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New Year, new ways. Hello, 2023.

Grab your coffee and get comfy, this is a long one!

A lot happened in 2022 for my photography business. I followed my heart and took a big leap to transition from a career I loved in education to a full time photographer. It felt right but I would be lying if I said I wasn't terrified.

Central Missouri is saturated with many talented, talented photographers. It is such a blessing to have so many artistic styles right here! And then there was me...the newbie. Photography has always been part of my life, I have always had a camera in my hand. I adore photography and all that it has to offer. Up to this point though, I was only part-time and wildlife/landscape photography was were I thrived. I wanted to branch out beyond photographing my family all the time and run a business that I knew very little about. Scary? Yes but I wanted to do so BADLY. I did what I always do though and got to researching, learning, and educating myself.

See, I am a lifelong learner. I have several degrees, none of which have anything to do with the other. I didn't grow up in the best environment and I was always told I would become nothing. What they didn't know is that I have a big heart, lots of passion for the things I love, and a curious mind. So, I set out to become all the things! I am constantly seeking knowledge on how to be better, offer better, and view our world from various perspectives. What does that have to do with photography though? turns out that photography is THE BEST place to constantly learn knew things. This world is constantly changing. There is always new technology, new ways to be artistic, new editing to bring to the table, new stories to be told. I immediately signed up for several courses and since May 2022, I have been working non-stop to soak up as much practice and education as possible. I have been able to apply every part of me to this career of mine and it has lead me to my best self. I know that I am home in this career. I can see myself 40 years from now with a camera in my hand, happy. I want to leave a legacy of stunning, beautifully captured moments.

In seven short but very educational months, I have grown so much and it shows. I have gained clients that are sensational. You all have trusted me with your biggest moments and I seriously can't thank you enough! I got to open an in-home studio and then transition that to my very first brick and mortar location. I still can't believe I have my own studio and in the perfect spot. It's such a dream come true and I am grateful. I can't even begin to explain how grateful I am. My husband and daughters have been there every step of the way and it is just simply the best. They believe in me just as I much as I believe in myself.

SO, in this new year, I am bringing all kinds of new things to the table. I have found my best self and I will keep learning to be even better. I am enrolled in several new courses and will obtain several new certifications. I am focused on the areas of photography that my heart truly is passionate about and that means you'll see more of a specialization into maternity, newborn, children's milestone moments, and senior students photography both outdoors and in studio. My wildlife and landscape captures are still part of my heart too! I am also dabbling in this wonderful network around me and mentoring with other photographers. That has been SO much fun!

I fully understand that my best self as a photographer and my new ways of operating my small business may not be the right fit for every client and that is absolutely okay! The client + photographer relationship is so important to a great experience and great outcome. I will spend 2023 not only growing my photography skills but also growing those relationships because that matters. People matter. I will never book just to book.

That leads me to...

Other new things you'll see this year:

  • In person consultations! To better build the relationship I have with my clients, I am slowing way down. I am going back to the beginning and making huge adjustments on how I handle inquires and bookings. If you looked at my new website, you'll see that there isn't a direct link to my calendar and session offerings. This is an investment for us both and it deserves careful planning and patience. Just as you take careful consideration into other professional services, we will do the same here. You don't book just any physician, you do your research and make sure they are the right professional for you. I really want to make sure I am the right fit for you so all inquires will be taken via email or phone call. If you reach out, I'll respond and we will schedule an in-person consultation. This will take place in-studio or video chat. I want to meet you and have you get to know me prior to booking. If we are the perfect fit, we will move forward and plan the best session ever. If not, that is absolutely okay! I will guide you to your best fit because like I said, Columbia has some really great photographers and I have no problem getting you in touch with your perfect fit. I truly want the best for you!

  • Print services! I have been working hard to partner with some of the best of the best labs to bring my clients high quality print products. I have purchased sample after sample so that your collection options are timeless yet unique and worthy of your investment. There is NOTHING better than holding your precious moments in your hands or having those moments adorn your home. It is very important to me as a photographer to make this transition from digital to print sales. I love creating galleries specific to my clients needs and being able to see those images printed in the best quality is nothing short of magical. I work so hard on every single image I capture and it is important to me that those images go beyond a file on your computer or a $0.20 print that turns out overwhelmingly disappointing. Your memories and moments deserve so much more of an investment. I am so excited for this part!

