We had the good fortune of connecting with Bryna Chadwick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bryna, do you think college made a positive impact on your life and career? Do you think it was worth the price tag?
College absolutely made a positive impact on both my life and career. I would not have been able to become a public school teacher without a college education. College gave me the tools necessary to be successful in my chosen career. College also gave me the opportunity to explore a hobby that has now become a side job. Without the ability to take a darkroom photography class in college I would not have discovered the passion I have for photography. There is no doubt, college was worth the price tag.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I am not teaching elementary students, I am a freelance photographer specializing in portrait photography. I honestly just fell into photography after a colleague asked me to photograph her daughter’s senior pictures. She had seen some of my personal pictures on social media and liked my shooting style. The encouragement of my colleague gave me my first real taste of turning my hobby into a business opportunity. I’ve been able to pick up work steadily ever since. I’ve also been blessed with the encouragement of other professional photographers as well. A few lessons I’ve picked up along the way: Don’t be afraid to over shoot (it’s always better to have too many pictures to choose from rather than not enough) and don’t forget extra batteries! Seriously! The most important lesson experience has taught me is this: Keep shooting until you get a ‘real’ expression. Often times at the beginning of a photo session the clients are nervous, and a little self conscious. Shoot casually for a bit to get the nerves out of the way. Once your clients begin to relax in front of the lens they will start to let you into their real world with your camera. That’s when the magic happens.
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?
People visit to So Cal for a variety of reasons. It would be a crime not to take in as many breweries as possible in my opinion. This is a craft beer lover’s paradise! Not to be missed: Modern Times, Mikkeller, Green Flash, and 10 Barrel. Embarcadero Park is a great place to wander. Perhaps catch a show at The Observatory in North Park? While in North Park check out any of the great restaurants, Underbelly is a personal favorite for great ramen. Bottlecraft Beer Shop and Tasting Room is a must before heading out of North Park. Liberty Station in Point Loma is a must do!
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?
I’m sending a huge shoutout to my amazing husband, Steve. This man has been encouraging me since our junior college days over twenty years ago. He has supported every dream. He celebrates my successes and wipes my tears of failure. Every time I look at him and say, “Babe, I’ve got an idea…” he’s already fully on board. I’m also sending a shoutout to my beautiful daughters, Lily and Tatum. As I was developing my skills as a photographer my girls were an invaluable part of the process. They were my willing guinea pigs any time I wanted to try a new technique or pose. I would not be the photographer I am today without their willingness to let mom take their picture…again.