I have spent years studying human expression and communication. I graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in philosophy. I spent several years as a counselor in wilderness therapy programs for troubled teenagers. I worked 14 seasons as a basketball referee. I am a certified yoga teacher, former NCAA athlete, and I have done extensive training in zen buddhist practice and wilderness rite of passage ceremony.
My training in communication and guiding gives me a great advantage in posing human beings. Many people do not naturally feel at ease in front of a camera. One of my gifts is to create a welcoming atmosphere where people feel free to be themselves. Because I am focused on fine detail when posing a subject, the subject is able to experience my vision from behind the lens. This helps them relax because they can see they are in good hands. Graceful confidence usually results, and the facial expressions become more and more dynamic. This is how I practice posing and photographing people.
I love being able to help people feel great and gain a new perspective on themselves through one of my images. I am fascinated by the fact that a person can see his/herself in a different way as a result of a particular photograph. As a photographer, I have the unique power of composing the image from my vantage point. I think this is a responsibility that all photographers should take seriously. There are photographers who are more into themselves and their egos than their clients. I think that’s a shame. In my photography practice, I work with the needs and desires of the client, using my expertise and vision to direct the photoshoot accordingly, creating dynamic images that support the client’s goals.
I work in a similar way when shooting marketing material for businesses. It is a privilege to help a business grow with images that convey their spirit and message dynamically to potential customers. And these principles also apply to shooting events and editorial work. Individual memories of an event will vary widely from person to person. As an event photographer, I have the unique position of being one step removed from the action of the event itself. From this neutral vantage point, I get the special chance to compose a story that will last, independent from memory.
As in yoga, where we use the body to train the awareness from the level of the gross to the level of the subtle, so too must the photographer train his or her eyes to see from the subtle perspective. Nowadays, anyone can take a photograph, but it is one’s intention and care that determines what kind of story the photographs will tell, and what they will capture. Will they be unique? Will they be dynamic? Will they be honest? These are the questions with which I approach my work.
I look forward to meeting and working with you.
Humbly, Brian Burke