Meet Brooke Snow! An AMAZING Mom!


Meet Brooke Snow!  She’s an awesome photographer and an AMAZING mom!


I have read over Brooke’s interview so many times…each time being encouraged and impressed a little bit more than the last.  She is an amazing mom that got completely hooked on a photography career while “taking a break” from her intense study of Music.   So grab your cup of coffee and let me introduce you to Brooke.  She will truly inspire!  I encourage you to write down a question or two as you are reading, and ask them during Thursday’s forum session.  Enjoy!
Q. What inspires your photography?
The life and personality of my subjects.  It took me a long time to realize that this was actually important. I have too many images the first few years of me trying to fit my subjects into the current trend and using locations and styles that may not have matched up with who I was photographing.  I have a passionate desire now to make my images filled with honesty in every detail.  This requires me to go through a process of getting to truly know my subjects so that we can customize a session based on who they are. I’m currently completely inspired by everyday life and am really drawn to truth, to the imperfections of life, and the opportunity to use storytelling in my work.


Q.  What inspires you as a person, artist?
Journaling, Quietness, and Books. The bulk of my inspiration comes from journaling my mornings pages!  (Hooray for the book, The Artists Way…I’ve been doing morning pages consistently for a year and half now and its changed my life!). I also find inspiration in quietness.  I go on long 3+ mile walks everyday pushing a stroller–and leave the ipod home.  I just try to listen to my thoughts and sort things out.  I have received so many amazing ideas on those walks.  I also get so many great thoughts from books of all kinds.  Adult books and Children’s books alike.  I think books have a special way of opening our imagination in a different way than reading online or looking at blogs will do.  They are also much less distracting since there are no links to click away on and you can stay focused on one idea long enough to receive inspiration.

Q.  What is the best and toughest part about doing photography while being a mom and wife at the same time?

The best part is that I have awesome images of my family life and my adorable son! He’s going to have a stellar photo history!  I also believe that powerful images can change our perspectives in daily life when we see them displayed in our homes.  I could be having a rotten day and be tempted to make it rotten for everyone else…then glance at an image that is infused with emotion and suddenly I’m reminded of how I felt during the moments the images were taken and I have a paradigm shift.  I need those paradigm shifts everyday!  I have dozens of photos displayed all over my house and it makes a difference in my daily life and interaction.  The toughest part is keeping everything in proper balance and perspective.  The allure of having your own business and working from home is a two edged sword. It requires a lot of self discipline to run a business rather than have it run you.  If you’re not careful, you can completely override any so called benefits of “working from home”.  I have worked extremely hard in streamlining my workflow and business tasks to be very efficient and effective.  I don’t want my son to grow up always seeing me on the computer, so instead I have to live a very organized and structured life (which is not my nature).  It used to be common for me to edit into the early morning hours and neglect my husband once he got home if I was already focused on pictures. That’s not allowed anymore.  I have set times I work, set times I’m not allowed to work, and thankfully I can edit an entire session in 30 minutes to an hour now.  What a huge difference that has made in both business and family life!brookesnow3
Q.  When did you start your business and what was the turning point of taking it from a hobby to a business of charging people?
I never wanted to be a photographer.  I spent my whole life training to be a musician and composer.  In early 2006 I borrowed my mom’s SLR camera and shot my sisters bridal pictures for no other reason but a fun sisterly bonding activity.  I shot all in auto and copied every pose and location from a local photographer friend that I admired.  Out of sheer luck, mixed with a dose of having a beautiful graceful subject who was already completely natural in front of me and the camera–the pictures turned out breathtakingly fabulous!   During the wedding, the legit pro hired for the event saw my images displayed, complimented my work and offered to have me come and spend time with her at her studio (which actually never happened since I lived a few hours away.) Nonetheless, from that experience, I was infected with a bad case of false confidence!  I thought surely I must be a protege or something 😉 😉 I was too naive to know how much I didn’t know.  Two weeks later friends were booking me for engagement pictures and the word spread rapidly.  I didn’t even own my own camera yet!  I was in business after borrowing a camera for 2 hours! Do not try this at home!!! I was a frustrated music grad student at the time so having a creative outlet that was this exciting was a welcome relief and I dove right in with no thought.  I will be the first to admit that I jumped into business much too soon, and took the hard road of trial and error and learn as you go.  I had no experience, no technical knowledge and soon discovered there was a whole lot more to achieving consistently great images. I got a delicious taste of humble pie.


