Hi, I’m Brianna Doby and welcome to my blog. Please take a spin around the blog to find samples of my work, tips on how to make your photography session a success, and some general musings about my craft.


Five minute therapist

Sometimes, I've only emailed people or chatted on the phone with them for just a few minutes before we meet for our photo session.

This can be awkward.  In some ways, what a good portrait photographer is trying to do is to get you, the client, to relate to the camera like a best friend.  Like a trusted, delightful friend that you are completely overjoyed to see.

Only reality tv stars and Heidi Klum see cameras this way.  The rest of us fake it.

So, we've never met before, and I stick a camera in your face, and I want to catch a second where you look at that camera like you look at your favoritest person in the universe.  It doesn't seem like it should work, but it does.  Why?

Because cameras don't matter (I know I've told you this before).  Cameras don't matter, photoshop doesn't matter.  The photographer matters.  A good photographer relates to you.  A good photographer can, in a matter of minutes, unlock a couple of things that make you YOU.  When people tell me "Oh, my nephew wants to be a photographer.  Do you have any advice for him?"  I say this: "He has to really love thinking about people, and talking with people, and being--at times--a five minute therapist.  That's the only thing that really has to come from within."

So, the next time you pick up your camera, think about this: it's not about you.  It's about your subject.  It's about helping them look at the camera with warmth and delight.  How can you unlock a little bit of that person to make them feel so at ease that you--and your camera--catch what is most beautiful about them?  I know you can do it!  -xo


Doesn't she look lovely?

I think she is so beautiful.  In 20 minutes, we got around 100 shots--some for professional use, some for personal use.  It was quick, simple, and look at our results...this is why I love photography!


Finding quiet in a busy summer

I have had a busy summer.  Have you?

This weekend, I had three shoots.  A band (Friday), a family (Saturday), a corporate group (Sunday).  I am not complaining--having a busy summer, and a busy weekend, is a wonderful thing for a small business!

But, I have to be careful that my feeling of rush, of excitement, does not travel to my lens.

Do you have that problem too?  That you want to take a picture of the kids being cute, but you don't have the time to wait because we have to get to soccer practice--smile for the camera kids!--now move move move we have to GO GO GO!

I sometimes feel that way both as a photographer and a parent.  I sometimes want to get the shot and go go go!

It never happens that way.

I had a wonderful professor in college who made us meditate during class.  It was an honors class, and he thought we were all too stressed out and moving too fast.  He also assigned enormous amounts of reading, but always said: if you only have a few minutes to study for my class, read the POETRY first.

Poetry and meditation.  He was making us slow down.  And do you know what?  Slowing down made the room for me to do some of the best academic writing I had ever done.

Slowness in photography is much the same.  I'm not telling you to read poetry and meditate (though you can!  Both are lovely!).  I am telling you to:

  • Allow time for your subject (kids, pets, friends, whoever) to acclimate to the environment.  Don't march around, looking for the best spot to take a picture.  Give yourself five minutes to wander in your space before you pick up your camera.
  • Don't insist that everyone look at the camera and smile all the time.  Your subject NOT looking at the camera can yield just as powerful of an image!
  • Realize that a great photograph is something that comes together whether or not you want it to.  Sure, we all *want* great photos, but all we can really do is hope for them, plan for them a bit, and execute as we can.  A five minute window before you have to get to soccer practice just might not get you the photo you want.  But then again, it might... :)

Hoping you have a busy summer, with many small moments of quiet just when you need them.



I am so incredibly excited to announce the winner of the drawing for a year of free photography:

Dani F

And the winner of a special bonus prize*:

Amy C

With over 80 entries, and more than $800 donated to various relief organizations including the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District, all of YOU made a difference for people in need.  Thank you so much!  I am so grateful to all of you for showing your support for wildfire victims, and those people who work to save communities, homes, and lives!

My little ones pitched in, too, with their "Lemon-Aid" stand...what fun!  You can see the little story on them here.  They raised over $1,000!  (It WAS some pretty great lemonade! :)

I am just astounded by the generosity of all of you--my clients, neighbors, and friends.  What wonderful people--and I am so lucky to be your photographer!

*Special bonus prize details will be released later.  First, I'm talking to Amy!  Yay, Amy!!


Excitingly imperfect

I bet you get nervous in front of a camera.

No?  Really?  Yeah....me neither ;)

I also have another problem: I am terribly nervous about being nervous in front of a camera, which results in a fear spiral of OH NO I WILL LOOK AWFUL AND I AM AFRAID OF LOOKING AWFUL NOOOOO which leads to a look of both defeat and defensiveness: I already *know* I will look awful so here's your awful picture, you mean camera.

(This is probably why I am on the other side of the camera for a living.  Boy, there are layers here....)

However, just to be contrary, I absolutely love taking pictures of other young professionals like myself.  And I fully expect them not to be nervous, and have a lovely time.  Tall order!

I think this is why the most common thing I hear during a photo shoot is "Wow, this is really pretty fun!  I look awesome!" (well, the most common thing I hear is "I look bad in pictures!" followed by "Am I smiling weird??", but this is a close third).

YES.  This is pretty fun.  And you do look awesome.  And since it's okay with me that you *not* look directly at the camera, or we play with angles, or I look for a place you feel comfortable or a way to shoot you that makes you comfortable...we will have fun and great results. You will look beautifully, excitingly, magically imperfect.