Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Brooke.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
8 years ago, I started out as a sports journalist and found that as much as I loved the power of writing stories, I was passionate about the photographs of people that accompanied them. I felt those images brought another level of depth to the stories, equally powerful and significant. So, I began taking photos of everything that came across my path (sports, seniors, families, and of course weddings!) because I truly wanted to want those photos to tell the stories of not just what was happening at that moment but who the people were experiencing it.
Photography remained a hobby for several years throughout college until I studied abroad my junior year. I quickly fell in love with traveling and longed even more to photograph the people I met along the way. To this day, I still flip through those photographs and I’m instantly taken back to those moments, those people, and those stories. After a lot of soul-searching in those final 2 years of college (aka changing my major 4 times), I graduated with a degree in education, but I realized how much more my heart just longed to sit with people all over the world, get to know them, and photograph their stories so they can one day relive those moments forever.
So I decided to follow that passion, an intern with a local wedding photographer and 6 months later I launched my business. I didn’t know what was gonna happen or where it would go, but I was confident that being a photographer is what I was created to do, to connect and serve people. Along the way, I learned how much I love couples and that I just love. And because of both of those, I realized that I’m totally cool with forever being a third wheel.
Now two years later, here I am! A full-time wedding photographer, traveling around the world connecting with the raddest people and photographing their love stories, and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else! (AND yes, I still have a big heart for education! In addition to photographing couples, I work with local and international non-profit organizations photographing their stories!! I also have some long term goals to incorporate teaching into my business!)
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Far from it!!!! Stepping out of your comfort zone, taking a risk, and starting a business is equally terrifying as it is exciting because you’re entering into a whole new ball game. In the end, it’s worth it, but it comes with a lot of challenges.
One of the challenges I faced is learning how to wear a lot of different hats. When you run your own business, it’s all on you. You’re not only the photographer, you’re the business owner, CEO, marketer, social media account manager, travel agent, coordinator, email guru, website builder, brand rep, accountant, customer service provider, etc. Really buckling down and learning how to fulfill those roles and do them well on my own was difficult and still is! But thankfully I have a community around me to help me learn, grown and succeed in each area.
Another area that has probably been the biggest challenge is a comparison and finding my niche. The wedding photography industry is huge, and there are SO many incredibly talented creatives. I’m so honored to be a part of it. Battling that feeling of not being good enough or what I offer doesn’t stand out is a daily thing, but something that has helped me along the way is reminding myself of my why and to not compare my month 3 or year 2 to someone’s month 11 or year 6.
This goes along with what I just mentioned, but having patience is a challenge in an of itself. The realizing this is going to take time and a lot of hard work. I feel like today’s culture has a way of making us feel like we have to be 10 steps ahead of where we are, and if we’re not there yet, we’re not cut out for it. Things take time, and I have to remind myself that I am right where I need to be in order to one day reach the big goals I’ve created for my business. The process is where growth happens.
These are just a few of the challenges I’ve faced but all of which are really pushing me toward being a better person, photographer, and business owner!
Please tell us about Alyssa Brooke Photography.
I’m a full time traveling wedding & elopement photographer and owner of Alyssa Brooke Photography! Nothing gets me more excited than third wheeling with incredible couples all over the world and meeting them right where they’re at. Whether we’re running around the city they fell in love, or on the cliffs of Ireland where he proposed, or inside the home that’s being built, I’m there. My heart for my business is to connect with my couples and serve them to the absolute best of my abilities as their photographer. I strive to create a safe and comfortable space for my couples to be themselves in front of my camera and feel like they have me not only as their photographer but their friend they (and those around them) can trust.
And I feel like that is what sets me apart! I want their photographs to truly feel like them, and getting to know their story is a huge part of my business. When my couples see their photos, I want them not only to see their day captured excellently, but really see themselves, their personalities, and their love story reflected in them. Serving my couples also means extending that friendship to every single person in their lives, so at weddings, I’m all about capturing their relationships with those around them because of their tribe matters. So grandma wiping tears, best friends from college getting down on the dance floor, new siblings toasting to each other, give me all of it.
It’s a business of people, and they’re entirely at the forefront.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Feeding the ducks with my grandmother! Every time we would visit her, we took all the ends and crusts of the loaves of bread my grandmother had saved for us, and walk to her neighborhood pond to feed the ducks!!
- Website: www.alyssabrookephotography.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/alyssabrookephoto
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/alyssabrookephoto