National Geographic, VOGUE, Outside Magazine, Patagonia, The New York Times... Brian's 15 years of photojournalistic experiences are impressive. Hundreds of weddings photographed all around the world, for celebrity and not-so-celebrity clients. Big or small, in hometown backyards, island paradises, mountaintops or vineyards in Tuscany... the essence of his work remains the same: put people at ease, understand & capture the story as unobtrusively as possible, and above all, have fun!
After his formal education at Bowdoin College and Brown University, Brian's development began while working with National Geographic photographer Galen Rowell in The Himalayas of Tibet, Nepal and India. The photography techniques developed were simple: be consistently respectful, unobtrusive and friendly while being highly efficient to creatively capture every detail of the story quickly. Brian quietly charmed his way in and out of Chinese jails, through rioting civil servants in Kathmandu and was welcomed to photograph more prohibited elements of real daily life then most ever get access to.
Brian learned there that a quick smile, a respectful nod and an efficient, unobtrusive approach can create incredible photographic opportunities, while also putting people at ease. His work appears in a variety of publications including books by Random House, as well as numerous national and international magazines.
But how and why weddings? At Brian's own Hawaiian beachside wedding to his wife Malia (also a photo nerd: she's the Global Photo Art Director for Athleta), he was amazed by how obtrusive his hired wedding photographer was and thought that there had to be a better way.
A "better way" to Brian meant developing a collaborative approach with his clients, just as he would with any editorial piece. The result is that clients get to know Brian, and Brian gets to understand his client's story well before the wedding day. When clients are truly comfortable knowing that their wedding is in the hands of a professional who understands them and cares deeply about their story... the joy and emotion of the day come shining through. It's Brian's incredible creativity, quick sense of quiet humor and commitment to capturing the real essence of a wedding that make his photographs unique and cherished.
Brian and Malia own and operate The Boathouse Studios as small, sustainably built studios in San Francisco, on the coast of Maine and on the windward side of Oahu in Hawaii. Every year, Brian supports select local and destination weddings worldwide as well as unique engagement and family shoots. When not photographing, Brian is a avid cyclist and a passionate fundraiser for cancer charities. If a camera isn't in his hand, he loves nothing more than quiet days camping out of his Volkswagen Bus with his best friends: his wife Malia and his "kids" Hoku (pup) and Jetsam (kitty).
Award Winning Photos
The Wedding Photojournalist Association proudly recognizes the accomplishments and creative excellence of Brian. The following awards have been earned by Brian from the WPJA. These achievements come with great merit considering the high level of competition that a member faces in the contests.
A bride taking a last look in the mirror is a timeless image. The photograph is well composed. The bride is photographed from behind looking in a full- length mirror. Her back and shoulders in the foreground are slightly soft focused and direct attention to her full image in the mirror in front of her. The bridesmaids leaning in to get a look at the expression of happy satisfaction on the bride’s face make the image and the moment complete.
Great action photo. Expression on jumping guy is great.
The moment makes up for the technical deficiencies of the picture. The inverted umbrella, the dance-like pose of the woman trying to hold on to it and the wonderful expressions of the women watching her make the picture a great addition to the story of the wedding day.
Photographer captures a whimsical mood with the blur action of this photograph.
There's pure joy in this photograph. It's a clean, easy to read shot that has immediate impact, revealed through their body language. It's a simple, yet, effective image that evokes a higher emotional state than the others for me.
A dreamy, long lens image that makes one think they are in a dream. These two obviously are, and the outstretched arms are like one big smile ready to embrace the groom.
This energetic guest has no qualms about “letting loose” at the reception. Mid-jump and clearly feeling the music, his face is priceless! Who doesn’t know this brother/son/uncle/friend in a family? Always first on the dance floor, and unafraid to do anything, this guy provides a tremendous amount of energy in this well-constructed photo.
All of the bride’s emotions are visible in her body language. This is a moment that all brides hope for on their big day. A touching moment as a bride views her reflection on her momentous day. Tighter cropping would have offered more impact and intimacy, bringing the focus more quickly to her expression.
Sparklers must be where it's at these days. There were a multitude of images that contained them. This one made the cut because of the excellent composition, color, moment and use of the ambient light. The viewer goes straight to the bride's big smile. The groom's undone bowtie says the party's over and the honeymoon's about to begin.
This is a great moment. I love the old fashioned car headed down the old snow covered road. What a great use of introducing color into an auto chromatic scene. The image really stood out above the rest.