A Brief History by Bryan Butterfield
Today I start another chapter in my photography career. I am super excited to announce this next step.
For the last two years I have travelled. A lot! In 2016 I was gone on average, one out of every five days. I have enjoyed working around the country and abroad. Because of my schedule I was never able to focus on my projects (See the section “Last year” below). Well that is changing. This year I have more time at home and more time to pursue my craft. Will I still travel? Yes, but the in between times will be filled with local gigs. Which hasn’t happened since 2014. Announcing...
Please visit the website and share this post with your friends and business associates. Elise and I decided years ago that we wanted to see my photography craft to flourish. After all the years of hard work we are finally seeing the benefits. So please help us grow and share this great news.
What is Image & Film?
A lot has changed since I first started photography eight years ago. I have narrowed my focus down to just a few offerings. The new product I am most excited about is: “Your Profile Story”
This video product will highlight businesses and people who want to share their unique story. I don't create ads or product videos, we capture inspiring moments that speak directly to followers and customers. It's a new approach to marketing. Through visual narrative, we capture the heart and soul of business and people. If you have someone that inspires you, send them my way.
Here is a list of other products offered:
As an artist it is very difficult to find your niche. Sometimes it takes years of experimenting to find what you are good at and what you “want to do”. So have I found my niche… maybe? For years I have been asked, “so you photograph families and weddings right”. Wrong. Yes I photographed a few weddings and a few children/families (six plus years ago). But it was always for friends or family. I will still continue help close friends. But it’s been years since I offered those as a service.
A History Lesson (Lighting Bryan)
Since 1999 I have been using the name Lighting Bryan in various forms. It all began in my early days in theatre. In 1996 a neighbor who worked as a teacher at my middle school offered me a position in the technical theatre program. I vividly remember my first experience in the program. I was told to show up on a thursday evening to sit and watch someone run the sound and light board. This way I could see if it was something I really wanted to do. It was the final choir concert, the largest program of year. The theatre was packed, and everyone was running around in panic mode (later I found out this is normal). The technical theatre teacher was out due to an emergency. And the person that was supposed to show me how to run the light & sound was mysteriously missing. The choir director in panic, barged through the large metal backstage door and shouted, “are you running lights and sound?” I told her that this was my first time in the theatre and had NO IDEA what I was doing. She told me that there was no time and I must get upstairs to run the boards. She spent 60 seconds showing me around. Out of desperation we both put on headsets and she called the entire show to me while she was on stage directing the choir. Its an image I will never forget. Every light cue and every sound cue was called while conducting her choir. She even explained which sliders I needed to use and where they were located. After the program was over she told me the show was one of the best she had directed. I was instantly hooked. My love for light and art was just beginning. As the years progressed I found my passion for theatrical lighting. The nickname Lighting Bryan stuck.
Drawing with Light
An image I took as a kid before I knew anything about photography. My mom loved this image and hung it on the wall for years. | 1994
In high school I was accepted into a new program called Computer Arts. It was one of the first of its kind. We used this little known program called Photoshop. It was nothing like it is today. Everyday I spent hours messing around with found images. I would create funny signs and restore old images. Back in those days to cut out a single image it took hours if not days. You would move around the image a few pixels at a time, drawing new pixels and erasing others. I loved it. I was also in yearbook. I took a few images here and there but loved layout and manipulating the images more. It wasn’t until I was married that I finally took a true interest in photography.
We decided to get a camera because we wanted to photograph our fun motorcycle trips. At first all I wanted was a small cheap camera. Elise wanted something more fancy (she loves photography) and kept trying to persuade me that I needed to get into photography. We decided on getting this fancy compact digital camera. It had all the bells and whistles. We agreed to splurge and get the camera. But it must have been fate, because when I went to purchase the camera (from Office Max, who buys cameras from Office Max?) It was gone. They had a sale and that camera model was out of stock. I spent a VERY long time in the store looking and searching for another compact digital camera. But to my surprise an entry level DSLR was on a fantastic sale. The Canon Rebel XTi was only one hundred dollars more. I called Elise and asked her what she thought. She encouraged me to get the DSLR. So there you have it. Its Elise’s fault for my INSANE OBSESSION with photography.
To this moment I still wake up and think, what can I photograph today. I have not been able to slow down my thirst for creating images. Soon I began photographing friends and family.
A Photography Career?
The image below is a photograph of my sister, Aubrey. It was the first image I created that made me wonder if I could do photography as a career. From that moment forward I knew I wanted to make my career photography. In fact two years later it won second place for professional portraiture.
At the time I had just enrolled at Weber State and was attending some classes on campus. I was drawn to the student newspaper, The Signpost. One day while walking past a paper stand I saw a woman straightening the papers. Randomly I asked if they ever hire photographers. To this day Allison loves to tell the story of how we met and how my photography career started at The Signpost.
Two months after starting with the Signpost I became the Photo Editor. It was one of the most time consuming jobs I have ever had. And I loved every minute of it. I owe my career to that paper. It helped pay for college and made me use my camera everyday.
New York Times Award
It was one of the best moments of my life. In 2012 I won the New York Time Photo Essay Contest for the American Democracy Project. Not only did I receive an award that year but the New York Times provided me a grant that paid for the last two years of college.
Around this same time Lighting Bryan Photography was born and I started shooting professionally.
2016 was by far my favorite year of my life. I traveled and traveled... and traveled. In 2013 a request was sent out to have a photographer at an event in Park City. It just so happened that a friend of a friend of a friend passed the message along and it found me. I took the gig. I became very interested in how large scale events functioned. I continued to work on events over the years when opportunities came. Perhaps the most important is the people that I traveled and worked with, they are some of the most talented and best people in the industry. I have learned so much over these few years. Last year, I traveled more then I ever had and visited some of the best locations in the western hemisphere.
I Have Seen
As a photographer I have photographed some of the best athletes on the planet, worked with Fortune 500 brands, social media celebrities, and government. I have been in private meetings with dignitaries, rubbed shoulders with CEO’s from around the world, been on stage with Ice Cube and even flown up and down the Wasatch Front in a Black Hawk helicopter with the United States Air Force. It has taken me to exotic locations, beautiful hotels, and places I didn’t know existed.
But it sure didn’t start that way! Lots of blood, sweat, and tears have been shed trying to achieve my goals. In fact, I will never finish reaching goals. It seems like every time I reach a goal, a new one pops into my head and I am off chasing that dream.
Thank you for reading my ramblings! I truly hope you will reach for your dreams and decide everyday who and what you spend your time on.