Many people dream of owning their own business, but few actually have the opportunity to do so. One Moscow teen has built upon his love of photography to do just that, and already the fledgling business, called Don’t Blink Photography, is meeting with success.
Brenden Willsch, 16, is the son of Gary and Sandy Willsch. He will be a junior at Holy Cross High School in the fall and has one sister, Kylie. Like many teenagers, he enjoys sports, likes to draw, is a member of his school’s basketball team, and plans to be on the yearbook committee for this upcoming school year.
What sets Brenden apart from his peers is that several months ago he developed an interest in photography, and in just a short time, he has parlayed that casual interest into a business. Brenden’s father uses cameras extensively in his line of work as an accident reconstructionist, but Brenden’s first serious hands-on experience with his own camera was with the iPhone 7, which allowed him to take creative shots and to learn some photo editing.
He has since upgraded to a Nikon D7100 and a Nikon D3100, both of which allow for a variety of shots using interchangeable lenses and custom camera settings. He favors Adobe Photoshop for editing, though he also uses the Enlight app when he takes pictures with his iPhone.
Brenden’s photographs vary from barely edited photos documenting sporting events as they actually occurred to standard portrait photography to creatively edited images suitable for framing as works of art. Both his actual photo taking and his editing are largely self-taught skills.
“I learned a lot about different settings on the camera to give different qualities to the pictures. I read a lot of articles online, then learned through trial and error. I learned that it takes a lot of time to edit and to really look at pictures,” he explained.
Quality photo editing takes time and practice, but Brenden is willing to commit to taking and sorting through thousands of photographs in the quest for those that will allow him to express his creative talents, meet his clients’ needs, or document an event in all its detail. For relaxation and to hone his photography skills, Brenden takes photos of family and friends, of the landscapes around the North Pocono region, and of animals and plants he encounters as he explores the natural environment.
On the business side of things, he already has a list of satisfied customers who have hired Don’t Blink Photography for things like senior pictures, sports photography, and parties. Some video footage that Brenden shot at Jog for Jude this past spring will be used in a commercial about the event. Several of Brenden’s photographs in custom frames are currently on display and available for purchase at McBesket Flowers, 322 N. Main St. in Moscow.
Brenden feels that he can grow Don’t Blink Photography into a lucrative business as he gains more experience and wider exposure. He plans join his high school’s photography club this fall, though the teacher has already joked that she will be the one learning photography skills from him during club meetings. He also hopes to attend St. John’s University in New York after graduation, where he would like to pursue a degree in business administration with a double major or minor in photography.
Although Brenden is interested in the business aspect of photography, his interest began with and he still retains the simple desire to capture the world around him through the lens of a camera. “I’ll take pictures of anything. I really like getting close to things in nature. Bugs and animals don’t freak me out at all, and I like to get close to them even though I have a zoom lens,” he remarked.
He added, “Photography has a calming effect on me. It really helps me to relax and focus on something other than school work.” To see more of Brenden’s photographs, to contact him for photo shoots, or to purchase some of his work, visit Don’t Blink Photography on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DontBlinkPhotography0.