Cortnee Loren Brown
I use photography and design to create visuals that express the story of a brand.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I could probably write a full book on this - and would actually love to someday! (not about me specifically, but about many people's creative journeys) - but to keep it brief: I have studied photography since high school and majored in it through college. When clients started asking me if I could make a logo or other elements to go with their photography, I taught myself graphic design. After many freelance years in both fields, I found myself naturally starting to see a project in its entire scope and art direction became a perfect next step. There were many twists and turns, but I can see now that each step I took was towards what I was passionate about in the moment, and it led me forward.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I am happiest when I have multiple projects happening at once, and right now is no exception. When I am not working on different shoots and books for clients, I have a couple personal projects I turn to. I am developing the second season of a podcast I started called Creative Start - in which I interview other creatives about their process. I am also pouring my heart into my first cookbook - a lifelong dream of mine - and am doing everything from top to bottom: cooking and developing recipes, writing, shooting, and designing the book!
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I like to describe my work as bright, and I mean that both visually and emotionally. I want people to see the light, airy, clean imagery and feel cheerful, witty and inspired.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
Right now I am most drawn to working on books, look-books and magazines, particularly when I am able to touch every aspect of the creation. I love getting in on the ground of a large scale project, like a cookbook for example, and helping to bring someone's idea in their head through every phase of creation, from visions and strategies, to photography, design and marketing.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Like I said before, I am happiest when I have multiple projects going at once. Each project feeds the other with inspiration and keeps me going. That said, my personal projects tend to take the back seat because real life dictates that there is rent to pay! So sometimes I get frustrated because it takes me a long time to complete a passion project, and I am antsy to get it out in the world!
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Today I would have them come take my foster puppy for a long walk so I can focus on work and not her being adorable for at least an hour! Ha! But most days I would love to have someone, who I know and trust deeply, to handle my bookings and promotion, so I can just focus on creating.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
Oh man, I would probably go back about ten years so I could push young Cortnee to just start putting myself out there. I think I waited too many years to land the projects I wanted, or connect with the companies and people I am inspired by because I was convinced I "wasn't ready", but the truth is, that I still feel that way and I am doing it anyways. We are never really ready, we are all just making it up as we go along making beautiful things.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would be really interested to learn more about the initial contact and booking process with larger agencies and publishers. Much of my work comes to me, but I am ready to reach out on a larger scale.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Photography: lifestyle, food, travel and fitness.
Design: books, cookbooks, magazines, look-books.
Art Direction: in house or long term projects with amazing lifestyle brands.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I love working with brands large and small that are inspired by the same kind of bright visual stories I love to make. I am particularly interested in working with lifestyle brands who make beautiful products or tell beautiful stories, and that give back through volunteer work or their proceeds.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
My rate varies because my projects are so varied. For shorter term projects, like shoots, I have a full day and a half day rate. For longer term projects, like books, I bid out the cost in hours up front. For specific details on your project cost, please email me so we can chat!
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Learning about what creative people are up to is just about my favorite thing, so if someone were interested in working with me, I would ask that they email me and share - with a dorky amount of passion - what they are making in the world, and how they think I could help.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Making things I've never made before!
This member profile was originally published in December 2016.