All the way from New Mexico, Brady Key specialises in Portrait Photography, currently booking weekend shoots. Read on to find out about “the one” perfect shot and some helpful hints for those just starting out. To view more of Brady’s amazing portraiture you can head to his Website, Facebook or Twitter: @bkeyphotography
What drew you to portrait photography in particular?
I originally started out as a landscape photographer but quickly found myself drawn to the connections made from portraiture. Being trusted by the client to create a visual representation of who they are is a huge honor.
Describe the lifestyle of a photographer.
I am currently getting my master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico, so my “photographer’s lifestyle” is much different from other full-time portrait photographers. I do my best to only book shoots on the weekends so that I am not too overwhelmed on top of school during the week. Being an independent photographer allows me to get to know my clients on a more personal level. I have really come to enjoy the people I meet and the stories they have to tell.
What’s your favourite image you have ever taken and why?
Last summer I purchased a new 85mm f/1.2 lens and couldn’t wait to start shooting with it. I had been having difficulties finding the time to shoot on my own and experiment with new techniques and styles. Shooting this photo was refreshing; I was able to step out of my comfort zone without the pressure of a client’s approval and produce something that suits my own vision.
You must be meeting new people constantly through your work. What’s it like sharing personal experiences with these people as you work with them?
Much of my work lately has been senior picture photography for High School graduates. Teenagers at this stage in life are incredibly fun to work with and make my job more enjoyable than I could even imagine. Talking potential colleges, majors, and life goals allows for a more genuine connection during the shoot which directly translates into more natural photos.
How do you work with your clients in order to give them the picture they envision?
When I’m contacted to schedule a photo session, one of the first questions I ask is if there is a style they’re looking to achieve with the photos. Since all of my shoots are on location and in natural light, finding the perfect place to realize their vision turns out to be one of the most important steps in capturing their style.
Where’s the most idyllic place you have ever shot a portrait?
My sister Jordan used to live in Sedona, AZ with her husband and three kids. At the time, the third, Hannah, was on the way and Jordan needed her pregnancy pictures taken. Sedona is internationally renowned for its breathtaking views and artistic vibe. We ended up taking pictures at Tlaquepaque, an outdoor shopping district fashioned after an authentic Mexican village, at dusk. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
You must take hundreds of shots in a session. How do you know when one is just right?
Unlike landscape photography or photojournalism, portraits rely fully on the relationship between photographer and subject. The best photos of the session undoubtedly come when the subject is most relaxed and confident. When shots are taken at this moment, everyone at the shoot just knows that’s “the one”.
What advice in terms of the best equipment to purchase would you give to photographers just starting out?
There are three DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) powerhouses in the game right now: Canon, Nikon and Sony. Each have comparable camera bodies for different skill levels. Since I shoot with Canon, I know that any of the Rebel series DSLR camera bodies are absolutely wonderful for an incredible price.
What does photography mean to you?
Whether a framed picture of the Eiffel Tower or a snapshot of your childhood pet, I love that photography captures a moment to be cherished again, later.