BE INSPIRED |Special at home session feature by Monica Brown

Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you. 

I try to go into my sessions with some sort of vision.  Oddly I never really expect it to go the way I have in my head.  It helps me come up with a starting place for the session and then I try to just read the light and my clients and go with the flow from there. I want my photos to come across in the most natural way possible and I think the lack of real plan helps me do that. I’ve been photographing people on and off for the better part of 10 years, but two and a half years ago I quit my “real job” and decided to pursue photography full time.  I haven’t “made it” yet by any stretch of the imagination, but it been an interesting journey watching my work grow as I spend more time figuring out what makes me unique in the this space.  I’ve lived in Central Texas all my life and that is currently where all my work happens.  I think one day I’d be interested in doing some traveling for in home sessions.

What makes you the most nervous during a session? 

Messing it all up.  The funny thing is even when I think I’ve totally botched a session, my client still loves it.  I have expectations for myself that are much higher than the expectations anyone else has for me.  That’s a good thing though, right?

What about this session was most memorable?

The most memorable thing about this session for me was genuinely connecting to these amazing human beings. I’ve worked with this family before when they opened their shop, Thatcher, in downtown Buda, Texas.  I got to spend more time with them this day than I ever have hearing the story of Amos, their unborn baby boy with a failing heart, and then just chatting after the session about all the things.  I love knowing the people I work with are real actual amazing people with the best hearts.

Were there any hurdles?

It was interesting coming into it because the nature of the session was sensitive.  I didn’t know exactly what frame of mind the family was in regarding the condition of their unborn child.  I sat in the car for a few minutes wondering how I was supposed to act upon greeting them.  At some point I just had to go for it and they immediately put me at ease about the whole thing.  They were so open with their story and having that meant I could really shoot in a way that would help them tell their story.

Your best photographer/session advice?

I could probably answer this in exactly one million pages.  Man I feel like I’ve been through a lot in the last 10 years.  What’s changed me and my photography most over the last two years is really trying to understand who I am and accepting those things as part of my style and not as flaws.  It’s okay that I’m not the most extroverted person and that I suck at mini sessions. That just means I get to spend more time with my clients making emotive photos full of love and with less excited energy.  There is a client for me and this is where I’m trying to position myself in the market. So start really looking inward for your style.  It’s okay to love other people’s work, but what makes you different?  When this client found out what was happening and decided she’d like to document it, she didn’t reach out to a high-energy photographer. She messaged me because my work better represents the situation. As for advice going into sessions, don’t be afraid to slow down.  It’s okay to stop and really look at the light, spend a moment talking with your client, and making decisions about how and where to shoot intentionally.  

What is one goal for your business ?

My goal this year for my business is to find more in home clients.  I want to spend a little more time with them and do more of a lifestyle/documentary hybrid type of session.  I’m not 100% sure what that looks like just yet, but I’ve got some sessions coming up that will hopefully help me figure it out.

What gear was used to achieve these?

For this session I used my Nikon D750 and My Nikkor 35mm f/1.4

Any presets used or hand editing?

I did start with a preset on this session and then tweaked it to what I needed.  I started with the 1783 preset developed by Mike Wade for the Unraveled Academy.


I’m a lifestyle photographer in the Central Texas area specializing in families and newborns.  When I’m not photographing I’m living the mom life with my two littles and high school sweetheart and dreaming of family adventures


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