  • Specific, highly-detailed, session guides! I have been working non-stop to bring my clients session guides that effortlessly walk you through everything from the booking process, perfectly coordinated outfits, and more. In addition to my fully-committed, individualized consultation assistance, these guides will take the stress away from planning your session and you will be beyond prepared for your session. You'll be able to take a breath and walk into your session with confidence and genuine capability. When I said I want your experience to be the best possible, I meant it. The only thing you will have to do is smile, be present in the moment, and laugh because you know you are being taken care of. I'll do the rest because I've got you.

  • New locations, new opportunities. Columbia really is a hidden gem. We have so many locations that allow for beautiful, fun, engaging photography environments. I love that I can take my clients to the same place time after time and continue to capture variety every single time. However, I have spent the last year focused on finding more unique locations for my clients and I can't wait to explore them further with you! These one-of-a-kind locations are being reserved for my senior students, families, and couples. I am also available to travel beyond central Missouri. If I am the right photographer for you, I have no qualms about driving to your perfect location or hoping on a plane to capture your moments. Count me in! Wherever we decide to host your session, it is sure to be the best.

  • A forever changing client closet! While I only offer a physical client closet to my maternity and newborn session clients, that doesn't mean I have forgotten my other clients. Everyone gets some love because the outfits really are important to the overall look of your session! I now have an online resource that will allow you to get outfit coordination ideas or find the perfect accessories. This "look book" of sorts will allow you to see examples of outfits for the entire family depending on the season, what is currently in style, and what photographs the best based on your session location. You can then pull pieces you might already have at home or we will work together to complete look. The best part? If you love the look, you can purchase that very item right then and there. You can pick your size, your cut, your style, and your accessories all in one place. It's been a labor of love but I love it and can't wait to see what you think!

  • New ways to purchase with Brianna Thoenen Photography! In 2023 you will be able to pay for your investment in multiple formats. One of the most exciting forms will be the ease of paying with Square. I won't be charging card fees (woot!) and while there will be sales tax on physical products, my pricing guide (and consultations) will guide you through making exactly the right purchases. I have everything priced appropriately and returning clients get discounts because...relationships!

  • New year, new certifications, same focus on safety. This one is specifically for my newborn clients. I have taken several classes and I am currently enrolled in several more that focus solely on newborn photography. I will never place a newborn in an environment, situation, or pose that puts their safety at risk. Therefore, there are certain poses I have banned as part of my photography process. My newborn photography style is more of a lifestyle approach. This means more photos of your infant, as an infant. More pictures of your baby in your arms. We can still capture your sweet little one in magical moments but you won't find me wrapping your baby in several layers or placing them in poses (or on props) that cause loss of blood flow or restrict breathing. Also, if they aren't allowing for a certain pose, we let it go and move to the next option. I will never force anyone to do anything that is uncomfortable all for the sake of a capture. It just absolutely isn't worth it. Remember how I said I have several degrees? One of those includes medicine. I spent a large part of my life studying and working in acute hospital settings. I am CPR and First Aid certified. I am also a medical parent and very well versed in allergies (recognizing the signs of anaphylaxis and administering epinephrine) and asthma. I launder all newborn client closet items in All Free and Clear detergent and I am extremely conscientious about how I maintain my studio space. You will not find wall-plugins, perfumes, fragrant sprays, or diffusers. I sanitize after every session and promise you a clean, safe environment. I also do not allow for animals/pets or live florals in my studio. If you need any medical accommodations whatsoever, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Hopefully this novel of a blog post helps give you better insight to what to expect with me as your photographer in 2023. I am looking for nothing but goodness in this new year and I know these things will bring all that and then some.

I hope you'll join me for the ride. It is going to be a great one filled with purpose!

"Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light." -Dylan Thomas

All my love,


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