Q. What is one or two pieces of marketing/self-promotion ideas that you can give our newbies? (something you did to get your name out there).
The photography world is much different now than it was even five years ago.  I don’t think I would have experienced the same turn of events, were I to start now in the same fashion as I did before.  Word of Mouth has always been my strongest referral.  I moved two years ago to a town three hours away and had to start from scratch in building exposure and clientele.  Anticipating this move, I spent a lot of time preparing for it–which is how I should have done it the first time.  I took an entire year to rebuild my portfolio to represent work that was my personal vision and that I enjoyed shooting.  I spent time discovering who I really was as a photographer, completely branded myself, hired a designer–who created my fantastic website and helped me establish a strong online presence, and I learned what my purpose was. This move and transition was still hard work and took time.  I tried a variety of marketing ideas (networking with local businesses, magazine ads, old fashioned posters around town, referral programs, facebook ads, donating to charity auctions, setting up a booth at the local farmers market, etc.), but still …  I believe that succeeding this time around was mainly a result of finally being prepared.  I knew the technical side of photography inside out, and I had a very strong portfolio.  As those new jobs started trickling in from a variety of marketing efforts, I was ready!  And of course word of mouth started to build again.brookesnow9
Q. What are the classes/workshops/DVDs that you’ve watched to teach yourself photography? Were they helpful?
I’m lucky enough that I didn’t have to teach myself everything!  My personal education took root when I was in grad school studying music. I had a piano student (Dustin Fife) who was a pro photographer.  We actually traded lessons for an entire school year, so I got one on one training and critique on a consistent basis.  I know I’m blessed.  I’m truly and forever grateful for that experience. It changed everything for me and is a core reason of why I now teach.  I hope to give back on that piece of providence.  When I decided to begin teaching photography classes, Bryan Peterson’s book “Understanding Exposure” was a break through for me in knowing how to explain all those concepts to someone else.  He’s a great teacher.  The art of teaching is a great teacher as well 🙂 Just like we were required to do book reports in school so we could better digest the concepts of what we had read, teaching and designing structured curriculum’s has been a huge educator for me in the same way.   You want to learn photography better? Try to teach it to someone else.  You’ll find out pretty quick where the gaps of your understanding may lie.
Q. Can you tell us a fun back story behind this GREAT  photo!
These two brothers were actually misbehaving!  It was one of those glorious family shoots where bribes were being tossed around and the parents were super stressed that the boys weren’t following their orders.  I just took a quiet role and shot their reaction to being disciplined.  It’s one of my favorites from the shoot!  I totally believe there is an art of knowing WHEN to take the picture!  I do however thing this photo is better off not knowing the back-story, so I probably shouldn’t have just told you all that 😉

Q.  What type of camera equipment did you have when you first started shooting  portraits? And what have you added to your camera bag since then?
My first camera set up was a Nikon D70 with the kit lens plus the 70-200mm 2.8. Telephoto lens–an extremely high quality lens worth about three times more than the camera! The difference in quality in pictures taken with that fancy lens
compared to the kit lens was astounding and I shot nearly everything with the telephoto (which when you think about it can be a little tricky in tight spots!)  I know having such a high quality lens helped my confidence and the quality of
the images.  Today, I hardly ever use that luxury telephoto lens.  Its still fabulous, but doesn’t quite fit my shooting style.  I shoot mainly with primes now (fixed focal length lenses), the Nikon 24 mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8.  Bonus:  They’re also more affordable (wink. wink.). If I were to do it all over, I’d get a high quality camera body and a 35mm or 50mm 1.4 lens to start out.  I often say that if I had to, I’d run an entire business just off that. In my opinion, you really don’t need much gear,  but what you do have should help you achieve artistic vision.  Those lower aperture prime lenses and my trusty camera bodies help me to do that.  I currently shoot with the Nikon D700, and Nikon D7000.brookesnow8

Q. Is there one more piece of advice you’d give to newbies?
I always love the advice to “be true to yourself”, but I think it needs a qualifier.  Truly learning what your style is, who you are as a photographer, establishing confidence in yourself and your work, and having the courage to be yourself and not just follow the trends–takes some serious time and is an evolution.  This photography journey is just that–a journey!  I love what Me Ra said recently about not looking at time as the enemy, but instead we need to learn to see time as an essential source of strength. Anything that truly lasts in this world requires a proper gestation period for growth. And that growth comes through care and nourishment.  Its easy to compare our little seedlings to the big tree’s in the world around us.  We need to remember that time and consistent nourishment is the only way to establish deep roots, and grow into our own unique selves.  Have some patience, faith and keep that perspective bright.  Oh yes.  And don’t be surprised if you totally change your focus, niche, style, and preferences many times a long the way!

P.S.  Don’t forget…we are so fortunate to have time with Brooke tomorrow night on the SOARORITY forum for this month’s Ask and Learn Session from 5-7pm PST.  You won’t want to miss this one if you are interested in lifestyle photography!
Have a great day!
Wendy 🙂


  1. Brian says:

    Brooke, Thanks for such thoughtful answers and I love your photos.

