Braxton Brown On How To Start In Photography

Braxton Brown stepped into Photodom when the store opened in September. He was interested in learning more about the store and putting the business on the scene with his app Sun Up NYC, which gives people the opportunity to discover different black owned establishments in their area. But, little did he know that he had walked through a door to a quiet obsession, where photography would be his avenue of artistic discovery.

…And the rest is history! To date, Braxton now has a total of ten cameras which span in variety from a Mamiya 645 to a Polaroid One Shot, and he ventures to Photodom to process rolls of film at least three times a week! Functionality seems to be his forte as he is all about understanding the complexity of each camera, what their respective strengths and weaknesses are, and determining what device works best for the particular task at hand. His all time favorite camera is the medium format juggernaut Fuji GSW for the sheer fact that it consistently delivers fantastic images and big negatives.

Inspiration: If a particular person doesn’t spark your creative self, your inspiration may be a bit more niche, in the sense that it’s more about YOU. Braxton wouldn’t say that there is a photographer that he is inspired by, but he’s mainly focused on whatever grabs his attention. Everyday people are his muse, and he’s ultimately excited at whatever grabs his attention. So far, the thing that Braxton has noticed is that he tends to gravitate to old fashioned cars. “You’re not quite sure if I took the shot a week ago, or in the 80s.”

Consistency: When you delve into any world of creativity and are interested in becoming an expert, the key to it is consistency. Photography is no exception to the rule. When it comes to a particular ritual, Braxton keeps it simple. “I don’t leave my apartment without a camera of some kind because you can count on something happening and you want to be ready. Also I make sure to take a least a few photos every day.”

Braxton’s first shot

Finding Your Own Signature Style: This may take a while to develop within. But Braxton dreams of a future of identifying his own signature style so that when people glance at his pictures they would say “Braxton took this. I saw a photographer who put a particular filter over each photo he took, and it was definitely his own sense of style. I don’t want to do anything with a filter on it though, I want to keep it as natural as possible.”

Identifying Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses: When you are starting out as a photographer, it can feel overwhelming in the mechanics of where/how to start. It’s important to know where you are now, and what you already bring to the table. Instead of organizing super stylized shoots with models, Braxton embraces his own natural sensibilities. “I don’t know how to style models into a pose so I just let people do what comes natural. Usually the best photography comes when people do what feels normal.”

Don’t forget to have fun! Photography has been a welcome pastime for Braxton in the midst of the pandemic, and he’s well on his journey to continue his creative process. You can only keep getting better at the things that bring you joy, and when you put consistent energy into it, it will just increase and get better! Check out more of Braxton’s work here and his Instagram here!

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