We had the good fortune of connecting with Brady Enger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brady, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I feel like taking risks is how I got to where I am today. There have been multiple instances in my life and business where if I did not take any of those risks. The opportunities I have been fortunate enough to have may not have come to me.
I was taught from my grandfather that, you have to spend money to make money. I put that mentality when I made the jump to purchase my first full frame camera. After learning with it for almost two years I saw an improvement in my work. I had clients hiring me as well as working my day job. Working practically 12-14 hour days between the two.
Towards the end of 2020, I had the internal debate of if I wanted to take photography full time, and leave the current position I was at. I was absolutely terrified at the thought. I was unsure if I was going to do well, or be successful at it. The thought of, “you never know until you try.” came to me. I knew then it was time to commit to photography. Put everything I have towards growing my business, expanding my clientele, improving my work to produce the top quality I possibly can. That risk and so called, “leap of faith.” was something I knew I had to try. Even if I did fail at it, I would have been disappointed in myself years down the road if I never tried.
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.
I personally view my art in two different categories. Landscape and Real Estate.
Real Estate I do full time, shooting for realtors, vacation rental companies, and individual owners. That wasn’t the most easy task to learn as it took me over two years in order to learn height, angles, editing style, timing, and other tricks I learned by trial and error . I had a bit of help with a realtor friend as well as another real estate photographer to help guide me in the right direction, although it took me some time still. I am thankful enough to be doing photography full time in general. It was a learning curve in order to match what clients were wanting, as well as getting into the rhythm of turnaround time and top, competitive quality and cost.
However, my heart is in landscape and nature photography. It thrills me and drives me in order to capture unique views of different scenes. No matter the time of day. Being up at 3:00AM photographing the milky way. Going out into the forest for sunrise, or down to the lake for sunset. Being out in nature is what I feel connects me to my mom. In solitude with no one around for miles and taking images of nature drives me to keep going. Being in the small town of Big Bear Lake, I see others going to the same location repeatedly and in my opinion, it gets stagnant. I enjoy exploring to new lookouts over our small town where not many have seen before. Getting to those new, unique spots gets the creative juices going, as well as an accomplished feeling as I haven’t seen others images from a new location. There’s times where I will need to go back to a spot with this idea in my head time and time again until I got the image I imagined in my head. Perseverance and patience is needed with most photography. Sometimes it also just takes a bit of luck.
I see others so far in their photography journey and career it can feel discouraging at times. However I still feel as if I am at the beginning of my photography career, and sometimes it’s a challenge just to remind myself, “There is more to do.” Constantly trying to reach out to new potential clientele, work with larger brands or companies have opportunities to grow into the person I see in myself becoming.
I got into photography to help grieve and process the loss of my mother. But found that it is therapeutic in multiple ways. Although I have such ambitions and goals in order to travel, document the world, and enjoy the place we call home. I want my photography to be an example of you’re able to go through a traumatic and heart breaking period in your life, and still make something beautiful out of a difficult period in your life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Most all of my friends and I love camping. I typically take them out to Holcomb Valley to explore the boulders there and see some of the old caves from when miners were searching for gold. It is always a joy to be out in that valley as there is not too much light pollution, and stargazing is a must out there!
Aside from camping, on the social aspect of our town. One of my favorite local spots to go to is Oakside, the food, drinks, and atmosphere is a very mellow yet enjoyable spots to bring friends. After Oakside I would take them down to the Bowling Barn for a little bit of friendly competition, although sometimes it’s a bit more of a challenge since there’s glow bowling!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My story is a tad different than others. I got into photography as more of an “escape” of life. Back in October of 2013 my mother passed away due to an aggressive stage 4 colon cancer. I was off hiking, off roading, and trying to get out of my own head and wanting to be in nature as frequently as possible. I recall taking a sunrise hike with a few friends, and took a photo with my cell phone and posted it to facebook. My father, who is also a photographer, commented, “Maybe it’s time to get you a real camera.”
I took that comment to heart and figured why not. So I began saving up to get myself my first DSLR, a Nikon d5300. From there I enjoyed the complexity of the camera, it got me out into nature and was something for me to focus learning in order to get the shot I was wanting. So I would have to say it’s a mixture of losing my mother at a young age, as well as my father steering me in the direction of photography.