  2. Shawna says:

    What wonderful insight, brooke, thank you! I love that library shot. And how true for ourselves (and clients too!) to have our favorite moments on the wall to remind us of those good feelings on bad days. More happy walls = more happy moments ;0). Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kelly says:

    Worlds are colliding today! My two favorite photogs in one place! 🙂 Can’t wait to see Brooke on the forum tomorrow night!

  4. Michelle says:

    Brooke sure it an AMAZING mom. I have been following her work since I saw a comment on here from her a few years ago. Not only is she a wonderful photographer, but she also seems to have such a kind heart and is always sharing such great things on her blog. Great interview!

  5. Beryl says:

    Great interview from Brooke today! She is such a down to earth, friendly photographer and I love her work.

    Note to self: get more family photos on our bare walls. I need to smile more during the day. 🙂

  6. kristen says:

    I love this! thanks Brooke & Me Ra. And I must have found you (Brooke) on here years ago too (like michelle), because I’ve been following your blog for a couple years & can’t even remember where I found you. Love your images & your honesty! Great interview- xoxo

  7. Brook you’re amazing! what a great interview!

  8. Theresa LaFrance says:

    “Its easy to compare our little seedlings to the big tree’s in the world around us.” in learning the world of photography, these words are so true. Thank you for this insightful interview. Love love love your pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Pascaline says:

    brooke i’m mera’s daghter love the photos:)

  10. Debbie says:

    Brook, thank you for a great interview from the heart.
    Your pictures are beautiful. It will be a great session tomorrow night.
    Thank you too MeRa.
    I look forward to these sessions, that help us grow!!

  11. Dawn Herring says:

    I was inspired by your photography and intrigued by your approach to life. You have a wonderful enthusiasm and generous energy. I appreciate the fact that journal writing inspires you and is such an integral part of your life. It shows that keeping a journal can be a catalyst to other creative pursuits. 🙂

    I have chosen your interview, Meet Brooke Snow! An Amazing Mom!, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 4/6/11 for all things journaling on Twitter. I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and my blog, Refresh with Dawn Herring.

    You’re welcome to follow my @JournalChat account on Twitter for all things journaling. 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing your creative life and journaling with us!

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    @JournalChat on Twitter for all things journaling

  12. Christina says:

    Thank You

  13. Rhonda says:

    Thank you Brooke. I won’t be able to be in the forum tomorrow night because both of my boys have baseball games, but I look forward to reading all that goes on there. I really appreciate you giving of your time to help us newbies.
    Thanks again!

  14. Me Ra & Brooke- Thank you for this wonderful interview. Last summer I tricked my family into driving with me from California to Utah for Brooke’s Advanced Pro class by planning a camping trip in Southern Utah. After a week in the amazing Utah desert I got to spend a fantastic weekend with Brooke. I learned so much that trip- as a photographer, mother, wife, woman- all of it.

    Brooke & Me Ra- two inspiring women making this world a better place with their kindness, generosity, and amazing spirits!

  15. Cyndi says:

    Wow, that was a really great interview. It makes me feel so uplifted with the possibilities! Sincerely appreciate this Me Ra and Brooke!

  16. Tammy Snyder says:

    Thank you for the inspiration and wise words. I so enjoyed reading what you said about setting times that you do your work. Period. That is discipline and something I need to begin tweaking and sticking to again. I also am happy to read what your choice of lens and camera bodies are. A reminder as I continue to save and research for a new body.

    Your honesty is so helpful. Thanks for allowing Me Ra to interview you and share with us. And Me Ra, thank you for your insight of knowing that this is one beautiful woman we needed to get to know and glean from.

  17. […] I have an interview featured on Me Ra Koh’s blog! […]

  18. Brooke Snow says:

    I am just so humbled! All of you are so wonderful! Thank you so much for this opportunity to share. I love Me Ra, I love photography, I love the amazing industry of support. So honored. Truly. So neat to see some comments from fabulous people I’ve had the pleasure of working with!

  19. Jen says:

    What a wonderful and encouraging interview! I want to be like Brooke when I grow up (artistically)! 🙂

  20. MeRa And Brooke!! My 2 photogs that I admire so much…so bummed i missed the forum!! I love having examples like you two to inspire me to go to the next level!

  21. Me Ra says:

    Brooke, I can’t stop laughing about the story behind the BW photo of the two boys! Brilliant!!! Brilliantly hilarious and inspiring! You are such a gift to the blog and forum this week. Thank you so much for ALL your time and heart.


  22. davina says:

    Brooke, You are so amazing, organized, and inspiring. This is such an excellent and transparent help to women. Thank you!

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