We had the good fortune of connecting with Trae Browne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trae, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always romanticized the idea of being a self-starter. I honestly think it’s just something inside you that compels you to be a pathfinder, a leader. But for a long time I regularly sold my waking life for a wage and benefits. My very last employer was upset with me because I was challenging the operating procedures and trying to best optimize it against the will of the company. When I said he wasn’t capable of doing it properly, he quipped, “Trae if you’re so smart then why don’t you just quit?” And a light bulb appeared as I thought to myself he’s being a jerk, but could I -make what I was making there if I just had more free time? I needed just two hundred dollars a day to make it happen. If I truly am as smart as I thought I was, could I just quit? Well golly gee, with a little courage, I think I just might be able to earn that and more and in less time than I spent at my dead-end job. I quit. Thanks Larry.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Fine art photography. The key phrase is fine art. Photography fulfills many functions for us, but more importantly it’s an art medium. I’m an alumnus of The High School for Performing & Visual Arts as a visual art student. So the thought there was that I was going to be this wildly successful artist. Well life had other plans. I was a runaway and a high school drop out. I floundered for several years after high school expecting to be discovered for my artistic talents. But that didn’t happen. I spent many years since then trying different things out to see what I wanted to do for a living. The problem was I was pretty good at just about everything I tried. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to stick to. Once I resolved to stick to photography I was inspired by the success others had in the business. The only problem was I wasn’t good at photography yet. So I had to practice. I watched numerous YouTube videos on how to use a DSLR camera. I bought tutorials, read books cover to cover and offered myself up to work as an apprentice for successful photographers. I learned. And although I’m still learning and in a perpetual state of learning I crammed 10 years of experience into roughly half that time. Since I began this journey I learned an important philosophical lesson about photography. Know the difference between a good photograph and a great photograph. Good photographs are produced all the time -and usually by good photographers. Great photographs are produced rarely and anybody can produce one. Next I had to overcome impostor syndrome. I had to recognize that I have gathered a pretty decent skill level and all I needed was to believe in myself -as corny as that sounds it’s a thing. Overall I’m still learning something new everyday and pushing myself outside my comfort zone. I work 10 hour days and I struggle to organize and optimize my business. I now have a business partner Josh Didonato who helps me with the day to day despite my belief there just isn’t enough time in the day to get where we want to be. Work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take anyone visiting into Houston’s art district in the East End. Not only does it have the best view of the skyline from there, but artists and art studios are everywhere. So much inspiration can happen just from taking a walk down Navigation Blvd. Join a social cycling group and see more of Houston than most Houstonians. Visit The New Potato say what’s up to my guy Paul and enjoy libations and conversation before watching a movie at the drive-in across the street from his landmark bar.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife Hayley has been supportive of living my dream and without her it literally couldn’t be possible.
Other: Check out Spiraling Photography on Google! https://g.page/r/Cbes1ICQzNcVEAo