Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Balloon.
Hi Brian, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Thank you for inviting me back again! My name is Brian Balloon. I am a husband and Dad to two children, a software support specialist and portrait and dance photographer in Rowlett, TX. While I’ve always been into the arts and music and had leisurely taken pictures here and there, my photography really didn’t pickup until 2018, when I saw an event notification online. It was the opening of TX Studio in Oak Cliff, and a photographer friend who had taken 10th Anniversary pictures for my wife and I (@kaylynnkriegphoto) was listed as going. I had never explored a photography studio before, and it sounded like a fun learning opportunity to meet other photographers and take photos. So, I went. I met several young IG social media influencers there, many of whom were photographers. I was invited to what I imagined would be a formal lecture but turned out to be what is now called an Instagram meetup for photographers and models.
I went to this meetup, and there were probably 50 photographers. There were young IG models, and sports cars that vroomed onto the scene too in front of this coffee shop. I was thinking, “Whoa, this looks like it’s kind of a big deal!” Besides the influencers I met at the studio, I knew none of the photographers or models. I also knew nothing about Instagram. But I considered it a VIP opportunity and started doing my best to take photos of the models, post them, and tag them. Others from the meetup started sharing their creative photos too, in hopes of being featured. I didn’t know anything like this existed before, and I thought IG was quite a joke at first. But I went to more of these meetups with various hosts and continued to post and began to learn lighting and how to edit from online tutorials such as Piximperfect. I continued with this process for several years, built a portfolio and started a photography business in the interim as I became more confident in my work and started taking outside opportunities.
Over time, it was through IG photos from other photographers and dancers that I became interested in and expanded from portraiture into the dance photography niche. I would see stunning pictures of dancers around the world from photographers like Omar Z. Robles, Juan Zapata, Marinho Alessandro @a_baleza_do_ballet, @ally_day_photography, @lightheart.danceart and many others. Their online works inspired me to appreciate and aspire to work with ballet and contemporary dancers. I still see it as a perfect mixture of creativity, beauty, technique, talent, and athleticism. To be privileged to capture that for dancers now is amazing. My first dance photoshoot was with Angela Walker, an IG model, followed by dancers Lara Cheng, Tristan Rodney, and Kaley Claire. They were exceptional to photograph! Since then, I’ve continued to shoot with dancers and learn more about dance and photography through them and other photographers, through Facebook groups, and through events like the Pas de Deux Conference (@pasdedeuxphoto). That has been instrumental actually. My dance photography has grown into an ambassadorship serving dancers all across the Dallas area. I feel so honored and privileged to create with them!
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has been fairly smooth in some ways, but difficult in others. There are definitely challenges. Running a successful photography business takes a lot of time, passion and energy, and I still struggle with balancing my family and work life. That includes working my at-home day job, learning and improving in my niche, editing, finding and contacting dancers, location scouting, coupled with the lower reach this year for photographers on Instagram, causing us to pivot to reels. It has created a great opportunity to expand into video, but it take more time. But, with the constant help of my wife with the family and being good at my day job, the past two years have been successful. What has brought me the most joy in my creative business journey has been serving the dancers in my ambassador program. They are dedicated, experienced dancers who put in their all. We do creative shoots and we promote each other! My ambassador program opens twice a year: in October, and around April. Interested dancers should apply at https://www.
We’ve been impressed with Brian Balloon Photography, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I provide many kinds of photography and now videography for the Dallas area, from family portraits to senior portraits to engagement shoots and even food shoots, but my specialization is in dance photography. I love to capture people at their best, and my heart is filled when they choose me and when they enjoy their experience and love their photos. What sets me apart is my passion for what I do and my commitment to my customers. I spend a lot of time making photos as perfect as I know how and am always learning.
In 2021, I started my first ambassador program for dancers who are looking for dance photography and videography of themselves throughout the year. From that experience and the year leading up to it, we’ve been able to create amazing photos, many of which have been featured in magazines and even one that placed highly in the Pas de Deux Photo Competition. My unique focus on the Dallas metroplex specifically allows me to be available for and cater to their photography and videography needs. I’ve done shoots at many photography studios and outdoor areas around the Dallas area, and that flexibility as well as the portability of my equipment, allows me to affordably meet client needs where they’re at.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Three actually. Consistency, reasonable pricing, and passion for what I do. I think they go hand-in-hand with producing success, especially when faced with inevitable obstacles. I would add to that reaching out and being social, especially on social media. If you want to meet and collaborate with people, don’t be intimidated. They built it for you to network, and you’ll be rewarded for being social.
- Website: Https://brianballoonphotography.com
- Instagram: @brianballoonpeople and @brianballoondance
- Facebook: Https://www.facebook.com/balloonphotography
- Youtube: Brian Balloon Dance Photography