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Meet Brittany Hicken

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Hicken.

Hi Brittany, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
At the beginning of high school, I took these photo classes where we learned the absolute basics of camera settings with a lot of room for experimentation and finding our own way. In those classes, there was also a heavy amount of digital manipulation being taught, and I really fell in love with the process of taking photos and then getting to create something from them. It was those classes and that love for photography that made me go to and graduate from SCAD Savannah; it was actually my years at SCAD that I developed a deep passion and drive for photographing all kinds of landscapes and traveling to new places to adventure around, get lost, and photograph.

Traveling is something that I have been doing since I was a little kid, I’m originally from Maryland. Constantly being on planes going back and forth made me excited at the idea of going somewhere. I think this excitement is also rooted in that quite a few of my family members used to travel an immense amount, and it’s instilled in me this need to just go out and explore.

Combining my enjoyment of digital manipulation and my love for traveling and landscapes, I had this spark in me to create a countrywide project, my biggest project to date and still ongoing. I create panoramic formatted photographs of landscapes across the US while physically manipulating the natural world with an array of mirrors – “Panoramic United States Abstracted.” And it was actually this project that allowed me so many opportunities to submit to galleries and magazines I never thought that I would have. I had been using mirrors since my first year at SCAD, honestly just experimenting with their abilities and what I can do with them; it wasn’t until my senior year that this whole concept really came to fruition and it was just incredibly special for me to witness everything finally come together into something much bigger. My plan has always been to create and publish a book when I’m finally finished.

Aside from that, I have done a lot of portrait work and have been working on making that into a sort of career for me with senior and grad portraits, weddings, engagements, and couples photos. I have actually been able to really build my portfolio in the latter lately and am content with where my portfolio stands. Now I’ve just been trying to network and connect with people to continue to build it up, get myself out there, and find work!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It’s not always been smooth, no. I think from the perspective of solely college and the topic of pitching concepts to peers and professors, there can be a lot of skepticism if you can pull something off, will it be too cliche, and so on. And from this, a lot of self-doubts tend to creep in if I can do something if I can pull it off how I imagine I can. I’ve always tried to remind myself to just go do it anyway; maybe not so much to prove myself to other people, but mainly to prove to myself that I can do the things I want to and I have the ability to pull things off with success. I mean, the way I look at it is worst-case scenario, I fail miserably. But then I can learn from it and try again, do it differently.

While at SCAD, it was a pretty safe and harmless learning environment, so you could fail and try again a lot, be able to pick everything back up and go at it again without really any consequences. I appreciated this kind of environment a lot because I pushed myself insanely hard and chose the hard route with projects. Being able to experiment with the possibility of failing and knowing I can always try again was just incredibly helpful. This isn’t to say there weren’t any struggles, because there were plenty of walls I would hit with projects and concepts, things I would have to work around and redo or even do better, many problems I had to solve; everything just took a lot of time and thought.

I think this period of time since I have graduated has been the roughest part of the road because what I want to do and pursue career-wise doesn’t have a stable 9-5 job, there is no applying anywhere. It’s all about connections, who you know, your ability, and what you are capable of. I’ve just had to build up my portfolios, work incredibly hard to network and find ways to make things work, and hope I get somewhere with it all. I think that is the hardest part for me, the uncertainty of it all.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I would have to say I specialize in landscapes and travel photography, however, I am working towards being able to say I specialize in much more than that! I have increased my experience in weddings, engagements, and couples and want to be able to specialize in that as well.

I find that I am known for my use of mirrors in my photographs because a lot of my work for four years was pretty mirror-focused, and then with the massive cross country project I created, I think it just solidified that. I may also just be known for always wanting to go somewhere; I don’t like to be in one place for a very long time.

In terms of projects, I’d say I am most proud of my current project, “Panoramic United States Abstracted” simply because it was a massive thing to take on starting in my senior year, and it’s a complex concept that has just taken a lot of time, effort, and self-discovery. I traveled alone, and it was just something very outside my comfort zone in the beginning, but looking at it now I couldn’t be happier with how it’s coming out. I’m pretty proud of my determination, as well as the skills I have come out of SCAD with that I am able to use throughout my life now, and all-around proud of the growth I went through as an artist and a person.

How do you think about luck?
I think the only role that luck has really played and will play in my life and business as a photographer is meeting and connecting with the right people, having the right people notice me and my work, and being given chances by people that don’t necessarily have to give me in the professional world. I don’t find that luck has played much more of a role in anything else because everything has just taken hard work and a lot of time. I think maybe the only other thing would be getting into SCAD in the first place was somewhat lucky, considering it was the only college I had applied to and it’s a pretty insane art school.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

For both portrait photos: Planner: @yourbigdayatl Hosts: @brookewomackphotography + @wildheartvisuals Venue: @thebibbmill Dresses: @thesentimentalist Florals: @taranmflorals Rentals: @greenestaging Makeup for Analicia: @beautybabesatl Solo Bride: @mauradavidson Bridal Couple: @davidlaws37 + @analiciablanco

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