Skip to main content

My Story

Lesson 1 from: Shooting for Brands

Andrew Kearns

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

1. My Story

Meet Andrew Kearns and his story of perseverance that landed him photography projects with some of the world’s largest brands.
Next Lesson: Workshop Overview

Lesson Info

My Story

Hey, I'm Andrew Kerns. And welcome to my workshop. I'm stoked to have you here. And before we get to into the details of what I'm about to teach, I wanna share a bit about who I am and what I'm about. So, share my story and my journey a bit of from when I started photography, to now. So, I graduated high school. I got a hand me down camera from my mom and about that same time, I discovered the outdoors and I went on this hike to Lake 22. There was anywhere between 5 to 10 feet of snow up there. I didn't even know that was a real thing, and, and that hike right there was really when the camera and the outdoors met and where this whole journey really began. I kept photography as a hobby for the next three years, from 2012 to 2015. And at the tail end of 2014, I was working at Starbucks and a few friends had this creative firm that I just started working with them, mainly doing video work. And they were trading me up on graphic and web design and all this stuff. The very first weekend of ...

2015, I was kicking it with the parents at the time. And I just asked my dad and I was like, Hey could I quit Starbucks and full on go for this graphic design creative firm thing? And he basically said, I was waiting for you to ask that question. You have my support. And I'm like, sick, thanks pops. So at the beginning of I quit my job at Starbucks with full thought, I was gonna be getting into graphic design, web design, all that stuff. And to be honest, like I wasn't like, I wasn't really stoked on graphic design and web design. I'm really creative with what's there and I'm not really good at creating something that's not there. I knew, I knew I liked photography more. So, the very first weekend of 2015, the week before I quit my job at Starbucks, a friend says, Hey do you want to go on this hike up to Lake 22 out of all places? And I said, sure. And he's like, cool. I have this photographer friend, Sam Elkins coming along. And I recognized the name, I hopped on Instagram and realized, oh, like I have definitely liked a lot of this dude's photos. We all hiked up. It was a big group of us. We took photos, we enjoyed each other's time. And next week we did the exact same thing, same group. And I really got to know Sam those few days. And I just learned a little bit of what he was doing. And he was a senior in high school, just doing photo work senior photos, small blog posts, all this stuff. And it was just fascinating to me to realize that this was a thing, like the word influencer and all that, wasn't a real word yet. And for me, I saw it as an opportunity to gain a following, do product photography or brand photography and be paid to share it on my page. And that's how it all began. And so I can pretty much fast forward the next 4 months and it's April or May now. And I talked to the guy who is running the creative firm. I asked, Hey, what do we wanna do with this? You guys are in this transition phase and we're kind of like having to reschedule meetings. And when we reschedule them, I'm just skipping them and going to go shoot photos. And he said, you are obviously more stoked on this photo thing. And I wouldn't want you to do graphic design or web design or any of this to just make a paycheck. Like, I want you to follow what you're passionate about and May 2015, pretty much marks the start of full-time freelance photography for me. With photography, I love being creative with what's there. I'm not so good at creating something that's not there like graphic designer, web design. It just doesn't click the same way in my brain. When I paired being outside with photography, it it was really fun to just capture the landscapes I was in. And that's what it started as. I was just literally doing my thing, going outside and photographing the places I was in. And that's, that was really appealing to me. It was very simple. It was very, just show up and get creative with what's there. Find your compositions, like document the experience. I really started pursuing photography full time. I was getting outside almost every day shooting where I was, the landscapes, but also beginning to shoot with people more and more. And you know, when you're doing that every single day you just get better and better and better. And, you know, it's, it's just like riding a bike. Like you are gonna suck at first, you're gonna fall down but eventually like, you're, you'll be cruising. And that's literally what it was just rinse and repeat every day, showing up to work, getting better at it every single day. And that led from senior photos, And then, you know, my first couple's photo, engagement photos, which led to weddings and, you know doing all that again and again, and slowly bumping your prices up. And it was funny too. At the beginning of the year, one of my friends, he said you should really take this photography thing, seriously. I bet you could get 10,000 followers on your Instagram. And by the end of the year, and I was like, oh yeah like whatever. I got a 100,0000 at least at the end of that year. And it, I really proved myself wrong. I was really limiting myself at the start and yeah, And it just goes to show like when you show up every day when you are stoked on what you're doing and never felt like it's funny to talk about it now. Cause it never felt like work. It felt like I was just running around having fun and yeah it just never felt like work. So at the beginning of 2016, I started taking things a lot more seriously. I realized, okay, like this is actually my job. This is it's working, whatever I'm doing. I also started bringing video back into my repertoire. I started doing vlogs and just documenting my process, documenting my day to day. And when I did shoots, and when I'd go hike and just go goof around I'd vlog it and throw it up on YouTube. I started shooting for more brands shooting weddings still at the time. And yeah, it, it just kept snowballing and snowballing. And at the end of that year, I actually got a very big contract from a client and then a even bigger one the next year. And so, at this point I realized this was becoming my career. And as something becomes your career it's important to set goals. And I did financial goals, personal goals, client goals and had these ideas of what I wanted to make happen. With these goals in mind, I started just taking things more seriously and and even though I still had no idea what I was doing and still might not, I just went forward with it. And I was just enjoying the process and slowly but surely, as I targeted certain things that led to those goals, I, I started meeting 'em. So as 2016 came to a close, I started seeing all those goals come to fruition a lot faster than expected. And I really give that credit to showing up every day, working really hard toward them, with those goals in mind all the time. And in that I had a couple really big contracts in 2016, at the beginning of 2017 as well, which really set me up to make these next few years after, sustainable. And one of the most important things I learned in my journey is, those jobs aren't aren't happening every month. Those jobs aren't right around the corner all the time. And it taught me to be very mindful about how I approach my career and how to sustain it. And over the next few years, like that's exactly what I focused on. And, and also it allowed room for personal growth personal work as well. I've learned a lot of lessons the past five years now of freelance. I've had my share of mistakes, my share of successes. I've learned a ton about how to like be mindful and manage finance. I've learned more recently about the idea of actually resting and not working all the time. But, I've also learned how to go about work how to manage clients, how to manage shoots. And there there's just so much you learn during freelance and so much you learn on shoot that I just am excited to get into this workshop about. And, and that's what I wanna get into with this workshop. I want to share what I've learned with you guys. From the mistakes, to the successes, and all the lessons in between. That's what this is about. So let's get into it. (laughter) Let's do it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Workshop PDF

Ratings and Reviews

Romain Dancre

Concrete Examples & Lots of Value Really interesting workshop with a real experience and real photoshoot. We get to understand the whole process of Andrew and his way of thinking and acting and this is super interesting to learn about!

Robert Ransley

Simply outstanding!

Adriaantje Buijze

Practical and useful! Finally, this workshop does not leave you with theoretic principles but actually provides you with practical to do's / to go about's if you want to grow further into a career of photography for brands.

Student Work