JRP: In this episode photographer Arnold AJ Browne of Bymsha Browne Photography shares his thoughts and images with James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you AJ for taking a few moments with us.
AJ Browne: Thanks for this amazing opportunity.
JRP: Where do you call home AJ?
AJ Browne: I presently live in and love Brooklyn, New York but my foundation is the birth place of my Mother, Liberia, West Africa.
JRP: How did you get started in photography? Do you have any formal training?
AJ Browne: As the son of a seamstress, I’ve always been interested in capturing her designs much like what I saw in the magazines but did not have the means to do so. When the opportunity allowed me to upgrade from ‘Kodak fun savers cameras’ to digital SLR’s I took the plunge. Although it has been a few years since my Mother has created and designed, I was inspired to capture images and continue to do so.
I am mostly self-taught. Most of my photography education has been through workshops and online learning. I am always in the market for more knowledge.
JRP: What is it about Fashion / Editorial Photography that inspires your work?
AJ Browne: I consider every image a portrait first. If the image story reads fashion/editorial then I’ve achieved my client’s wishes. Mostly I am inspired by the connection of elements in an image that tells a particular story. I love the creative process.
JRP: Do you cover weddings on a regular basis?
AJ Browne: I do respect those that cover weddings on a regular basis. It takes a special set of skills to work a wedding and I am not cut out for it. I do provide clients with pre and post wedding portrait sessions which are more relaxed & creative.
JRP: Name two photographers that you feel have contributed to your growth and style.
AJ Browne: Joe McNally has a versatile approach to his work that I strive for. Also Richard Avedon whose images I grew up looking at in my mother’s magazine rack.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?
AJ Browne: Nikon D300 & D90 Cameras -Lenses are Nikon 85mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, 35mm f/1.8 Flash Nikon SB900- 3 Pocketwizards.
JRP: As for lighting what type do you personally favor and why, artificial or available. What type of modifiers do you use and why?
AJ Browne: I use both OCF ( off camera flash ) and natural light. Some images require a combination of both while some require separate lighting types.
It depends on the project and image. My favorite approach is “less is more” while adding light to an image but I love catch lights.
I shoot in studio and on-location with a white interior 18 inch beauty dish mostly diffused and with the grid on. I’ve recently been working on location with a 7 foot umbrella and have been getting some unique images.
JRP: Describe your digital work-flow and the software you use? Does your post processing contribute heavily to your style?
AJ Browne: I mostly shoot tethered so I have a copy of the images on the computer as well as 2 external hard drives before I leave the location. I transfer the RAW images to my studio computer for editing, creating a Lightroom catalog in the process and backing it up to a Drobo. I then select the top picks and the editing starts!
I spend as much time needed per image as possible but my concepts for most of my images have already been planned in advance. There is always room for improvements in every image. I work with Adobe CC products and love the flexibility it allows me to expand on my creations.
JRP: Do you print your own images when necessary or ship them to a lab?
AJ Browne: All my Images are sent to a pro lab for printing. I’m still learning and mastering photography and printing is a horse of a different color.
JRP: Do you work with a regular team?
AJ Browne: I try to work with as many of the same creatives as often as I can depending on their availability. I never shoot without a makeup artist so I have a few amazing ones on speed dial. I’ve do my best projects collaborating with creatives including other photographers.
JRP: Please share one of your most memorable shoots and what made it special for you?
AJ Browne: My most resent is my niece, who I held as a baby, getting to work with me as makeup artist on a project. She was overwhelmed but she nailed it!
JRP: If not photography what would AJ Browne be doing with his time?
AJ Browne: Besides spending more time with family, I would love to travel more for relaxation not work. I am also a musician and would love to work on my next musical project!
JRP: What has been some of the best advice given to you by another photographer?
AJ Browne: “Expression over Perfection”, words I try to shoot by.
JRP: What special advice would you like to share with other photographers?
AJ Browne: Always learn outside your comfort zone and keep learning.
JRP: Thank you AJ for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure.
To view more of AJ Browne’s photography please follow these links: