We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Gaines and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittany, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from New Orleans, La. Growing up, my family moved around a good bit. All of this moving around the city (then eventually to two different states) before I turned 18 gave me the opportunity to meet different types of people. I learned at a really young age that not all people are the same; different backgrounds, religions, and upbringings in general makes every person unique. Today, I like to capture those unique quirks and make them in to lasting memories. Yes, cell phones have changed dramatically from the time I was nine to now, and in this day and age, everyone has a camera in their pocket at all times. It takes a dedicated eye and patience to craft a story from images. Somewhere in middle school is where I developed my knack for storytelling. It used to be in the form of words in countless amounts of notebooks and journals, nnow most of my stories are in the form of images.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I tailor each of my sessions to the client. Everyone’s story is different, therefore their images are a direct reflection of them. The one thing that puts the “Queen’s” touch on my images are my use of color. I love vibrant scenes and sets. I am most excited when I see my client’s reactions to the final product. These reactions range from thrilled to emotional, and everywhere in between.
The journey to where I am currently was not easy one bit. I, just like many business owners, faced outside forces that seem to not want me to be great. After many tears, stress-filled days, and lack of motivation, I just kept going. Bringing my camera with me to places, even if I don’t actually shoot anything. Drawing out different portrait ideas. Digging through countless amounts of inspiration. Passing out millions of business cards. Talking to friends and family. All of these things helped me continue on, even when I felt like I wanted to give up.
I have learned quite a few lessons along the way. My number one piece of advice to any photographer, or artist in general, is that you aren’t alone. I learned all too well that art allows us to express what our words sometimes cannot. You are heard, you are seen, and we very much care.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I absolutely love the Montrose area of town. Its very open and lively. There’s a little bit of something for everyone here: different restaurants to try, different types of people from different backgrounds, and different art galleries. I always tell anyone I meet about the Graffiti Building downtown! This is a great place to have photos taken, do video shoots, and host events. Downtown Houston is also a little more fun than some people give it credit for. There are different parks in and around the downtown area, where you can almost always find an event, or four, going on. There is also a 6 mile underground tunnel system, connecting many of those parks and other building together. This tunnel system is literally an underground mall, full of stores and eateries. I have yet to explore the whole thing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Many people have come into my life and many people have left. Each and every person have molded me to be the person I am today in some form or fashion. Grow Dat Youth Farm 2012 Crew is where I first allowed myself to truly be myself. All of the moving around and starting over that I was subjected to caused me to not keep lasting relationships with people, especially when I felt like I would be ripped away from someone as fast as I could blink. Johanna, Jabari and Leo helped with many aspects in my life. The many friends I’ve made (and kept) while attending The Art Institute of Houston pushed me forward without even knowing. My Mentor and friend Jeanne has always been a creative backbone for me to lean on. My success comes in part from many friends and family, especially my little brother Jerry Gaines and my boyfriend Chris Osby Jr of Oz-Bee Films, and my professor James Stevens. There are way too many names to drop, but my love for each and every one of you runs deep. My last shoutout will always go to my mother. She always embraced and accepted my love for different arts and different forms of expression. When she found out that I got accepted into an art school to pursue photography, I think she was more excited that I was. Now that I have my own business, I am sure she would be so proud.