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Brooks Institute Alumni Profile

Alumni Association of Brooks Institute

Los Angeles Wedding Photographer & Portrait Artist Profile

As seen in:
Summer 2016 edition of the Brooks Institute Alumni Newsletter

While in a portraiture class at Brooks, taught by the incredible Joyce Wilson, Adam George went on a class trip to the studio of a very talented portrait photographer named Mark Brandes (also a Brooks alumnus). Thanks to that meeting, he began working for Mark as soon as he graduated that same year (2003). George said, “Mark has an incredible gift for posing groups of people in a natural, elegant manner, and I learned a great deal from him over my five years there. In addition to further honing my ability to work with and photograph people, I learned valuable lessons about attracting and serving a sophisticated clientèle while working for Mark.”

Shortly after George started that job, his wife, Amber, and he learned they would soon be parents.  In that moment in time, George realized that he really needed to step up his efforts. “Nothing motivates hard work like becoming a parent!” said George. While portraits were always his passion, George realized that he could shoot weddings on weekends in addition to working at the portrait studio. At first, weddings were pretty stressful for George, but after the first couple of years, he found his rhythm and began to enjoy the fast pace and intensity of shooting weddings. By 2008 George’s business grew to the point where he was ready to take it on full time.

Once George established his full time business, Embrace Life Photography, he was able to expand into portraits, events, and the occasional commercial shoot.

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“I’ve always enjoyed variety and the challenge of taking on something new,” said George.  As his wedding clients started having babies they contacted George for maternity portraits, newborns, and their family portraits. For one client in particular, he photographed their proposal, engagement, wedding, maternity session, and newborn portraits. “It’s such a joy to develop relationships like that with our clients.”

George’s wife, Amber, has been his partner in running Embrace Life Photography since the beginning. She is his regular 2nd photographer, studio manager, album designer, and life manager. Since she was about four years old, their now eleven year old daughter, Faith, has been fortunate enough to travel the U.S. and internationally thanks to a handful of great destination wedding photography jobs in places like Hawaii, Mexico and Asia.

Recently, George has been working to expand his editorial portrait portfolio. He’s looking to bring higher production value editorial portrait photography to families looking for something unique and different. He particularly enjoys incorporating a bit of the surreal into this work, especially when it can be achieved authentically, in camera.

When asked about his creative philosophy, George said, “I’m not particularly philosophical about photography; I’m pretty technical by nature. Before approaching a shoot, I strive to understand the goal of the client, plan thoroughly for success, have a good idea of the concepts and images I’d like to create, and to consistently execute at a professional level. Since my subjects are almost always people, ensuring that their experience is enjoyable is also very important to the process. I never planned to have a particular style, but instead have just done things the way they come naturally to me, and possibly, over time, my personality and
gifts/weaknesses have combined to develop a de facto style.”

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George enjoyed many of his classes at Brooks, but the one he said he probably got the most out of was lighting theory because he learned so much about analyzing/seeing light, modifying available light and crafting artificial light to achieve his creative goals. “The principals I learned in that class have been applied in basically every shoot I’ve ever done. Over the years, it’s probably the class that has given me the most confidence to accept new, challenging assignments with which I have no prior experience, because I know I can figure out how to properly light just about any subject matter,” said George.

Without naming names, George’s favorite instructors were the ones who clearly love photography and constantly shoot new client and/or personal work.  He said, “I much preferred learning from passionate, active photographers rather than those who may have replaced shooting with teaching."

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