Local Mama Focusing in on PhotographyBy ELISA MAYO,
Brandi Fleming Hines has been taking photos for many years, but just started seriously growing her photography business four years ago, “I’m a lifestyle photographer. I love taking photos of those moments that reflect life. It’s fun, but it’s not something I set out to do,” says Brandi.
Brandi set out thinking she would become a hairstylist, “I got my baby sister and dressed her up, fixed her hair and started snapping photos.” The photos got the attention of her family who started hitting her up for photo sessions and the business she calls, BFleming Photography, grew from there.
“I love when clients call me with a theme they want me to pull together. I often make my own props to be able to use for those sessions,” says Brandi. She has also established a studio in her home, “Having the studio helps when people want to have newborn photos taken. I can control the environment and keep the baby warm. I love me some babies!” exclaims Brandi.
When asked if she has always been creative, Brandi denies it but adds, “My Aunt Sissy taught me how to draw. She was very creative.” Today, Brandi doesn’t draw as much, but spends her time studying the art of photography, “I’m always learning. I take classes online and watch videos of photographers I admire. I keep looking at different techniques. It makes my pictures better.”
Brandi likes to do weddings, engagements, and bridal photos, “I like getting to know the brides and helping make their day special. Those are serious pictures and require an attention to detail.”
Brandi also creates special packages for holidays, like her Mommy and Me Mini sessions she created for Mother’s Day. “I try to create sessions that are affordable. I want all families to have the ability to get pictures,” she says of her special sessions. She also wants to get the photo right, “Photography can be a dirty job. I do whatever I need to to get the best shot--which often includes laying in the dirt.” It can also be time-consuming, “Some weeks I have 17 sessions scheduled and I still need time to edit all the photos I take,” she explains.
Brandi may take several hundred photos in a session and has the task of narrowing those down to 25-35 of the best, “I don’t like to heavily edit my photos. I want them to be natural, but it still may take me four hours to edit a photo session. I don’t care for perfection because it’s not real life,” explains Brandi. When a client calls, Brandi talks to the client one-on-one to get a feel for the photos they are wanting, “I try to make my client feel comfortable and if I realize they want photos that may not be the style I am best at, I will recommend other photographers.”
Brandi continues to grow her photography business and looks for ways to engage her clients. She has a robust Facebook page, which displays her photo sessions and many of her themed photography events. “As I continue to grow in photography, I see my style come through in my photos and I realize that over time I am getting better and better. That’s important to me,” says Brandi.
When she isn’t taking photographs, Brandi enjoys watching old movies with her husband, Justin Hines, and spending time with their two daughters.