Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandon Reece.
Brandon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in a musical household where my creativity was always encouraged. My dad’s a musician, so I’ve been singing since I was old enough to talk. Singing turned into a love for acting, which led me to a degree in Theatre. After college, I lived in Germany for three summers and one winter performing pop music for a very enthusiastic German crowd. Germany led me to London for two years to get my master’s degree in acting with my sights set on Los Angeles.
I stayed in LA for 11 years, furthering my acting experience and eventually picked up a camera to shoot my own content. I started taking photos of friends and realized I had a natural talent for capturing the essence of actors. It was the honing of my own craft that gave me the ability to get more from an actor than just an attractive image. Wanting to continue my creative ventures and be closer to family, I moved to Atlanta two years ago, where I’ve been working as an actor, self-tape audition coach, and headshot photographer.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think anyone pursuing acting thinks it’s gonna be an easy ride. Not if they’re realistic, anyway. Doing theatre teaches you a wonderful sense of discipline and work ethic that’s essential if you’re in this business for the long-haul.
As an actor, there is always room for improvement. Los Angeles, for me, was like a really long boot camp. I felt like it was slowly trying to break me, but at the same time, I couldn’t escape and when I chose to leave, I walked away as a stronger person and a better actor. I booked a commercial my first year in LA and my agent called and said, “Hey, they love you, and they wanna book you. But they need to meet you in person first because they don’t think you’re attractive enough.” I thought, oh, okay. Got it. This is how it’s gonna be. You can choose to see those things as obstacles or use them as fuel to further ignite your passion.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I’m a headshot photographer and my experience as an actor sets me apart from other photographers. While I was in LA, I spent a lot of time talking to agents, managers, and casting directors to find out what makes a great headshot. It’s an actor’s first impression and since everything is online, a headshot only has a few seconds to stand out from the (sometimes) thousands of submissions.
I work with actors to capture their essence. Every actor who shoots with me receives a Character Development Form beforehand to help them navigate what sometimes can be a very intimidating and daunting experience. I collaborate with actors and encourage them to allow the camera to capture a moment in the life of the character they’re creating, one that makes a character-specific headshot. It’s not a pose. It’s not a “look.” It’s a moment in the fully-realized life of the character you’re embodying.
I’m most proud of being an approachable and collaborative photographer. Actors see all the shots while we’re shooting and they’re welcome to give me feedback on lighting, backdrops, wardrobe, and makeup. As an actor, I spent an exorbitant amount of money in LA on headshots for myself. When I started my own headshot business, I knew I had to eliminate all of the things I disliked about what I encountered in those sessions. Actors walk away from our shoot feeling confident and empowered.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly, I don’t think I would change a single thing. All of my experiences, good or bad, have led me to where I am today.
- $495 Headshots Session: Unlimited looks during a 2-2.5 hour session, professional hair and makeup artist who stays throughout the entire session, wardrobe consultation to select specific looks to capture your essence and character, 6 hi-res photos and keep all images shot sent via a shareable online portfolio.