Bre Thurston comes to us from San Francisco, and is a wedding and portrait photographer, specializing in authentic, emotionally charged images. She has photographed weddings in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Rome, to name a few. Instead of writing an editorial blog post for us, Bre opted to do a Q&A to help Reset Conference attendees get to know her a bit better!
Is it bad to say that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one? lol. I’d have to say the fact that I go to Home Goods and Nordstrom Rack about once a week. Shhh, don’t tell my husband!
-Most embarrassing moment?
I was in Rome for the biggest wedding of my career. I rented a $700 designer dress to wear for the wedding from Rent the Runway and during bride and groom portraits, I jumped up onto a ledge and my dress split about 10″ up the back, nearly to the bottom of my butt. My 2nd shooter caught the decisive moment (see photo below!)!
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller
(My daughter’s name is Sloane for all you other Ferris Bueller fans!)
-Favorite junk food?
Salt and pepper kettle cooked Lays!
-If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
-Any areas in your life that could use a “Reset?”
Honestly, no. I’m very content and at peace with my life. My husband and I have worked so hard for a long time to get to this place. We have two beautiful children, a home we love, and careers that fulfill us. Sometimes I do have to slow down and not take on too many projects in order to avoid stress, so that’s a constant challenge, but I really can’t complain.
-Have there been moments where you are photographing and you realize that this is bigger than yourself?
Every. Single. Session. That’s why I am a photographer, hands down. I lost my dad unexpectedly to cancer when I was 26 and since that time I have never once taken for granted the value of a photograph. Photographs of my loved ones, especially those that are passed away or elderly are my most cherished possessions and I realize that I am giving those same gifts to my clients. After each session, whether it’s a wedding or a family shoot, I will look at the gallery as a whole and feel the importance of it. I am fascinated by human connection and relationships so being able to document that is a gift that I know is bigger than myself.
-What words of advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t look 5 years ahead if that brings you stress, look one week ahead. What will you do NOW to make even the smallest amount of progress? Before you know it, those 5 years will have passed and each one of your tiny footsteps will have amounted to success and progress that is greater than you would have ever imagined.
-What’s your typical day usually look like?
Coffee, watch some news, check emails, get myself and kids ready for the day, get the kids off to school, head back home to edit/blog/email from my Macbook, have an early lunch (because I rarely eat breakfast), then I try to get out of the house so I don’t go stir crazy and run some errands, back home for another couple of hours before I have to get the kids from school, more tidbits of work if I can squeeze it in, and then start planning for dinner around 5:30, hubby gets home by 6:30, we eat, hang out for a bit, kids in bed, and finally the hubby and I will have a glass or wine or a fancy beer to wind down while we binge on some Netflix 🙂
-What three words best describe your photography style?
Moment-driven, joyful, clean
-Best secret for working smarter not harder?
Outsource! I love to outsource wherever I can, but especially editing weddings. I only edited one of my own weddings in 2016 and it was glorious. I will also not hesitate to raise my prices if I find myself taking on too much. I would so much rather shoot less for more money because I’m constantly looking for find balance between my work and home life.
-Do you feel like attending workshops/conferences are valuable?
Absolutely. I make it a goal to attend at least once workshop or conference per year that I’m not leading or speaking at. So many people go into a workshop or conference with false expectations which is something I’d love to discuss. Sure, smaller, high-end workshops will likely give you something tangible to leave with (because you’re doing shooting demos that are hands on, have one on one access to the teacher, etc) but conferences are just as valuable. When I attend a great conference I leave feeling a fire in my gut, a fire to do something amazing with my business or my photography, a fire to fall back in love with this business all over again. My best work usually comes right after I attend a conference. Being around so many people that share the same passion as you is contagious and uplifting.
-Favorite Software (presets, actions, templates, etc?) I just switched from CS6 to Creative Cloud and I LOVE it. Marissa Gifford also has some amazing actions that I use, especially her black and whites. She is releasing a new set soon that I got a chance to preview and I’m obsessed. I also could not live without Fundy album design software or Photo Mechanic for culling.
-Favorite Photo Find (Lab, forum, camera bag, etc.)
I’ve been a Miller’s girl since day one! I am super honored to have them as my sponsor. Their products are the best of the best but most of all I stay loyal for their great customer service. That’s everything to me.
-A little known fact about you?
I can rap all of Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us”, “Thrift Shop”, and “Downtown”. But don’t ask me to do it in public, haha!
-Summary of what you hope to share with attendees of the reset conference.
I want to share just how easy it is to capture images bursting with authentic joy and emotion through what I call “un-posing”. We will first discuss WHY this is important and how you can find inspiration in your own life, and then I will go over some of the HOW. In my 7 years in business I have never once had a major client issue or a client who came back to me saying they were unhappy. That’s not luck, that’s the root of my business and the way I shoot.
Thanks so much for answering these questions so candidly Bre! We can’t wait to hear what you have to share with us at Reset!!