Alumni Interview: Brittany Santos Photography

We’re excited to introduce you to another one of our talented alumni, Brittany Santos.

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Find her on Facebook here:

Where do you call home?Edmonton Alberta

Describe Your StyleFeminine, playful and a little whimsical. I’m a run through the woods kind of photographer rather than urban jungle. I love all things natural and soft and draw my inspiration for colour and light from the outdoors.

What made you decide to become a photographer?As a graphic designer I enjoyed taking photos for my clients projects more than I enjoyed the design…to the point that I would often do the photos for free. Then I became a mom, I fell in love with power of portraits and decided to start doing what I loved and stop taking on the projects I didn’t.

How did you learn? Degree? Self-taught? Workshops?My first few years of University I studied fine art and illustration and then finished my education in Graphic Design. This is where I first got to really play with photography, then the rest was self taught. I would spend hours on-line researching and taking workshops from sites like CreativeLive.

How long have you had your Photography Business?2 years

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What do you love most about having your own business?The flexibility to spend time with my busy 3 year old and the ability to connect with people I would never have met if not for my business.

What do you love the least?Being my own boss and establishing specific “family time” and “work time.” I end up just playing all day and staying up all night to meet deadlines.


What do you wish you had known prior to starting your own photography business?Start your rates out where you want them to be not what you think people will pay you because you teach people what you are worth not the other way around.

Studio or on-location?Both! I love working outdoors it inspires and going to people’s homes can be really fun for getting those images with a photojournalistic quality me but I love that no matter what the weather I can turn on my alien Bee and get some great portraits! Working in the studio allows me to experiment with dramatic lighting as well!


What was your biggest “A-ha” moment?I used to be afraid to be “bossy” and take control of my posing. I like the look of candid portraits so I thought I had to just sit behind the camera and wait for the magic. But now I make momma look fabulous and then catch the right moments. If momma looks great she will buy the image every time.

Where do you find inspiration for your art?I am inspired by nature, the variety of light and the colours and tones and textures but I also find inspiration in lifestyle illustrations and renaissance paintings. During University we used to have to sketch nude subjects for hours and it taught me to follow the light on the human body and it has stuck with me ever sense.

Something you’re still learning?Newborn posing. I’m having a hard time with getting little fingers right.

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How do you create balance between your business and the rest of life?I don’t know…still trying to figure that part out.

How do you measure success?Feeling happy and creatively fulfilled. It doesn’t matter how much money I am making or not making. If I’m not having fun any more I’m not successful. I am all about goal setting and celebrating the little milestones so if I know I am improving and moving in the right direction than to me that is also success. I try not to compare my self to other photographers but rather when I was a year ago.

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What has been your most memorable shoot & why?A few moths back I attempted to do a family shoot. The two little girls where ages two and 6 months. The 2 year old wanted nothing to do with it (obviously) and it was pouring rain. I tried to re-schedule but the family was moving in a couple days and momma said she was desperate for at least one picture of her and her husband. Wanting to do as little damage to my camera as possible I agreed to snap a few pictures of them in the parking lot out side the park we where at. They huddled under an umbrella and I got one of my very favourite images I have ever taken. I think because I was not trying to be creative I was just trying to get it done and that took a little of the pressure off. Plus the rain gave me the more gorgeous moody skies and defused light!

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What’s your Favorite Image? And why is it your favorite?I have to pull the mom card and say the self portraits I have taken with my husband and son. They are tricky to get but so worth it having photos of the three of us together. It validates the power of photography for me because looking at them instantly makes me happy and melancholy and brings me back to that moment in time when the photos where captured.

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Favourite gear?I always have my collapsable reflector with me. It fills my shadows in studio, saves my butt when I’m shooting in peoples homes, its something light I can hold with one hand to fan to add some movement or provide shade outdoors.

What is your go to lens & why?24-70mm 2.8 Works in almost every situation and is fast. It’s my go to lens if the space is to tight for my 50mm or and I need more than the f. 4 that my 75-300 gives me.



RAW or Jpeg?Both! I set my camera to take both now that I have learned to nail the exposure but when I get it wrong or had to snap quickly to catch a moment it sure saves me

Nikon or Canon?Canon…only because thats what my dad used 20 years ago and I leaned on his little manual 50mm. I still have that lens.

IMG_9688 - CopyMac or PC?Mac. I find them very intuitive and rarely crashes…not never crashes but less frequently than my PCLightoom or Photoshop ( or both ?)Lightroom for culling sessions and archival purposes. When I’m working weddings there is no better way to deal with 2000 images but I do a lot of work in photoshop to. Both are essential for by business.

Which 5 words would your friends use to best describe you?Silly, passionate, driven, loving, messy.

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What classes have you taken with The Milky Way?

Illuminate. And loved it!

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