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Meet Brianna Wolf of Nokomis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brianna Wolf.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?

It feels like I just started my photography journey yesterday. Beginning in 2012, as a Sophomore at Lincolnwood High School in Raymond, IL, the opportunity to enter a contest through an introductory art class arose. Out of over 18,000 worldwide participants, my photo was selected as a finalist. While my photo was not chosen as the winner, it was published and printed in a finalist book. With my success, I began to take my photographs more seriously as an artist rather than just a hobby. I took additional classes at the Capital Area Career Center (Springfield, IL). I entered contests through the SkillsUSA state competition, where I was awarded 2nd place and art contests at Millikin University (Decatur, IL), where my work was selected to be shown in The Annual Student Art Show at the university for two consecutive years. My early work consisted of scenery and wildlife. As I progressed in my career, I captured more of life’s moments for my family and friends. By the end of my senior year, I had my first paid session as a photographer—a senior session for a classmate. After high school, my professional career stalled. I didn’t get the mass clientele, but I booked a session here and covered an event there to continue growing my skills.

Being an independent professional photographer seemed so intimidating and yes, scary. But often, as business goes, I settled for nothing less than my dreams and dove headfirst. I started borrowing, making and buying the props and backgrounds to complete sessions. I captured all sorts of sessions from seasonal, sports, family, and whatever I could get to build my business. In 2020, I mustered up enough courage and took the leap to open a small studio in Nokomis, IL and have continued to be creative in my aspirations. My work progressed over the years and I began taking on bigger events and publishings. I was published in the Shutter Up Magazine, Issue No. 238 | Sports as a front cover artist. In addition, I am the photographer for several local pageants such as the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce (Litchfield, IL), Montgomery County Fair (Butler, IL) and Chilli Pepper (Taylorville, IL). In 2021, I created a wedding expo called Blissful Bridal Market. The following year I put my plan into action and coordinated my first wedding expo. I am looking forward to coordinating another Blissful Bridal Market in January 2023.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been smooth?

Like most small businesses at this time, my road has not been smooth. Creating a business plan, prioritizing my financial plan, gathering clientele and Covid-19 challenges have been the most significant challenges. At the same time, updating my equipment, creating and gathering unique session themes, marketing, social media and continuing to meet and exceed client expectations are some secondary challenges as well.

Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?

I often hear my photographs save life’s special moments in time. I am most proud of being a part of so many people’s lives and sharing those special moments and events. I want to think my creative and artistic expressions capture those personifications. I believe what sets me apart from others is my attention to detail. From the session set-up, posing, lighting, editing, printing and customer satisfaction, all are a part of the experience for the client and myself. The whole photography process is personal and rewarding.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?

I know it sounds cliché, but never be afraid to follow your dreams, set your standards and goals high then go for it!  Be sure that you never forget to set aside time for yourself, even during your busiest times.

Contact Info:

Image Credits: Brianna Wolf Photography, LLC

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