We had the good fortune of connecting with Larry Brownstein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Larry, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was working in the high-technology field which was comfortable and enjoyable for me. I often traveled on vacations. On one extended trip throughout Asia I was fortunate to travel with a friend who was a photographer. I bought my first camera, pocket-sized Minox, at our first stop in Hong Kong. My friend, Harry Peronius, took photos everywhere and all the time. So, I began to take pictures everywhere and all the time. Harry also gave me feedback about my photos. By the time we left Asia, I fell in love with photography. I continued traveling and photographing and began to have my photos published in magazines. That was the beginning of turning my photography into a business. It grew slowly but surely. I sell stock images. I photograph weddings and other events. And, I exhibit regularly in galleries such as Gallery 825 in Los Angeles.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As in any endeavor you have to put in your time. Fortunately, I love to take photos so it was not a difficult thing for me to put in the time to get good and develop a business. I love travel and sold stock images at Getty, Alamy, etc. I worked for a wedding photography studio and learned that craft. My personal work, often centering on urban explorations, is exhibited in galleries. It’s good to have a mix of commercial and personal (artistic) work to strike a balance between the practical need to make money and the need to be in control of the direction that your creativity takes. Whether I am shoot a wedding or I am working on a personal project, it is my understanding of composition and light that distinguishes my work from others. I am grounded in the technology of photography, but it is the artistic side that makes my work special.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I know Los Angeles well since I love to photograph the city. I have taken photographer friends around to places like Melrose and Venice Beach. Some prefer seeing more posh places like Beverly Hills. Some like to see the great viewpoints … but I can’t reveal my secret spots in an article, sorry. Malibu is always a hit, too.
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?
After I became serious about photography I thought it would be smart to take some classes. So, I took several classes at Santa Monica College. A class with photographer Pete Saloutos – http://www.petesaloutos.com – inspired me to keep going and showed me the potential of photography. I became friendly with Marty Elkort who had been a member of the New York League of Photographers and grew through his friendship and mentoring.
All images are copyrighted to Larry Brownstein