We had the good fortune of connecting with Brett Bell Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brett, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Hard work does truly pay off. I feel that you have to work hard when your dream doesn’t seem real or it doesn’t appear to be going in the right direction. Believe in your dream and continue to believe! If you don’t believe in your dream, how can you convince others to believe?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a portrait photographer based in Denver, Colorado. I love to manipulate my camera and lighting to achieve insane, outside of the norm portraits using color and shadows.
What I absolutely love about photography is starting with a blank canvas and creating something that wasn’t previously there.
My journey hasn’t always been so clear for me though. I started out shooting music videos off of a camcorder and I wanted to transition into more serious, cinematic style film so I purchased a DSLR camera. In the beginning I had no interest in ever getting involved in photography seriously but over time I started to make a transition and I have not regretted that decision one bit. I’m most proud that I never gave up on a passion that I didn’t know was there and I’ve continued to learn and be a student of the craft.
My journey has been incredibly frustrating at times. I struggled to book sessions with actual people in the beginning, I didn’t always have the best equipment so it took me a while to learn certain techniques.
I’ve gotten to where I am now by keeping God in everything that I’ve do, finding out who I am and staying true to that, being passionate about the craft of photography, and working hard when you don’t think that others are paying attention. The key has been believing in something that doesn’t seem real. I closed myself off from others that I didn’t feel fit the direction that I was and still am trying to go. I don’t have many friends and I’m okay with that, I’m focused. My intention was to close off any outside noise so that I didn’t see or hear anything to distract me. That has been probably the hardest part of my journey, closing myself off from any close friends and relatives in order to remain focused.
One of the biggest things that I’ve learned is to get organized and have a structure on how you operate. I use a calendar regularly, I send out contracts for all of the work that I do whether free or paid work. I don’t try to rush projects under any circumstances. I think that if you carefully take your time on a project, the focus on quality will always come out of it.
I am a passionate portrait photographer that always wants to do something out of the norm. I don’t care to do what others are doing, I want my work to always be unique and stand out! I love to experiment and I am not scared to do so. I love the creativity that can come from freezing a moment in time with a camera!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m honestly a home body. I love being in a small intimate setting but I enjoy eating good food. One place that we would have to visit is BD’s Mongolian BBQ in downtown Denver. Next, at some point during the visit we would have to go bowling. Another exciting thing to do would be to go to an escape room and use our minds and work together to get out. I can’t skip a quick visit down to the studio to do a least 1 photo shoot just ’cause! Last but not least would be to go back to my house and hang out with my family and sit on the porch in front of the fire pit while knocking down a few beers.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shoutout my wife Tori and my 2 kids. My wife has supported me 110% along my journey with no push back. She fully believes in what I do and trusts me beyond what I know others’ wives would. None of what I do is possible without her support and trust in me!
Aaron Gonnerway is a friend of mine from High School, one of my closest friends. When I began my journey in photography he was a seasoned photographer that kind of took me under his wing. Aaron showed me some key techniques early that I still use today. He was simply a friend and just helped me where he seen that I needed help in my early journey. I don’t think that I’d have the passion for this the way that I do without him because I first seen the passion from him. That was the blueprint!
Daithan Kitchens was a coworker of mine that was into photography long before I ever got a camera. When I started to get into photography he was one of the first people that I contacted for help & he’s given me tips and tricks along the way without hesitation. He is one that I still can call on till this day & he’ll help me with whatever I need!
Don Hales has helped make a dream of mine become a reality. Don is one of the owners at Raw Photographic Studio. I met Don the first time that I visited the studio to check it out not really knowing who he was but I never lost contact with him after that. Every time that I booked a session at that studio Don was my contact & he was always just a good person to me. When I was looking for a studio home, guess who was my contact? Don! When I started to get serious with photography I had a dream of being apart of a studio and Don helped make that dream a reality! Over time of being around him I learned that he seen something in me that I didn’t see and others were the ones that help me realize that. He’s taught me a lot of key techniques and things as a photographer that I should know but again, he believes in me and that has given me the confidence that I’ve needed along the way to become a better photographer.
KD Photography, LLC Don Hales Photo