Women On Top: Brittany Sturdivant
In this series, we talk to some of our favorite women in the workplace. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget that it doesn’t matter how much you make or where you make it. Brittany Sturdivant captures some of the happiest days of her client’s lives with her photography business. After saving her high school graduation money to buy her first DSLR, Brittany learned the ropes of the business from her friends and fellow photographers.
“Freshman year, I met my best friend, Elizabeth Pettey, who was getting lots of photography practice by taking pictures of the kids she babysat then giving them to the parents for free. Her way of continuing and growing her photography skills made me want to practice and continue doing photography even if I didn't have a 'class' guiding and teaching me things,” she says.
Brittany interned with Kelly Cummings of Spindle Photography and continued to hone her photo skills. She now owns her own studio.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned in owning your own business is you can’t be afraid to throw yourself out there. Since ‘launching’ Love Be Photography 4 years ago, I think the biggest reason I’m able to do this job still is that I’ve never been afraid to reach out someone to simply tell them (or remind them) that I’m a wedding photographer and happy to document their big day. The worst thing they’ll say is no, so I’ve got nothing to lose!”
WHEN YOU WERE 10, WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD GROW UP TO BE?
"A dancer or gymnast. My mom didn't let me try gymnastics until middle school (she was worried about the injuries that come with the sport) so naturally at that point in life I was pretty determined that I would be an olympic gymnast."
WHAT'S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF THE JOB?
"The two most rewarding parts of my job have to be building relationships with my amazing clients and later seeing their reaction to my work. I am a people person through and through so one of my favorite parts about this job is the relationships and friends that are formed by walking with a couple throughout essentially every aspect of their big day. The biggest reward though is capturing those jaw dropping, heart melting moments for my clients. The ones that wouldn't catch anyone else's eye necessarily but mean the world to that bride. For example, one of my weddings was winding down and the bride and groom danced with their friends and family all around. They were in the back of the dance floor just looking back at everyone and I snapped the picture. I knew it was a shot I liked (from a technical and photographic stand point) but the bride later posted the below caption with this photo.
"The last dance at our wedding was "She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel, the song that my dad sang at my parents wedding 32 years ago. We are so thankful for wonderful photographers that can capture these moments so that we can hold on to them. @lovebephotography is the best!"
I had no idea there was so much meaning behind that moment. I am beyond honored and feel so rewarded to know that this is now a captured moment that they will get to treasure forever passing down this tradition and sharing this moment with their children. Capturing moments like that, intentionally or unintentionally, well I'll just say I don't know much that feels better than being able to still a moment in time for someone to hold onto for their lifetime and their children's lifetime."
HOW ABOUT THE MOST DIFFICULT?
"Work life balance. When you're your own boss those lines definitely get blurred. Since I'm just jumping out into full time self-employment, I am still trying to tackle this. It's so easy to keep my laptop open and keep working into the night. Also, saying no. The biggest thing I've learned since jumping into full time photography is that you can't do everything. I'm still learning the art of 'the best yes' and trying to get better at saying no in order for my business to succeed."
WALK US THROUGH A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU.
"I usually get woken up by my dogs around 5:45 and some days I’ll make myself go to a 6:15 crossfit class at J19 in Hoover. I’m not a morning person but the Today show and a strong cup of black coffee usually does the job. Around 8:30-9 AM I’ll head to my studio. I usually try to jump right into emails. Editing takes up most hours in my day, but some days I get lucky and have client meetings, a photography session, an editing dance break or a coffee date with a fellow creative. When I feel overwhelmed by my to-do lists, Lara Casey’s powersheets are lifesavers. I love using these to help gather and streamline my thoughts."
WHAT MAKES YOU EXCITED TO GO TO WORK EVERY DAY?
"I do what I love!! I can’t wait to go through the pictures for that past weekend’s wedding or deliver some final images to clients. My work and my clients inspire me each and every day!"