Braxton Bruce

Braxton Bruce

Advertising Photography

Photo Decathlon Photos and Results - SLC

As promised, the first contest of my goal year has come to a close and I am here to post some of my favorite of the shots I got.  Most of the categories and required images were of a landscape nature, which isn't one of my primary interests, but there were some nice ones that came of it anyway.  I'll start off with the only category I had a winning image in, which was product:

This was the first place product image.  Woohoo!  I worked for 2 years as a product photographer, so I knew I wanted to spend a little time on the product images and get them right.  I stopped in at the studio where I now do video early in the morning to shoot these as quickly as I could.

Ironically, this image which is almost identical to the winning image, got no place nor honorable mention.  Maybe it's because it's slightly crooked, I don't know.  

We decided to do this one out in the real world since there's a lot of culture associated with skateboards, and the assignment was to shoot the products in a way that would make people want to buy them.  I thought a skateboarder would be more interested in a lifestyle approach rather than a pristine studio shot.  This image also got no award, though that's arguably not surprising.  :D

Next!  The people category:

On the people category, we totally missed our appointment because we got lost after losing our gps signal.  So we rescheduled for a half-hour later once we regained reception and discovered we were 30 minutes away.  Then we missed that appointment because the directions led us miles off course down a very rocky and ridiculous road.  We drove across a rock slide and decided that probably wasn't the right place, so turned back.  We got to the right place finally and the models gave us a bit of their time to get some shots.  So about 15 minutes later we were leaving with whatever photos we could whip up that fast. 


I had planned to use my strobes and get the best shot of the day in the people category, but since the sun had already gone down, my planned look wasn't achievable, so I just shot natural light and crossed my fingers.


Neither of these images got any love from the judges, but it was great to meet Jessica who I've been meaning to work with on some kind of fitness shoot.  Maybe I'll make that happen soon.

Next category!  Thematic!  We were to shoot either fall colours or shoot our teammates.

This here is Tyson Rollins, my only teammate.  It was a contest for 4 per team, but it was a good excuse to chill with my cuz all day.


Next Category: Street


I shot this photo on Provo Center Street before sunrise.  I thought this one was cool because it's something I would have shot way back when I was first using a camera with intention about 5 years ago.  These days, I don't go around taking photos of tables and chairs on the street on a regular basis.


Here are some of my favorites that Tyson shot:

This is the shot that won 3rd place in the Thematic category.  Beautiful!

I think this is one of the most impressive images Tyson shot.  This was shot in the dark.  With a series of long exposures, he was able to get detail in the waterfall that almost looks like day, but with a starry night sky, and the moon just behind the mountain.  Nice.

This here is Bee Money.  Bee Money is a local rapper we met on Center Street in Provo selling his CDs.  He's a nice guy, and we later looked up his music and gave it a listen and we agreed that it was good.  He doesn't mess with drugs or alcohol or any of that, and doesn't swear in his lyrics.  If I see him again, I'm definitely buying a CD.  Also notable, is that this guy is 100 times better at marketing than I am.  He just walked right up and told Tyson to put his number in Tyson's phone.  Gold.


You can see Tyson's other work at


The contest was great and we'll probably do it again next year!  If there's a prize for 1st in product, I'll count this as the first of the 5 contest wins I included in my goals for the next year.  Monday I'm shooting some images in the studio for another contest, so we'll see how that goes.  



Photography Contest - Photo Decathlon

This weekend I participated in the Photo Decathlon.  This is the brainchild of Scott Jarvie, a very popular wedding photographer who, in the last couple of years, has moved his focus to some interesting projects.  Last year, Scott traveled the country photographing LDS temples for a book that is now available for sale.  This year, he launched the Photo Decathlon, a two-day run-and-gun photography competition for teams of 4 who must travel around their local area to capture a total of 30 images in 10 categories.  For me this was a chance to get out and have some fun and meet some people.  My team consisted of only two.  Me and Tyson Rollins.  Tyson is a good all-around photographer, and is especially excellent with still-life, food, landscape and night photography.  


