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Braden Cruise Photography Is a Business Built On Passion

By Pamela Sosnowski

For photographer Matt Harrison, his career began in high school. "I picked up my first camera as a sophomore in high school to be the official newspaper photographer for my school's newspaper in Warner Robins, GA," he says. "That was the beginning of my love for photography."

More than 20 years later, Harrison is the founder of Braden Cruise Photography, shooting family portraits, headshots, real estate, events, and more. But he took a detour first into graphic design, watching photographers shoot fashion, merchandise, and food while secretly aspiring to be one of them.

"I envied those photographers because I wanted to be them," he recalls. "I love being a graphic designer but I know my passion was in photography. I purchased a Canon Elan II back in the late '90s and that's when I started really experimenting with how cameras work and photography in general. So, it's taken me over 20 years to get to where I am today and I'm still learning."

Harrison believes his earlier career in graphic design benefits his new profession and helps him stand out from other photographers. He's always had an eye for creativity and has worked with photographers that create marketing campaigns from their work. It enables him to think about the final results and the composition of a shot whether he's shooting people or buildings.

Although Harrison says most of his clients are requesting business headshots, he is also well versed in taking senior portraits, weddings, graduations, babies, family portraits, and corporate photography.

Living near the television and film production studio Pinewood Atlanta Studios has also been a boom for his business, with aspiring actors requesting headshots. He prides himself on always answering his phone and taking every call unless he's absolutely unable to do so. Every client's needs are treated individually and Harrison also offers a money back guarantee if they are not satisfied with their photo session.

Due to his love of shooting real estate, Harrison segmented his photography business into two separate brands: Braden Cruise Photography for lifestyle/portrait shoots and Curb Appeal Photography which focuses on real estate photography.

"They are two very different styles of photography but I like that because it give me a break when I'm getting burnt out doing one or the other," he explains. "I could spend a few weeks doing nothing but real estate photography then switch and spend a few weeks doing portraits."

Harrison is always nurturing his creativity and exploring new trends in photography. One of those is drone photography; he's considering investing in a drone mostly for the real estate side of his business, but the technology can also be used for weddings and large-scale events.

It's this variety that keeps the industry stimulating for Harrison, and enables him to deliver quality photos to his clients. "My favorite part is it's never boring," he says. "I could be shooting a wedding one day, a headshot another, a 6,000 square-foot home another and an event at The Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. My photography has given me the freedom to work for myself at something I dreamed about 20 years ago."

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