative heart and went out and bought my first used DSLR (fancy word for nice camera). I watched every YouTube tutorial, took a few photography courses, did an internship with a local wedding photographer, and practiced on anyone that would let me! Mind you, all for free. Overtime, I built up a portfolio and repeat clients and decided it was time to take the leap and make this hobby a business! Over the past 10 years, I’ve tested and tried out all sorts of styles and have finally fallen into where I belong–lifestyle photography. Essentially, lifestyle photography is the halfway point between posed portrait sessions and candid documentary photography. I aim to capture my clients’ unique personalities and stories so that they can look back on an album and say “wow, this really brings me back to that season of life.” 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Since the rise of social media, the photography industry has become saturated and it’s a tough market to stand out in. I was lucky to start years before the boom but still, find myself comparing my work to others. I think it’s only natural and mostly inspiring to see what everyone else is doing but I have to be careful with where I let my mind go and remember we’re all on our own unique journey. 

The photography business can also be a lonely industry. You don’t have coworkers to vent to at the water cooler so it’s up to you to network and be intentional about pursuing relationships with other creatives. I’ve been lucky to have collaborated with a lot of other amazing creatives and when photography season is slow, we all get together to talk shop! It’s nice to have others to lean on– community over competition! 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in capturing every and any season of life! Weddings, Maternity, Family, and Newborn! I’ve seen my clients go through so many incredible milestones over the past 10 years and feel so honored to be the one to photograph those moments. 

I’m known for my emotive storytelling style and warm soft tones. One of my favorites and most rewarding parts of my job is getting to know my clients on a deeper level. During my sessions, I spend just as much time getting to know them as I do capturing photos. I feel like knowing who they are and what is going on in their lives helps me accurately capture their story and them feel more comfortable! By the end of a session, we’re practically best friends 🙂 

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Empathy. I pride myself on finding connection and relatability with each my clients so that they can feel like and be exactly who they are during their session. Connection is the foundation to a high-end customer experience and I dig deeper any chance I can get 🙂 

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