We had the good fortune of connecting with Bekah Wriedt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bekah, what matters most to you?
I believe in the inherent value and dignity of all people which shapes the way I do everything. My desire is for every person to feel known and loved for who they are, not for what they do. Creating a positive and encouraging environment is a breath of fresh air in the midst of a crazy world. When people walk on set, my heart is for them to feel cared for, empowered, and valued.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Ever since I was little, I loved to direct my friends in plays, movies, or photoshoots. I loved the creative process of bringing an idea to life by using a camera, directing on set, and cultivating a fun team atmosphere! When I was 14, my cousin taught me how to use a DSLR, and gave me Scott Kelby’s “Digital Photography” books. I would sneak these books into class and read every spare minute I could. My freshman year of high school was spent reading, and saving every penny I could so I could buy my first camera, the Canon Rebel t3i! I was constantly googling answers to my many questions, practicing, and asking people who were better than me, how they did what they did. In some ways, my work process hasn’t changed that much. I still love pulling together teams of talented people to create a vision, learning constantly, and being mentored by incredible people. Now the difference is just that I’ve learned more and get paid more. I hope to always save the child-like curiosity, dreams, and passions. It has not been the easiest journey. There have been many months of doubt, no inspiration, fatigue, and mistakes. But getting back up and trying again is the only way to push through. Remembering the big picture and giving yourself grace in the midst of confusion has been key to this process. I have also been blessed to have an amazing community of people who challenge and encourage me. “Life … but make it fashion” is my photo philosophy. I’m constantly inspired by the latest copy of Vogue, vintage black and white photos, or those moments when life makes you feel a whole lot of feels. This inspires me to create photos that capture genuine emotions in a beautiful, stylized fashion.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Take a drive on Lake Shore Drive at night with the windows down and your favorite music blasting. Grab drinks and listen to live music at the Lazy Bird, a speakeasy. Brunch at the Allis at Soho. Rock climb at First Ascent. Sip the oat milk draft latte at any La Colombe around the city. Hang out in Wicker Park: grab donuts at Stan’s, lounge at the Robey, grab empanadas at 54|11, and drinks at the UpRoom. Beach day and hike at Montrose Beach. Join a workout class at lululemon in Lincoln Park. Get inspired for your dream home by wandering Restoration Hardware and grabbing lunch at 3 arts club cafe. Look at the houses in Hyde Park then grab dinner and drinks at Pleasant House.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
While there are so many people who have been apart of my journey as a photographer, I want to dedicate this Shoutout to my dad. He has loved me by helping me think through different strategies, finances, client relationships, etc. His encouragement and critique have grown me as an artist and a business owner. I would not be where I am today without him.