We had the good fortune of connecting with Brady Keegan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brady, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I initially started my brand, Mtn Trail Coffe, when I was developing an iOS application, by the same name, to teach people to make better quality coffee, anywhere… even if you are hiking up a mountain. When the pandemic hit I decided to reignite my passion of photography, being that I only had access to desolate hiking trails, and my house, I naturally started photographing mountains and products in my house. It quickly snowballed into an aesthetic I built for myself and I readopted my brand “Mtn Trail Coffee”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Aside from family and friends, my life revolves around my passions of craft coffee, the outdoors, and photography. These passions of mine resonate in my work. Being at home during the pandemic I was avidly photographing my strange, and unusual ways to make coffee, inside and outside my home. This grew into several coffee roasters wanting me to photograph their coffee in outdoor locations. It is honestly a dream to be able to review, photograph, and drink coffee outdoors. Since then I have turned to general freelance product photography, anywhere between coffee, candles, leather goods, lifestyle, etc. The biggest lesson I have learned doing freelance photography is to know understand my self worth. When I first started, I honestly didn’t understand why I was getting contacted to shoot for brands. I knew my work was good, but I didn’t think it was good enough. That is still something I struggle with every day as an artist. I have grown to realize that being overly self critical was holding me back from my true potential. When I stopped comparing myself to others, or being too critical on myself, that’s when I noticed my true creativity shine. At the end of the day I do photography to be as creative as possible and have an outlet for the world. I am just blessed that I can help brands along the way.
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.
Los Angeles is such a melting pot of cultures, there is truly something for everybody. The perfect Los Angeles trip would of course have to start off at the famous Santa Monica Pier. As a child I remember walking the pier with my family, riding the amusement park rides, enjoying the beach, and always ending off the day at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp. There is a unique atmosphere to Santa Monica that is unlike anything else in the world, you seriously feel as if you are living in a movie. Another one of my favorite locations is The Getty Museum. At The Getty you can experience beautiful gardens, captivating architecture, as well as world renowned fine art. I have never been somewhere so uniquely beautiful than here. This is an absolute MUST for anyone visiting LA. Of course, being the music junkie that I am, I would 100% recommend checking out a concert in West Hollywood’s own, Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Ive seen several bands at the historic venue and Hollywood is known for its rich music culture with the iconic Capitol Records building, the walk of fame, and the original Guitar Center with MANY famous musicians imprints in front of their building. Any trip to Los Angeles is not complete without exploring outside of the LA borders. As a big Disney fan and current pass holder (pre-pandemic) I always encourage everyone to visit Disneyland, not only will it be one of the most memorable days of your life, but for photographers, you will not fine a more photogenic place in the entire world. Disneyland has the upmost attention to detail in every facet of their park, it is truly remarkable. To end a perfect trip, I would highly recommend anyone heading back to LAX to hit up the famous Randy’s Donuts (as seen in several movies and tv shows)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I first started back into photography during the pandemic, my wife encouraged me every day while I was consumed in photography, she pushed me every day, and gave me the creative criticism I needed to grow, and create a business out of my photography. As I was growing in my photography I reconnected with a friend of mine, Aaron Han, and I learned that he was an established photographer. Through him I met Chris Kim, another Los Angeles lifestyle photographer. Shooting with, and collaborating with Aaron and Chris has elevated everything about my brand. We constantly swap photography ideas, new editing techniques, and shoot for/with each other. I have always heard that you should surround yourself with people that you aspire to be like, and I truly admire everything about these two gentlemen, whether it be in life, or in art.
All photos were taken by myself.