On our way to the "People" shoot somewhere called the Timpooneke Trailhead, we got majorly lost and ended up driving down a very rocky road in the mountains for several miles until we crossed a rock slide in my very on-road vehicle and agreed that this probably wasn't the right place.  It was very good exercise for the muscles in my neck which were proving how tense they can get.  Eventually we found our way back and got the shots we needed.  


I promised in my "setting goals" post last week that I would start participating more in contests, aiming to win 5 this year.  I don't know that this will be one of the winning contests, but I had a great time and look!  Now I have something post about!  I'd love to share more of the photos from the contest, but until the results are published, I should probably keep them under wraps.  I'll post one more as I sit here anticipating the contest results which will be announced later tonight.  


Ok ok.  Since this one is disgusting, I'll post another one.  Even though this really was something I saw while shooting the contest in Salt Lake City.


The contest took me to the SLC Comicon Superhero Run where Rudy--I mean Samwise--I mean Sean Aston lead the way.  


Alright!  That's it for now!  I look forward to finding out more about the contest and I'll share when I do.  I'll continue entering contests that are a good fit for me, which means I'll have to be producing more images than ever before!

Setting Goals For My Photography Business

In 2013 I set a list of goals I wanted to achieve.  These were companies I wanted to shoot for, and mostly celebrities I wanted to photograph.  I went over those goals today and I achieved a total of ZERO of them in two years.  Why?  Because I'm lazy?  No.  Because they weren't the right goals.  It was more of a wistful list of what-ifs that sounded terrific.  It was a message I wrote to the universe so it would gift me these opportunities even though I had no intention of doing anything to make them come to pass.  There was one goal I almost achieved, which I'm still proud of, even though it didn't work out.  I was working on a photo book project related to politics, and I used all the powers of my brain and all the connections I have to get it done.  The goal was to photograph Ron Paul.  The reason I'm proud despite failing, is because I gained a huge amount of faith in my ability to make things happen.  My request got to Ron Paul's ears personally.  I was given the email address of the producer of The Ron Paul Channel.  She got my email and asked him if he would sit for a photograph for my project, then let me know that he said, "No thank you."


Today I'm going to make a new list.  Not a list of "Hey that would be great" things, but a real list I intend to bring to pass by virtue of hard work and careful planning.  The deadline is September 15 2016  Here it is:

1. Get a single photo job worth over $10,000.  Not so I can have $10,000, but as a milestone of my growth.

2. Hire an intelligent person to help market my business.

3. Quit my full-time job to focus on my freelance work.

4. Have a list of 200 of the top companies I would like to shoot for or who I would be a good fit for.

5. Send 2 rounds of postcards/promotional mail pieces to those 200.

6. Publish 25 podcast episodes.

7. Win 5 photography contests.

8. Get into Communication Arts.

9. Have 20 meetings with potentially large clients.

10. Get 5 jobs for Wilhelmsen Creative


These are all achievable, but stretching goals.  Some may not sound like much, like #10, but this is a matter of momentum, so the ball will grow as it rolls down the hill.  Some people are advocates of setting goals way above what can be achieved, with the idea that they will fall short of whatever goal they set, so the higher the better.  For example, "aim for the moon and you'll hit the top of the mountains!"  But my preference is to live in the world with the belief that I will do what I set out to do with exactness, taking advantage of surplus opportunities as they come.  Aiming higher than is reasonable because I don't think I will achieve what I set out to do just seems like so much self-doubt, or like a ploy to trick myself into success where I know I otherwise couldn't have it.  To each his/her own.  You find out what works for you and that's the thing you do.  Or you try to do 500 times that much because you know you'll fail either way, so you might as well fail high.  Haha ok enough about that.


I will make a print of these goals and put them where I can see them daily to ensure I don't get off track.


I'll check back in one year with an update on these goals.




My Camera Is Sold!

This week I sold my Red Scarlet.  Read all about why here:

Wilhelmsen Creative Blog

I hereby commit to have more blog posts and porfolio updates and contest wins in the months ahead.



Red Scarlet For Sale


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