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Monday, April 19, 2010

inspire me monday :: brooke mayo photography

Since I recently became engaged, my process of trying to find that perfect photographer for my wedding started and we all know there are TONS of wedding photographers online to choose from. Some great, some not so great but for me, I was looking for someone that stood out from the crowd, not only professionally and personally, but artistically as well.

Josh *hearts* Jen - wedding photo by Brooke Mayo - link

In my search I came across Brooke Mayo of Brooke Mayo Photography and absolutely fell in love with her images at first glance. Her company consists of herself and Carrie Roen (her other superfabulous photographer who shot my engagement pictures ((LOVE THEM!!!)) and they shoot weddings worldwide (Carrie will be shooting mine this year! EEE!!! please note my excitement :). Not only are these two superfabulously talented ladies but they were also recently chosen as the #7 Artistic Wedding Photojournalist in the World by the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalists (pretty dang amazing if you ask me!). Oh and did I mention she's in Jarvisburg, NC? Yep..this state is pretty lucky!

The Superfabulous Brooke Mayo - photo by Carrie Roen

Not only that but PEOPLE...if you don't have children or that special someone and you absolutely don't want your picture taken...HAVE HER TAKE PHOTOS OF YOUR DOGGIES!  (I wouldn't recommend cats in the pool...that might not be so cute :) Her photos of pooches underwater are simply amazing and extremely unique from any animal photos I've seen! You can also purchase her book of doggie photos Diving Doggies on her website Underwater Dogs. Oh and if you think that's cute, her photo packages have names like Loverbuns, Sassybuns, I said...C-R-E-A-T-I-V-E :)

Fionn's 2 Years Old - photo by Brooke Mayo - link

I had the lovely chance to interview Mrs. Mayo about her super awesome job as a photographer and this is what she had to say.
When and how did you first become interested in photography?    
I was taking a nude drawing class, the lighting was gorgeous on the models only, I couldn't draw anything but a stick figure!  I wanted sooo bad to capture their beauty.  The next semester I took a photography class and photographed nudes and dancers my first 3 years.

Mark *hearts* Amanda - photo by Brooke Mayo - link

How long have you been an photographer and are you doing this full time?
I took my first photo class when I was 20, so I've been a photographer for 10 years and shooting professionally for 7.  

4 week old Jackson Nix - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
Did you go to school for art and if so, where?   
Appalachian State University and The University of Western Sydney in AU

 Tommy *hearts* Annie - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
Did you ever draw on your walls as a child?
Absolutely!  That was the biggest trouble I ever got in!  In highschool, I had a whole wall for spray painting, we'd have friends over and spray paint it each week

 The Moore Family - photo by Brooke Mayo - link

Do you keep a sketchbook?
 I'm not very good at drawing much past stick figures but I try!
I keep a journal of photos and lighting I like from magazines or billboards.

 Underwater Family Portraits - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
What is your favorite time of day to photograph? 
I love the late afternoon when everything is glowing, about an hour before sunset.

 Gorgeous Model Shoot - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
What is a typical day like for you?  
Wake up about 6, have coffee and cereal with strawberries or fruit, turn my phone on and check any missed phone calls or emails, shower, return emails, leave for my 7:30am beach shoot, finish about 8:30 or 9, return to my home studio, download cards, back them up, blog our favorites, edit the images, process the images, upload the images, check email again, go for a bike ride while the images are uploading, pack up and prepare for my evening shoot, leave about 5pm for that, return about 9pm, have dinner, go to bed. 

 Water Shoot - photo by Brooke Mayo - link

What was your most challenging subject to shoot?   
Diving Doggies in indoor pools.

 Brooke Mayo, her husband John and baby Poppy  - photo by Carrie Roen - link

What is your biggest accomplishment to date? 
Growing our baby girl, making a human life and becoming a mom has been the most challenging thing I've ever done. She's helped my career by pushing me to finish my personal photo projects and has helped me be more creative. 

 Sarah, Matt and Baby Cooper - maternity photo by Brooke Mayo - link

My book, "Diving Doggies: A Celebration of Play Underwater" has been a huge accomplishment from coming up with the idea, seeing if it would work, learning to shoot underwater, finding the subjects, editing the images, designing the book, marketing and distribution.  It's been a huge learning process. 

 Heather - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
You absolutely cannot go without ________.
My phone, it allows me to stay in touch with my clients no matter what country I'm in.

 Happy dog at Tim & Heather's Wedding - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
Can you describe your process when it comes to shooting a subject?
We want them to relax and have fun,  and forget we're there as much as possible.  The more you forget about us, the more natural expressions we're able to capture.  We give directions such as, "run and play, jump, pick her up" but we document who each family or couple is. 

 Weezy - One of Brooke's favorite images ever
photo by Brooke Mayo
- link
I absolutely love your underwater dogs photography. 
How did you get into this?
Thank you!  My boxer pup, Weezy, likes to float on a soccer ball in the sound and I wondered what it would look like from underwater.  She would never get in the pool so I could photograph her but it gave me the idea to see what other doggies would look like underwater.  Little did I know there were dogs that really DIVE!  I've always wanted to do something that hadn't been done before and after researching it in depth, I couldn't find anyone who had so I "dove in."  Hee hee. 

 Sally- photo by Brooke Mayo - link
Are they pretty easy subjects to shoot?
No, you never know if a dog will actually dive or not.  Sometimes they may dive in certain pools but maybe not the one we're in, some like to have stairs, some like to jump off the side of the pool, some like to have an incline to walk down, it's getting to know each dog and learning their "tricks" while you're underwater or in the pool that's the challenge.  Also, while you're underwater waiting for them to dive in, you never know which direction they may be coming from.  Even though their mom throws the ball from your right, they may circle the pool a couple of times before coming in from any direction.  This makes the lighting really hard as well since you have no idea which direction you'll be shooting in and how the light will be. 

 Dustin + Ally - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
What are some places you are scheduled to shoot to this year?
 My associate, Carrie, has a wedding in Vegas, I will be in Minnesota, DC, NY and MX.

 Cadence + Crocker - Boxer photo shoot by Brooke Mayo - link
What is the craziest place you ever had to shoot?
 We had an amazing wedding Anguilla last May.

 Underwater Ladybug - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
Who or what inspires you?
 My hubby inspires me, he is always brainstorming and giving me amazing ideas that he implements for his business and helps me with ideas for mine.  My doggies, they are themselves 100% of the time, they don't care what type of photo I take, they just want to play and love life, their freedom lets me feel more open to whatever the day may bring. 

 The Armour Family - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
Who are some of your favorite artists / photographers?
 Howard Schatz and Lois Greenfield are my two favorite photographers.  They both photograph dancers and Schatz is the most amazing underwater photographer!  

 Chris *hearts* Ronae - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
What is your current favorite camera / lens to use?
Nikon D3 with our tilt shift lens, soooo fun!
 Jay + Carrie (Brooke's talented partner in crime) - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
Favorite type of cake/cupcake? 
Chocolate with Vanilla icing, and icecream of course.  Vanilla or coffee. Yum!

 Ben *hearts* Liz - photo by Brooke Mayo - link
Coffee or tea?  Coffee

 The Bownas Family - photo by Brooke Mayo - link

Thanks so much Brooke!
To see more of her (and Carrie's) photographs please visit the following links:


Brooke Mayo on April 19, 2010 at 5:36 PM said...

Ladybug, this is fabulous!! We can't even begin to thank you enough for the killer feature!!!! We are soooo stinkin' excited about your October wedding!! WOOOOT!!!!!

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