We’re more than happy to shine our Photographer Spotlight on Bri Morse of Bri Morse Imagery today. A master at capturing the small moments that make us smile, Bri is also a creative visionary who loves to play with light and reflections. Check out some of her amazing work as well as some insight on how she became the photographer she is today.
Have you always wanted to be a photographer? I did not start out thinking I would be a photographer. I was actually a ballet dancer when I was younger, and it was all I lived for. It’s a very tough lifestyle though, or maybe I just wasn’t tough enough. I was always inclined towards the arts though, and I quickly fell in love with photography my first semester in college. It sounds so cliche, but once I started, I was hooked. I can definitely credit my Aunt Karen for influencing my interest in photography. She went to college for art, she’s incredibly talented, and I was always looking at her work and the books she brought home when I was younger. It’s funny how even now, I still can vividly remember certain images like they are burned in my mind. That’s the power of all art I think, especially photography. It makes an emotional impact on you and you never forget that picture.
What gets you up in the morning, literally or figuratively. Literally, my two kids! We have two boys, 6 and 3 ½. I always hear our youngest padding down the hallway first to come in and wake us up. “Good morning!” he says. Followed up with, “ I am hungry, can we go downstairs now?” I was never a morning person but I am now grateful for an early start to my day with their two happy faces.
Figuratively, I am always motivated by what’s going on with my art and work. I tend to be a bit of a workaholic and I’m always excited to get things done. I always have my checklist of things I feel I need to stay on top of but I am always thinking of new personal projects I’d like to try… from photography projects to home decorating projects and everything in between.
What are looking forward to most right now? Enjoying the summer with my kids, family, and friends as much as I can. I love the warmer weather so I want to get to the beach as much as possible when I’m not working. We are also taking a trip to the Arizona this summer and I cannot wait to go! I was there only once years ago, and the Grand Canyon and Sedona made such an impression on me. I can’t wait to feel awestruck again by everything out there.
I’m also looking forward to pushing my creativity over the next few months. I’ve been playing around with shooting film more again, so I’m excited to incorporate that into all of the awesome clients and weddings I have approaching.
What really gets to you at weddings? Makes you emotional? Makes you laugh? Anytime I see anyone cry or get emotional, I always choke up! I mean, anyone… like complete strangers I haven’t even met. There are so many moments in a wedding day that are charged with emotion, that’s part of why I love photographing them. Everyone always looks for the “big” moments, when the groom sees the bride for the first time, the parent dances, and so on. I love all of those, but what I love most are all the the subtle in between ones. For instance when the bride and groom share a laugh or a glance between them when no one is looking. Or when a little kid is doing something so hysterical on the dance floor in the midst of a ton of adults not paying any attention above him. Those are the moments that really get me.
How do you know you’ve done a great job for your wedding clients? Of course, every photographer loves to hear that their clients love their photos but it goes beyond that for me. When someone conveys to me that I truly told their story and captured the spirit of their wedding day, I know that I served them the best I could. I feel like one of my greatest strengths is being able to read people, reading between the lines, and paying attention to how everyone interacts. It tells me a lot about all the different personalities in front of me, so that I can make everyone as comfortable as possible. I want them to trust me and let their guard down. I feel like I really understand them and they get to know me as well. At the end of our time “working together” I want to go out to dinner and hang out with them again!
What do you find to be the biggest challenge or most difficult part of being a wedding photographer? It goes back to trying to be tuned in to everyone’s personalities and the dynamics between all the relationships you have present on the day of a wedding. I have to pay attention to all the details, and it requires sensitivity and a lot of my energy. There is so much going on that day…everyone is excited, anxious, emotional, you name it! Emotions are amplified. I feel like part of my responsibility is not only to creatively and honestly document the day, but also to keep everyone calm if any little glitch arises. I want my couples to truly enjoy the day and be as in the moment as they possibly can be.
What is your creative vision? What do you desire to express with your photos? I want to convey something real and genuine, nothing that’s overly contrived or put on. Just great moments that are beautifully captured.
Besides weddings, what would you love to be able to photograph? Honestly, if I didn’t shoot weddings, I would still photograph people in any way I could. Fine art portraits, photojournalism, fashion….anything and any combination. Everyone has a story to tell. I guess that’s why I sort of fell into weddings, it combines all of the above!
Do you have a favorite camera or lens? Do you shoot digital or film or are you a hybrid-shooter? I’ve never been much of a technical person, or a photographer that’s all about the latest and greatest gear out there. Don’t get me wrong, good tools are necessary, but any artist is only as good as their ideas and their eye. I’ve gotten fantastic images out of a plastic Holga camera, just as much as I’ve gotten a great image from my camera and lens that adds up to thousands of dollars. I am a Canon shooter and I love all of my prime lenses but, in the past year, I’ve come back to shooting film more. So as of right now, I am a hybrid shooter. I’ve been using my Mamiya again, and I just got a Canon 1N (35mm) so I can use my current lenses with it. It will be interesting to see what unfolds. Digital does have it’s virtue, but I find myself loving film more and more again. It offers something unique and distinct in so many ways….the color and texture of film cannot be replicated, no matter how hard digital tries. I also love how film is more about quality and less about quantity.
One thing you’d like couples to know before their wedding? Two things: 1. Make sure you really gel with your photographer’s personality. Of course you want to love their work, but if you have someone around you all day that is dictating how they think things should go, or causing you more stress by detracting from moments, all the pretty pictures in the world won’t make you forget the experience you had. 2. Don’t sweat the small stuff, what everyone tells you is true: your wedding day will fly by. So roll with whatever happens and be in the moment. Enjoy all the people around you that day, think about it, everyone is there that you love most in the world!
Best advice you’ve ever received about being an artist? I just read a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “comparison is the thief of joy.” You could apply that saying to anything but it really struck a cord with me with my photographic work. I always think I could do better when I am critiquing my own work but when I start comparing my photography to others in a negative way, it’s trouble! Stay true to yourself and what you love to create. If you deter from that, or let other’s opinions dictate what you are doing, it waters down your unique take on things, and definitely takes the joy away from what you are trying to create.
Best advice you’ve ever received about being a happy human? Do the things you love as much as possible, trust yourself, and be brave enough to follow your gut instincts in all areas of life. Then you can never really go wrong.
Thank you for sharing your work and words of wisdom, Bri!