I know it’s been a while. It’s been a long while. You probably saw me posting stories on IG from weddings occasionally but not sharing much content otherwise. I’ve been working, searching, learning, living, loving… all of that. This year has signaled a major shift in my life.
I’m extremely thankful for the help I’ve received along the way from friends, hundreds of hours of online courses, countless hours of working and trying new things, working hard and working often. Advice is everywhere and photography isn’t rocket surgery but something was still missing. So about a year ago I started searching for a mentor.
I felt the need to talk to somebody but I wasn’t sure who just yet. I had narrowed it down to a handful of people but this one guy kept showing up on my radar. Not because of ads or anything like that, his name was showing up in the most random places over the past couple years. The universe was trying to tell me something, I needed to talk to Robert J Hill.
Who was this bearded dude that traveled the world shooting weddings in incredibly remote locations but also places like downtown Los Angeles? His photographic style is completely different than mine and would he even be interested in talking with me? I’d heard him speak on podcasts and his attitude was always positive. What really stood out to me was that he never really spoke about photography. Interesting right?
When I get involved in something I don’t just lean into it, I surrender to it. I’m mostly a kinesthetic learner. Last year I shot 63 rolls of film just to learn film types. After all, everything we do is based on that but replicated digitally now but that’s a whole other blog post. I knew I could continue down the path of building an arsenal of photography skills and being as well rounded as possible but while it was going to build skills and confidence, it wasn’t going to make me happy.
Your gift is not your talent. Talent is the result of digging deeper into your craft. Your gift is having the drive to do it.
I ended up booking a 90 minute session with Robert which led to me joining his 1 year mentorship program. I’ve traveled across the country twice in the last 4 months and spent most of my time soul searching. Throughout the coming year I will execute and share what I’ve learned but at the risk of sounding cliche… it’s been a life changing experience.
The biggest and hardest lesson is “Why Weddings?”. Why anything? Why Why Why? You can answer with something as simple as “because I like to” but then ask yourself WHY you like to. Determine that reason and the ask that reason WHY. Start to tap into your WHY and your entire world will shift. Trust me.
Swell Studio was a brand to encompass all the aspects of photography I was interested in, it still is. The problem I faced with it is, how can I build deep, meaningful relationships with my clients if I’m all over the place? If you market to everyone you appeal to no one. Weddings, love stories, fairy tales are all great but human connection is what I care deeply about.
Brian Miller Weddings wasn’t just created as a wedding brand, it was born as a result from many years of self-discovery. As a lifelong introvert, my desire to connect has left me to create deeper relationships with couples that not only create great art but make a positive impact on our lives.
The words on my new website took me literally months to write. During those months I held back from sharing weddings, engagement sessions and other work because I was cooking up Brian Miller Weddings as a brand. I’m currently sitting on a mountain of work I can’t wait to share (some of it was even shot on mountains). I’ve decided that now is the time.
I chose Brian Miller Weddings as a name, rebranded, changed over my social media platforms and built a new website but here’s the truth. It’s not perfect, I’m not really ready to launch, I’ll never fully BE READY. It won’t be perfect but it’s part of my soul and I am proud of it.
Also, another reason for my absence from social media this year is because my wife and I welcomed our son into the world at the end of 2017. This little dude is the absolute best thing to ever happen to the both of us.