• This month, we interviewed Juan Carlos Briceno, professional portrait photographer with The Modern Portrait Studio.
    Brios Media:How have you used the videos that Brios Media produced for you?
    Juan Carlos Briceno: First of all, let me say that the video production is outstanding. We are currently using the video on Facebook and Instagram. It's amazing how using video on social media can create tremendous engagement. We have gotten a lot of positive comments our video.
    BM: What made you decide to get into the professional photography business?
    JCB: I was 16 years old the first time someone asked me to quote them a price for a photo shoot. At the time, I was experimenting with macro photography of strawberries and kiwi fruit. My friend, who was running a health magazine in Mexico, approached me about doing a shoot. I was blown away. Before that moment, I had no idea that I could monetize my passion.
    BM: What are some interesting types of settings or scenes that you have enjoyed shooting?
    My hands-down favorite type of shoot is underwater photography. It is the most challenging and also the most rewarding. I got to be part of the team during the first coral transplant in the history of Mexico. I saw how the whole process affected marine life.
    I also love to shoot architecture: in particular, large old buildings right before a party or an event. This type of photography requires special lighting, and you only have about 20 minutes to take 60 or more photographs. There are not a lot of photographers who do this type of shoot, because it's hard to do. I've shot a number of museums as well.
    BM: You mention in the video that you like to talk to people during a shoot so that they will show a more natural expression. What kinds of things do you usually talk about when you are capturing their expressions?
    I usually start with pretty casual subjects. Depending on the setting, I might ask if they are married or have children, or how was traffic this morning, or how has their day been. If they tell me that they have had a stressful day, I try to change the subject. I ask about their family, their significant others, and sometimes the serious things in the world. A lot of the time, I'll ask silly questions just to break the ice. I don't want them to be self-conscious. I've found that when people think about themselves, they try to "portray" themselves. I want people to be distracted and think about something else, because that draws out their natural expressions. Photography needs to be a fun and positive experience; it shouldn't be otherwise.
    BM: What was one of the most challenging photo shoots that you have done?
    My most challenging shoot was photographing newborn triplets. I envisioned an image of all three triplets in a basket with the wooden floor showing underneath. It took us five hours to get that shot! The babies were nude, and so the house had to stay warm the whole time, and the adults were all sweating. But it came out perfectly in the end. It is really rewarding to envision a certain image and see a finished product that looks exactly the way I pictured it in my mind's eye.
    BM: Are there any unusual settings that people have asked you to photograph?
    (Laughter) I've done my share of crazy stuff! One unusual job that comes to mind was a shoot for a European silverware company. Each year, they produce a new catalog with an individual photo of each piece. One year, the owner decided to create massive display with all of the silverware laid out on the floor. I had to go 15 feet up in the air to photograph it and hang from a crane. They made a life-size print of the display for a trade show in Las Vegas. Every time someone walked into the booth, they were able to pull a dish down from the display that was the same size as the photo behind it.
    You can learn more about Juan Carlos and see examples of his work at Fotobriceno.com or follow the Facebook page
    This article was written by Dave Baldwin, Dave Baldwin is a business strategist with Baldwin Management Consultants. He helps businesses alleviate growing pains by implementing systems in the areas of sales, marketing and operations. He has a passion for helping introverts accomplish their professional goals. Contact Dave at dave@baldwinmanagementconsultants.com