Brittney Eady, owner of Brittney Crystal Photography, takes photos to capture milestone moments from infants to the recently engage.
Eady became heavily interested in photography when she was pregnant with her first-born child.
“My husband saw I was taking a lot of pictures with my phone,” she said. “He bought me a camera to take pictures to capture.”
She said it was at that moment she realized some mothers do not have the opportunity or funds to take photos during their pregnancy. She said she did not have the opportunity while pregnant.
“I never thought about photography before then, but not everyone can take that time or money to have professional (photos) of their pregnancy and remember it once it is over,” she said.
Eady’s photography style is matte, hazy, airy, and photographed in natural light. She said it draws people into the picture even more with a natural feel to it.
“Being able to capture special moments for people who are not able to capture otherwise is an amazing love for me,” she said. “My objective is to be able to provide people with a chance to have those memories. We remember things, but as we get older, we remember things differently because it tends to fade. This reinforces it, therefore, when we look back at (photos), it brings smiles or tears of joy to the face.”
Eady said it is a treasure to have professional photos for an occasion. She said she knows cellphones are great at capturing vivid photos, but she said there is nothing like a photo from a professional perfecting the art of photography with his or her camera.
“You are not going to have the same feel as someone who has dedicated (his or her) time to perfecting a photo that highlights the twinkle — the smile in a photo,” she said.
Most of the photos she takes are for families, infants, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays and maternity photo shoots. She said there is something about intimate photo sessions with family and friends, especially newborn pictures.
She said a highlight that takes her heart– is taking photos of children because of their character and free spirit.
“I love taking photos of children because people are ready for their kids to grow up, but don’t remember their kids as little children,” she said. “Yes, you do remember little events like birthdays, sports, but you don’t get to savor the memories. I learned that as a mother. That’s what made me want to pick up the camera.”
Eady said even when children are not having a good day; she enjoys photographing their different moods, even the temper tantrums.
In order to add on to the raw energy, she does not ask her clients to pose for photographs.
“I set them up in a position and tell them to interact with each other,” she said. “Posing isn’t natural.”
She does that same when taking photos for landmark events such as the birth of a newborn, graduations and engagements.
“I love photographing landmark events,” Eady said. “One I thing I see they all have in common is when I give my clients the pictures. I always get something (in) the line of, ‘I never noticed that about myself’ or ‘How did you capture my kids or my mom with that twinkle?’ I even get, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t know this happened while you photographed.’ The fact they call me and say they’re crying of joy while looking at their pictures makes me know I did my job.”
Eady takes pictures of client’s events, so they can enjoy their own event.
“You get to enjoy all the emotions — emotions of everyone there — when a photographer steps in,” she said, “it creates the memories they didn’t know were taking place.”
While Eady takes photos of landmark events in someone’s life, she does not photograph weddings often.
“Weddings are a slippery slope,” she said. “Photographers get caught up in the money and couples get caught up in the glamour and forget the reasons they wanted to get married. I’m not willing to sacrifice my love of photography for those things. That is not the reason God gave me this gift. I would have never thought I would do photography.”
She said if someone asked her six years ago, where she saw her life in three years, she would have never thought of photography.
“Honestly, picking up a camera helped me to discover a part of myself I didn’t know existed,” she said. “I uncovered one of many talents I didn’t know I had. I would have never fathomed I had these talents 10 years ago. I love being a wife and a mother, but I lost my identity in being a wife and mother.”
Eady said she does not see herself involved in anything other than photography. She said it provided her many talents, opportunities and blessings.
“God has blessed me beyond belief; I’m not stopping until he says so,” Eady said.
Even though she does not frequently do weddings, she sometimes advises individuals and couples to research photographers thoroughly before deciding on one.
“Every photographer has their own style,” she said. “People will hire a photographer without looking at the photographer’s work, get the pictures back, but the pictures look another way than they thought it would. It is OK if you tell me no.”
She said she understands if her style is not what the individual or couple wants.
“Natural, hazy, matte is my photography style,” she said. “If you’re looking for flash photography, I’m not the photographer for you. You won’t be satisfied. That’s why it’s an important question for the clients to ask.”
Eady explained that every photographer should have a portfolio of their work to show future clients before signing a contract. It allows the clients to see what they can expect at the end of the day.
She said this also means a photographer should not have to switch their style for the money either.
Eady added that this is the moment where clients should notice how they interact with the photographer. It can help decipher if the photographer will keep the clients at ease for photos.
“I do that by letting them be themselves,” Eady said. “I don’t like to be in a front of a camera and that is kind of how I break the ice. I tell them to be themselves, we talk and laugh, and I take candid pictures of the interaction.”
She said she understands the subconscious can get the best of someone, but she uses her personality to adjust the flow of the session to make her client at ease.
After the photos are taken, pictures are edited, and she reviews the contracts with her clients. Her contracts include digital copies, but she said she provides a few printed photos for her clients.
“Technology crashes and nothing beats holding a physical picture,” she said. “Traditional is more sentimental.”
Sentimental photos are not the only emotional strings she wants to pull with her photography. She wants to continue doing photography series that strike different emotional strings.
She recently completed a photo series that focused on equality, but she used children as her subjects.
“I’m hoping to capture kids in their innocence and how they naturally see each other as being equal,” she said. “This series, I have kids from my own neighborhood — of all different skin colors, ethnicities, (and) hair textures playing. I hope I can relay the message (that) this is how the world should look right now and in the future. Every neighborhood should look like ours.
“There should be no all-Black neighborhood (or) no all-white neighborhood.”
To view more of Eady’s work, click here.
Katrina Wilson hopes you are enjoying these stories. Writing is her outlet. This Carolina girl resides in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband.
This article was edited by Catrina Francis.