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Behind the Lens with Brett Brooner: How to Take Insta-Worthy Photos While Traveling

Brett Brooner, of Broonamite Photography, is an incredibly talented Omaha, NE artist who knows how to capture a stellar photograph. This is evident with one look at his Instagram feed! He specializes in weddings, portraits, and adventure. We’re going behind the lens to learn a little bit more about how Brett started his career and to pick up a few tips for taking top-notch Instagram photos while traveling!

Brett Brooner: How to Take Insta-Worthy Photos While Traveling

First off, tell us a little bit about about you.

I am a midwest photographer who absolutely loves to travel the world to shoot anything from landscapes to portraits to skateboarding. I started to film skateboarding when I got my first camera and then merged into portrait photography after failing at being a Youtube skateboard filmer. :) I enjoy drinking coca-cola and adventuring with my girlfriend, Carlie. I love exploring midwest abandoned barns and catching sunsets that drop over the Nebraska horizon.

When did you first start taking photos? How did you learn photography?

I started getting serious about portrait photography in 2013. Before that I was filming skateboarders locally and trying to pursue that a lot! It didn’t work out well since California is the place you would want to try and make it with skateboarding. I started using Instagram around 2010 because of Dave Nelson. Instagram soon made me eager to learn how to work an actual camera, which in 2012 I finally bought my first camera ever! I learned through Fro Knows Photos on Youtube! I’ve never taken a single photography class.

Brett Brooner: How to Take Insta-Worthy Photos While Traveling

What’s a typical work day like for you?

A typical day would be waking up, answering emails, editing, blogging, answering emails, texting or calling clients, reporting revenue and expenses, and if I have a shoot planned, then I go shoot my session! 

What’s the hardest part about running your business?

Communicating with clients quickly! It’s hard to respond to clients quickly with so many other things happening through the day. When I’m posting on Instagram or Facebook, I usually post and then I’m off and back to work. Sometimes clients think I’m just sitting on Facebook and Instagram, while I’m really working! 

Brett Brooner: How to Take Insta-Worthy Photos While Traveling

Was there a certain point where you felt like your business was going to thrive?

February of 2014 was when I really gained my confidence in myself. I announced I would be shooting weddings for the first time and I booked 11, which I thought was incredible haha. I expected to book about two total. This year I’ve nearly tripled my weddings and have three destination weddings! 

What is your favorite source of inspiration?

Instagram is my number one source of inspiration. I follow people who are inspiring through their work and words. It’s rad following along with someone who is incredibly talented with their camera and also an insanely cool human. I was even able to meet up with some IGers during my recent 3 week road trip, which was way rad!

Brett Brooner: How to Take Insta-Worthy Photos While Traveling

How to Take Insta-Worthy Photos While Traveling

1. Research locations before leaving for your trip. Find out what’s going to look the best during sunrise, sunset or during the day! This will help greatly in getting a shot with amazing lighting.
2. Bring friends. While traveling alone is cool and peaceful, friends make moments more incredible – someone you can share that moment with forever! And you can put them in the photo for a cool portrait or to show off how insane a landscape really is.
3. Take it in. Really take in the view you’re seeing. How does it make you feel? Try to shoot how it makes you feel! Look at it from all angles and then start shooting!
4. Don’t get trigger happy. Pay attention to your settings and shoot with a purpose!
5. “SHOOT FOR INSTAGRAM!” as I always jokingly say. And what I mean by that is be sure you can fit your photo into the square crop :)
Brett Brooner: How to Take Insta-Worthy Photos While Traveling
Be sure to check out Brett’s portfolio at broonamitephotos.com, and catch up with him on Instagram and Facebook!
Brett Brooner: How to Take Insta-Worthy Photos While Traveling



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  1. Joanna says:

    Your photos are gorgeous! I always need tips on how to take better pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Aishwarya S says:

    Those are some amazing clicks!

  3. Leah says:

    Beautiful photos, and great tips!

  4. Wow wow wow! I am so in love with his work! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Callie says:

    I’m an instagramaholic. Love this!

  6. […] How to take insta-worthy photos while traveling Two things high on my bucket list: taking better pictures and traveling […]

  7. Terumi says:

    I love the point about thinking how a picture makes you feel because when I see a photo that conjures emotions it totally makes me love the photo even more. Brett’s pictures are incredible!

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