My Journey

My Series of Cameras by Brea Persing

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I don’t even remember when I picked up my first camera. I just know I was really young. I was one of those kids that begged their parents to buy the disposable cameras when going on a trip, and not just one, MULTIPLE! I can’t even tell you how many I have gone through in my lifetime. Yes, I grew up on film cameras. I don’t quite remember when it was, but my parents got me (or the family maybe, but I used it they most) a small, film, point and shoot camera. I had so much fun with that thing.

After that, I think when I was in middle school, they bought a more “professional” film camera, a Minolta Maxxum 650si. It’s still in their closet actually! I had so much fun with it too. And I’m sure I spent hundreds of dollars having film processed. I remember when you had to go in to have film processed and it took a few days at the store. Then it revolutionized to 1-hr development! Then, I was introduced to the dark room in college. Oh the dark room…amazing!

Digital cameras started hitting store shelves during my youth, but they were expensive! For Christmas one year, my parents bought me a small Canon Powershot camera, I think it was in preparation for a trip I was taking. I loved that thing and took it with me everywhere. I’m sure I’ve lost the photos over the years though, as I didn’t have my own computer. In that time, I think the photos were so small we just kept them stores on the disk inside. Anyway. I remember that one clunking out at some point, but I liked it, so I bought an upgraded Canon Powershot, which I took with me on my first trip to Italy in 2006. I remember I had portrait photos taken of me in high school and the photographer had a Canon 20d, I knew that was the camera I wanted to have for myself someday. I think Canon was already in my blood at that point. And, I didn’t know anyone with a Nikon! 

It was December 2007 that I bought my first “real” camera. I still kept my Canon Powershot with me in my purse, but I wanted something that would take even better looking photos. You have to remember, this was before you could take good photos with your phone. I bought a Canon 30d. I was so excited! I loved the little dial on the back that it had, which I remembered from the other photographer years earlier. I had so much fun with that camera. I knew nothing about lenses at the time either, but I stuck with what came in the package I bought.

I started taking even more photos than before. I had friends asking me to take photos of them, an engagement session, the second photographer for a wedding, photos of a band, and so much more. Then I moved overseas. I continued to take photos, but not as frequently. Life happened and I had less and less time to take photos, plus the camera seemed so big to me, so I decided to sell it to a friend. I later regretted that!

In 2014 I bought a Canon t4i, a downgrade from the previous camera that was a full sensor to a crop sensor. I liked that it was smaller and lighter weight. But I could definitely tell the difference in quality. It was during that time I learned more about lenses and what to look for in them. I hadn’t done that much research before buying the camera package that I bought, but I did so afterwards. With the research, I bought a new lens, that was in my price range, that was way better than the kit lens, and I was grateful I liked doing research and reading reviews.

From there, in 2017, I wanted to upgrade my equipment again as I was doing a lot more photography at the time and my load would only increase with the job I was doing. So I sold my Canon t4i and lenses to a budding photographer taking a digital photography class and I purchased, after MUCH research, a Canon 6d. I LOVE this camera! It’s the younger sibling of the Canon 5d. This time I just purchased the body and then the lenses separately. I bought the Canon 24-105 mm f/4L IS II USM lens and then later the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. I have since also purchased a Canon Speedlite 430 EX II Flash to add to my equipment.

Not just camera equipment, but the accessories you use with your gear is important. Before, I used the straps that came with the camera. I’ll never do that again. I discovered Peak Design in 2017 and will never go back. I have their straps and some bags, and am looking at getting more…especially since they continue to expand. 

Next on my purchase list, a really good and versatile tripod (I’m looking at a new company called the Colorado Tripod Company) and a travel bag for all my equipment (from Peak Design of course!)

It’s been a progress in equipment and skill. I think I’ll keep these for a while though! I’ve grown as a person and a photographer through the years, the equipment are just tools, and I have appreciated the journey they have taken me on. 

*This post is NOT sponsored by Peak Design or Colorado Tripod Company, I’m just an avid lover of their products and gear!

Stock Contributor - Not Letting Fear Win! by Brea Persing

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I am now a contributor to the stock photography community! This is a really big step for me. I say that because for the longest time I struggled with not thinking my work was good enough, the quality wasn’t high enough and that no one would purchase my photos. Some of what it was comparison. I was comparing my work to others and saying, “well, it’s not as good as theirs” or “it’s different”…blah, blah, blah. Comparison is deadly!

Here’s where some of my doubt came in…a long time ago I made a site and allowed people to purchase prints off of it, and no one did! As an artist, I took that personal, to heart, thinking I wasn’t good enough. I know that is not true, but it was hard to get out of that headspace. So I took the site down and decided I didn’t want to feel the “rejection” anymore. People had told me in the past that I had the “eye” for photography, and people asked me to photograph them…a couple of engagement sessions, a surprise proposal, a wedding, a band, etc. But some of my friends work was being published in the company magazine, and mine wasn’t. Insert the internal self-talk of “my work isn’t good enough to be noticed and printed.”

