How long have you been a photographer and how did you get your start in the industry?
This is my 6th year as a photographer. I took the non-traditional route, I began at age 35. I just wanted a hobby.
Drae, what are some of the struggles you have faced as a fashion and beauty photographer in a niche market?
My biggest struggles have been, getting access to more editorial fashion because Nashville is a big commercial market.
Who were your biggest influences?
As a whole, I was glued to Vogue and all the beautiful art that was featured.
In addition to being sharp and well-lit, your photos are beautifully edited. What is your retouching/production philosophy?
First, thank you! I call it "the final polish." I don't want to over-edit, but I also want you to know I put my touch on it. It's my least favorite part of the process, but definitely necessary.
Drae, how would you describe your photographic vision? What kind of look do you try and create in your photos?
I'd describe my vision as fashion based. Nothing moves me until I see the fashion. I try to create art that even the most uninterested person can at least appreciate.
How long does a shoot day typically last and what is the preparation like?
At this point in my journey, most shoots are in the 3 to 4-hour range beginning with hair and makeup. My actual shoots don't take long because once I've got the "no doubt" shots, I move on. My preparation goes one of two ways; I have a concept that I build around, or a model that I build the concept around. After that, I carefully put the team together. Usually 3-4 weeks of communication including moodboards and plenty of texts, emails, and phone calls.
What makes a great portrait? How do you choose which images you ultimately provide to your clients?
Great question. To me, its something that appeals to something inside of you. That's why, everyone's favorite photo will differ, but everyone will love a few of the same photos.
I break the proofs down into a smaller selection so the client can choose their favorites. I learned early on my favorites and theirs were different lol. I then go and choose my favorites that coincide with my brand.
In your opinion, how beauty is perceived at the present age? What does beauty mean to you personally and what really makes a woman beautiful?
I believe that beauty will always be perceived through an individual set of lenses. Physical beauty is definitely a personal opinion while internal beauty cannot be denied...its infectious.
What is typically in your camera bag?
Sony A7III, 90mm macro, 50mm. Extra camera batteries, AA and AAA batteries , memory cards. I usually have a prism of some sort also.
Are there any other photographers you look up to? Who?
Shamayim Shacaro is my G.O.A.T. IG: shamanism
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
Absolutely. IG: draebrown615
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