Thoughts from photographer and brand creative Bryan Minear
Bryan Minear cringes when he recalls how he handled his expensive equipment in the early days of his photography, just over a decade ago.
“I had a great camera and lenses sitting atop the world’s cheapest tripod,” he said. “Not only was the tripod worthless to my work, it was incredibly dangerous to the gear I’d invested in. Today, tripods and heads are critical to my style of photography for many reasons. Above all, I appreciate that they enable me to slow down and be methodical about my compositions.”
Bryan’s signature moody, emotion-eliciting photography has earned him clients and fans from around the world. As both a photographer and designer, he delivers creative vision and photography for several brands. Interest from his growing following of aspiring photographers prompted Bryan to recently add photography workshops to his business, too.
“One of the most common questions from photographers is what kind of equipment is essential,” he said. “I always emphasize the importance of solid tripods and heads. When it comes down to it, you want the absolute highest quality support system holding your camera up. I’m not going to dangle my expensive gear over all sorts of peril, without knowing for sure that my tripod and head are not going to fail on me.”
Originally from Ohio and now based in the Detroit area, Bryan added that tripods and heads play an impactful role in photography, too.
“Without a reliable tripod and head, you simply can’t capture long-exposure images with ND [neutral-density] filters during the day nearly as well,” Bryan said. “If you’re interested in this style of photography, which tends to be one of my favorites, what you use to support your camera and lens is a critical part of the process.”
Traveling and exploring new locations in pursuit of new photographic opportunities is increasingly popular among photographers.
“I definitely encourage creative people to get out of their comfort zones and travel,” he said. “It may inspire a whole new style. Since I’ve been traveling more recently myself, people often ask what I bring. If I know I’ll be on my feet a lot, I try to pack light, without leaving behind what I know I really need.”
What’s in my bag: Bryan’s must-have gear for a day shoot
- Bag: Vanguard Adaptor 48
“This bag is comfortable and it holds everything I need it to,” Bryan said. “I can get to my stuff quickly but I’m still confident everything’s protected inside.”
- Camera: Fujifilm X-Pro2
“Do you have all day to talk about this camera?” Bryan said. “I haven’t seriously considered any other system since I picked up my first mirrorless X Series camera five years ago. I credit Fujifilm for influencing my style and technique. They make my process easier and help open the doors to new opportunities.”
- Lenses: Fujifilm XF 10-24 f/4, XF 56 f/1.2, XF 50-140 f/2.8
- Filters: Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Neutral Density (ND)
- Tripod and head: Vanguard Alta Pro 284CB with Vanguard SBH 100 ball head
“I usually strap my Alta Pro to my bag,” Bryan said. “It’s carbon fiber so it’s lightweight and really reliable. I have no fear, whatsoever, that it won’t perform. It does everything I need it to.”
Bryan’s among tens of thousands of photographers who rely on the Alta Pro tripod, one of the world’s bestselling tripods of all time. Since its release, Alta Pro has earned multiple design awards from respected, global design organizations and photography magazines. Alta Pro enables unique camera positioning with a highly unique central column, several leg angle positions and impressive loading capacity.
“That’s one of the best things about being a photographer in 2016,” Bryan said. “Whether you’re an aspiring, emerging or seasoned photographer, you have access to incredible products that won’t kill your budget. For some, that means more money for travel and that’s great.”
So what’s next for Bryan?
“Most creative people are never fully satisfied with their work and I’m no exception,” he said. “When it comes to my own stuff, I’m pretty nitpicky about every little detail. I’m always looking for ways to be better. It’s evolving process and I’m really enjoying it. As far as what’s next, I hope to start traveling more often.”
No surprise on that answer. Bryan’s been sure about his career since college. His interest in creative work was sparked at young age but his particular fascination in photography as an art form came in a film photography class in college. He wasted no time turning the passion into a business by founding a creative services company while still in school.