So, when I was thinking of joining the stock community, I went through some of these feelings again. Will my work be rejected? Is it good enough? Will anyone buy it? How will I process it if no one buys anything?

FEAR…fear is what was keeping me from joining. Many people will tell you they view me as fearless, but when it comes to feelings of being rejected, it used to paralyze me or make me take things into my own hands. It wasn’t pretty. It’s still a struggle, but not quite as much. I have long since had people tell me they loved my work, that it brought them joy. I let fear keep me from joining and selling images for nearly four years.

Even these last six months I kept putting it on my “to-do” list. Some of it was needing to go through my photo library, organize it and figure out what I wanted to contribute, but most of it was fear. About two months ago I saw an article about the top stock sites and did some research and then set it down, not to pick up for another month or so. Then, in February, I finally decided to take the plunge. I decided to punch fear in the face!

I signed up for iStock and Shutterstock! I started with iStock and they accepted ALL of the photos I had submitted! Woohoo. I submitted the same photos to Shutterstock and they were accepted too, with the exception of one. I was so excited! Besides amazing coaches and encouragers in my life, this validated my work, my gifting, the photo quality, etc. So, I started uploading even more!

I still struggle with the insecurity, a lot of artists do, however I’ve decided it’s not going to stop me from offering up my skills and photos to others. I may never make money from it, but on the other hand I might. But I will never know if I don’t try.

Putting yourself out there and your work can be very hard as an artist. But I am doing it anyway, no matter how uncomfortable it may be at times!

It will take a while to work my stock portfolio up, but I am confident it will continue to grow and people will start to purchase images! I just have to have faith that it will happen.

"The Paper" Article by Brea Persing

ON THE JOB  — Brea Persing, Goshen, stands on the sand dunes of Morocco zooming in on a string of camels in the distance. Persing is a photographer who partners with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to raise awareness for their cause. She also works with businesses in the travel and hospitality industry and teams up with individuals who want a vacation photographer. (Photo Provided)

ON THE JOB — Brea Persing, Goshen, stands on the sand dunes of Morocco zooming in on a string of camels in the distance. Persing is a photographer who partners with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to raise awareness for their cause. She also works with businesses in the travel and hospitality industry and teams up with individuals who want a vacation photographer. (Photo Provided)

Article originally published on February 20, 2019 by “The-Papers” of Milford, Indiana and written by Laurie Lechlitner.

Photographer tells people's stories around the globe

    “I love observing other cultures,” stated Brea Persing, Goshen. “I enjoy sharing people’s stories across the globe. And I want to continue to use my photography skills to raise awareness . . . to make a difference around the world.”

    Persing has been a photography buff since she was a child. “I started taking photos on my parents’ film camera. My first digital camera was a little Canon PowerShot. I’ve always tried to capture the beauty around me. I love taking candid shots of people. I enjoy capturing colors and textures like old, rustic barns. And I really like taking closeups and showing the uniqueness I see everywhere.”

    Living overseas for the past 6 ½ years, Persing was a photojournalist and graphic designer. “I worked for a nonprofit organization for ten years and really enjoyed it.” She’s lived in Italy, Spain and West Asia.

    Whether she’s photographing a line of camels traveling through the sand dunes in Morocco or shooting in the city of Taipei, Taiwan, she wants to tell a story. “Actually, photographing people in Morocco was probably my most challenging assignment. Many people do not like to have their picture taken. I learned early that a photographer traveling in another country needs to understand and respect the culture and the wishes of the locals. Sometimes, just simply asking the person if you can photograph them, while smiling, is all that is needed. But if they say no, you need to respect their decision.”

    Her favorite residence was Verona, Italy. “I lived close to the downtown area. The city was very beautiful. I frequented the city shops and made very good friends there.”

    Another place she loved was Spain. “In the town of Málaga, I had a great view of the mountains right outside my window. I enjoyed walking around downtown, hanging out with friends at the port and buying fresh meat, fish and produce at the most amazing food market in town.”

    Now that Persing is back in Goshen, she longs to continue to travel with her camera. Though she no longer works for one nonprofit exclusively, her focus hasn’t changed much, “I partner with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs worldwide to help them share their stories and raise awareness for their cause.”

    She doesn’t just stick with travel photography for nonprofits though. She also works with for-profit businesses in the travel and hospitality industry. And even more fun, she is a personal vacation photographer. “It’s a photographer that goes on vacation with you and your loved ones so you can enjoy all of the moments and memories you’re making without having to worry about capturing them yourself, or editing any of the photos afterwards!”

    With a smile, she remarked, “I see myself as adventurous and a risk taker. Traveling around the world, especially to a few places I’ve been, is not for the faint of heart. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

    Besides photographing her parents’ dogs, her hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, scuba diving and eating tacos. “I love trying new things and seeing new places.” While relaxing, she enjoys watching movies, playing cards, and hanging out with friends.

    “Every person and place has a story. And I enjoy capturing them.” Check out her Instagram: @photos.by.brea and website: www.breapersing.com.


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REVISION TO ORIGINAL POST: This was not a part of the original article, but I was so excited to see the article in print, I thought I would add the photo of me with the ink on paper here! :)