Featuring Justin Brownell
When Justin Brownell got out of the Air Force, he had no idea he’d soon make a career out of taking beautiful photos. GI bill in hand, he set off for art school.
The Texas native majored in web development and design, unsure exactly where that path would lead. It wasn’t until he was required to take a photography class as an elective that he started to develop a passion for capturing unforgettable moments.
Finding a Path in Commercial Photography
After college Justin decided to go all-in on his new career choice and established Justin Brownell Photography. While the San Antonio-based photographer started out shooting weddings, he was only a year and a half into running his own business when he landed a position as a photographer in the marketing department of a Fortune 100 company. The corporate gig has given Justin the flexibility to continue pursuing his passions, while affording him the ability to be selective with the jobs he accepts.
“I really enjoy shooting weddings. I tell all my clients that I don’t need to do this, but I do it because I enjoy it.”
Justin says eventually he’d like to establish himself as a high-level advertising photographer while still shooting weddings. “I typically shoot about 15 to 20 weddings a year and my job is super cool about it and very flexible with my schedule.”
Applying a Wedding Photographer’s Skillset to Other Areas in Photography
Now that he knows he wants to focus on advancing more in the corporate photography world, Justin is thankful he got his start in the fast-paced world of weddings. “I think one of the greatest skills that a wedding photographer has compared to a commercial advertising photographer is how flexible and agile they can be in any situation.” He added, “You could throw a good wedding photographer into a room and they can create something epic. Where a corporate set is very controlled, set-up and directed.”
Wedding photographers looking to branch out into the corporate world should know that according to Justin, they already have the necessary skills. “I think coming from a wedding photographer’s standpoint, you’re more flexible and you see a little bit more of how things play out in real-time, which I think is great for anybody that’s trying to cross over into the advertising world.”
Sports photography is also an area where current or former wedding photographers can shine. “In my experience, a wedding photographer is more likely to know how to handle shooting a fast-paced game than a corporate shooter who is used to everything being laid out for them.”
Justin encourages other photographers to pursue work that challenges and inspires them, even if it means trying something new and branching out into a different industry.
Written by Sabrina Sabbagh