I love it when friends pursue their dreams and passions in life. Watching a person make the decision to do the thing that makes them happy, and better yet, use it to help someone else, is special. There’s nothing quite like it.
Today, I want to share with you the story of one such friend.
I’ve known Brittany Lytle for fifteen years now (whoa.. fifteen years… I’m too young to use that kind of language) and we’ve become pretty good friends. She has this amazing gift with photography. I’m talking ah-may-zing. She sees things most of us wouldn’t and takes a picture before the moment is gone.
Brittany has always wanted to do something with this gift and just recently came up with a plan. She wants to use her hobby to benefit others:
Photography is very expensive due to the cost of equipment and the amount of time a photographer invests into each session. It is my goal to bless others with quality images without the high price tag. My hope is to use this hobby as a way to bless others.
I believe that everyone deserves to have beautiful images of their wedding, family, child, or whatever it may be, regardless of what they have to give in return. This is the reason I created Joyful Moments Photography.
It is a non-profit organization operated through the First Apostolic Church of Dublin. I offer my photography services on a donation basis and the proceeds are given to help create joyful moments for the many orphans who call Tupelo Children’s Mansion their home.
How great is that? She creates lasting memories for you, you donate money to the fund and the fund goes to help orphans in need!
Tupelo Children’s mansion is an orphanage that is a part of the United Pentecostal Church International. Many of the children who are housed there have gone through horrible home situations that some of us could not even imagine. Giving these children the opportunity to have joyful moments is what this ministry is all about.
What an incredible mission, am I right?
Brittany is self-taught, but already in high demand. Her work is undeniably talented. I mean, just look at these shots!
The one thing that stands out in each picture is how much joy there is in life. Joyful Moments is seriously a fitting name.
Photographs capture moments that we might otherwise forget. I wanted to come up with a name that would reflect this idea. We all have those moments that we want to remember forever. Maybe it’s our wedding, the birth of our first child, or time with our family. Those moments are filled with joy and that same joy is re-kindled every time we look at the images captured during those moments.
I couldn’t have said it better, Brittany!
Aside from taking candid shots and portraits, she shoots breathtaking landscapes.. Gosh, these make me want to get out and see the world even more than I already do!
These pictures just make me dreamy sigh. Ahhhh…
I’m sure this young woman has impressed you. She definitely has impressed me. Her work isn’t like the work of most photographers, and she’s not in it for any personal gain. Brittany just wants to capture memories and use that gift to bring joy to others. She is one incredible woman.
If you want to request a photo shoot, why not check out her Facebook Page or email her at JoyfulMomentsMinistry@gmail.com? I hear she’s open for spring family shoots!
GRAB SOME COFFEE, HERE’S THE FULL INTERVIEW:
First off, thank you for taking the time to make this interview possible! Secondly, what got you started in photography? Was there ever an “aha, this is what I’m supposed to be doing” moment or did you just know from the get go?
Growing up, my grandparents had two garage sales each year and my mom often helped. On several occasions, I went with her to the sales and had the opportunity to look around. One particular day, when I was around the age of 8 or 9, my grandparents happened to have a camera for sale and I begged my parents to let me have it. They eventually caved and even bought me film to go along with it (that’s right, it was back in the old days before digital). I used the entire first roll on self-portraits and photos of the sky.
I eventually branched out and used my camera to take pictures of all my friends and the events that took place at church camp. I would easily go through three rolls of film per camp… eventually my dad had to cut me off.
In high school, I took a film photography class (I’m old, I know). My dad let me use his old 35mm Minolta professional camera and I LOVED it! We got to develop our own film in the chemicals and everything (I still have the stained clothes to prove it).
A few years later I had the honor of taking my now brother-in-law’s senior pictures. They were far from professional grade, but taking them was the first time anyone had ever asked me to capture their portraits.
Once I was in college, I took a digital (yes we finally made it to digital) photography class. It wasn’t at all what I expected and because of the methods of one of the instructors, I ceased to enjoy photography and I stopped doing it for a few years.
Then my husband and I got engaged. I started the search for our wedding photographers. I knew the importance of finding a good one because, after everything is over, the pictures and the memories are all you really have. I did a lot of research and finally landed on Angela and Randy Woolridge of The Moments Forever Photography. They were AMAZING!
Receiving our pictures inspired me to get back into photography. I was reminded of how important it could be and how much joy it could bring.
The next spring, we scheduled a trip to Acadia, Maine with stops in NYC and Boston. I wanted so badly to have a nice camera for this trip. Now would be a good time to mention that we did not have a lot of funds available to spend on a hobby. However, my wonderful husband found a way to purchase an entry-level, professional camera. When I came home from work that night, I almost cried from excitement.
That very next summer a friend and I wanted to hang out but couldn’t think of something to do that wouldn’t cost money. So, I asked her if she would want to be my model while I practiced with my new camera. She accepted and we had so much fun.
