Brooke Bryand {Women On A Mission}

Truth Teller. Passion Pursuer. Commercial Photographer.

Knowing Brooke is a true blessing - being her friend is an honor. She deeply believes that everyone should live their life to the fullest. This means not settling, doing your best, showing up, and really loving where you spend your time. She is an example of this in how she runs her business and how she invests in her family. She is fiercely loyal and honest, both with herself and others. In addition of being one of the photographers on this shoot, Brooke took all the custom photography for my website (and most of my clients).

If you can only take one thing from her interview, I hope that it is that you truly are in charge of how you live your life. So never settle, ask for what you want, and work like hell to make it happen.  

In Her Own Words:

Who I Am: I believe in living life passionately and with purpose. My hubby and I have an agreement that nothing in our lives should be on the "default setting" - to always be intentional with our actions.

How I Got Here: Each year I assess my entire world from top to bottom; from family to physical location to the business to friendships to the person I am to the community around me. This process keeps me accountable to continue striving to become my best self and (hopefully!) improve with each passing year.

What I Do: I am passionate about using my craft to make others feel better about themselves. One of my greatest joys is creating an image of someone and showing them a side of themselves they didn't see, whether it's a fleeting moment of connection between a mother and son or the headshot of someone who forgot the beauty they give the world each and every day. 

Q&A With Brooke

What is the lesson you wish you could go back and teach yourself? Love yourself. All of yourself. Be self-aware and humble enough to know when you are in the wrong, and reach out to mend any burnt bridges from your past. It is incredibly freeing to not have skeletons behind you but rather new opportunities in front of you in order to become your best and most fulfilled self. 

How do you start and end your day? I start my day by waking up before everyone else in the house, getting coffee and enjoying the silence. I end my day crashing on the bed and typically falling asleep before my head even hits the pillow. I try to eek out reading a few pages of my latest guilty-pleasure novel, but typically fall asleep in the first paragraph. I love that this is who I am because I feel like I end each day having used all the gas in the tank. 

What part of your work do you enjoy the most? I love it when a company comes to me asking for straightforward photos, but then they allow me to really dive into their business and get to the heart of what will actually move the needle to impact their goals.

For example, a company may approach me to refresh headshots of their executive team, but as we discuss their business we may uncover that they have drop-off on the website because people have trouble connecting to them in a human way. Perhaps we need to also do a lifestyle shoot of their own employees in their office to make them more approachable and real to their internet viewers. 

What’s something that everyone loves/talks about but makes no sense to you? Sports! I love to play them, but don't get the obsession with remembering stats and scores.   

What does balance look like? Balance looks like having enough. Enough hours in the day. Enough time with friends. Enough reserve energy to be "fun mommy" for my kids. Enough space to create for the joy of creating and not for the financial necessity of it. I struggled for years to find balance, especially in the first five years of mommyhood. I would occasionally nail it, but more often than not I felt a constant sense of rush and falling behind. It is only recently that I feel like I have true balance.  I take care of myself...I go to the gym, I get a massage once a quarter that is my "me-day", I found a sport (volleyball) to play that I gave up for the last 20 years but brings me more joy than I can express.

And I stopped being apologetic for needing things to fill my own bucket. I now realize what many before me already knew - that if my bucket is empty, how will I have anything to give? I feel the most at peace I have felt in a long, long time.