I discovered that I loved photography more than I realized and that I had a lot of learning to do.
Over the next several months I took pictures of landscapes and animals, and some candid photos of my family. During the winter and spring, I learned as much about photography as I could from books, tutorials and YouTube videos.
When summer rolled around, I was itching to put this new information into action. So, I published a post on Facebook asking for a volunteer model.
I was overwhelmed by how many people responded and I soon set up a photo shoot with a good friend of mine. Following that session I posted some of my work on Facebook and received very kind feedback from friends and family.
Shortly after posting those I actually had someone contact me and ask if I would photograph their family. I WAS SHOCKED!!! I couldn’t believe that someone actually wanted me to take their family portraits.
After the shock wore off, I quickly responded, YES!!! Then I booked another session, and then another, and then another. Pretty soon I was asked to photograph my very first wedding. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Now, I am an intern with LeenaBee Photography in Dublin, Ohio and I couldn’t be more excited.
That’s awesome. I love it when family and friends step in to support a dream and it’s wonderful that people are recognizing your talent! What inspired you to pursue it further?
I would say that the feedback and support from friends and family really inspired me to keep working at it. Photography can be very challenging and you have to really do a lot of research in order to consistently produce quality images. I could have given up many times but there was always someone telling me that I should keep pursuing my dream.
I had always dreamed of doing something with my love of photography but I didn’t know what or how. Then I realized that doing it because it was something I loved and because it helped others was good enough for me.
So, although it may sound cliché, I suppose the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others is what inspired me to pursue photography.
It may very well be cliché, but I love it! Where do you think or hope this hobby will take you in the future?
Photography is very expensive due to the cost of equipment and the amount of time a photographer invests into each session. However, it is my goal to bless others with quality images without the high price tag. My hope is to use this hobby as a way to bless others.
I believe that everyone deserves to have beautiful images of their wedding, family, child, or whatever it may be regardless of what they have to give in return. This is the reason I created Joyful Moments Photography.
It is a non-profit organization operated through the First Apostolic Church of Dublin. I offer my photography services for donation only and the proceeds are given to help create joyful moments for the many orphans who call Tupelo Children’s Mansion their home.
Tupelo Children’s Mansion: www.mansionkids.org
First Apostolic Church of Dublin: www.dublinchurch.com
Wow! That’s a wonderful idea! I absolutely love the name you’ve chosen, Joyful Moments. How did you come up with it?
The title comes from three different ideas:
1) Photographs capture moments that we might otherwise forget. I wanted to come up with a name that would reflect this idea. We all have those moments that we want to remember forever. Maybe it’s our wedding, the birth of our first child, or time with our family. Those moments are filled with joy and that same joy is re-kindled every time we look at the images captured during those moments.
2) I love photography and practicing this hobby has brought me so much joy. When I reflect on the lives that I have been able to touch through this ministry, it brings me even more joy!
3) Tupelo Children’s mansion is an orphanage that is a part of the United Pentecostal Church International. Many of the children who are housed there have gone through horrible home situations that some of us could not even imagine. Giving these children the opportunity to have joyful moments is what this ministry is all about.
Well, I find it both excellent and inspiring! Are there any funny stories from your experience thus far that you’d like to share with us?
My husband often accompanies me on photo shoots to help me with my lenses and carry all my props. One particular photo session included a 9 month old baby who needed a little help smiling. My husband decided it might be a good idea to throw leaves into the air as well as put them on top of my head. The parents thought it was funny but no smile from the little girl. He even tried running around and flailing his arms all about. Still not the slightest smile from our sleepy little model, though we adults had a pretty good laugh!
That’s awesome. I’m sure kids always make for an interesting shoot. Are there any photographers who inspire you? Why?
My original inspiration came from our wedding photographers Angela and Randy Woolridge of The Moments Forever Photography. I loved their work and how they treated their clients. The majority of my inspiration has come from scrolling through page after page of images on Pinterest simply because there is so much variety and the possibilities are seemingly endless. I have recently found inspiration from the photographer Heidi Hope. She does newborn photography and it is absolutely beautiful. A website called Photography Concentrate has also been a significant inspiration.
Ah, Pinterest. My weakness. Hehe 😀 What would your advice be for anyone wishing to pursue photography as either a hobby or career?
- Don’t be afraid to just get out there and start shooting. You will make mistakes but that’s the best way to learn.
- Absolutely know your camera and all that it can do. I know you’re excited to start pushing every button you can find, but reading your user’s manual should be a top priority.
- Do a lot of research and study but most importantly you need to practice.
- Anyone or anything can be a model. I once did a whole photo shoot with a stuffed monkey to practice using natural light through a window.
- Find a photographer who is willing to answer questions and share some intel. I still contact Angela (my wedding photographer) to ask questions.
- If possible, become an intern.
- Never stop learning
Huge shout out to Brittany Lytle for taking the time to answer all my questions!
You rock, lady! 🙂