Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittney Butler.
Brittney, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I’ve always been into capturing images and creating timeless memories and bought my first DSLR in college. I went to the University of Missouri for engineering (I use to be into computers). At that time I didn’t know that filmmaking was an option for me as a career. After I got kicked out of the college of engineering due to my grades I was left hopeless. My best friend recommended that I get into a college where I could do what I love which was taking photos and shooting videos and so I decided to switch my major and get into communications. From there my grades were great and I found myself loving the aspect of “creating” as a career.
My best friend and I started a photography company called LoreneJanae back in Columbia Missouri, shooting family portraits and events, while she was a makeup artist and hairstylist. I graduated from the University of Missouri and we instantly moved to LA to start a production company. After moving to LA, I got more into editing and shooting my own video content while we were trying to build our clientele. Within the second year, I got my camera equipment stolen. After buying someone’s lens off of craigslist from a celebrity photographer he became my mentor and from there started working with him shooting BTS. He was an intricate part in my life because he started to share my work with others and he vouched for me every step of the way. From there I started doing a lot more video and worked with companies like TV One and celebs such as Common, Anthony Anderson, Tiffany Haddish, etc.
A lot of my work started to come from word of mouth and me just creating my own content and posting it on Instagram which led me to where I am today; a multi-hyphenated creative. After having the opportunity to work on a lot of sets I also noticed that I would be the only black female and so I created Black Women Create which highlights black women in the creative space. It was to make a statement that we are creatives as well and deserved to be treated with respect in the world of production. It was a safe space to allow our voices to be heard!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. Moving to LA and getting all my equipment stolen to getting it all back and trying to make a name for myself in a new city hasn’t been easy. I didn’t go to school for any of this so I’m learning it as I go, I always feel I have to prove myself and find opportunities to learn more. I also don’t have all the fancy equipment and the money like others to get the latest and greatest equipment so that’s always something that I struggle with. I’m always trying to figure out how to be a better creative and step out my comfort zone. It was really hard when I started working on professional sets and I was the only black person on set. It was always intimidating and I always felt overlooked. I’m learning to have faith in myself and my ability to create with what I have even if I don’t have as much as the next person.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
There’s a lot of things that I do. I am the co-founder of Lorenejanae, a creative agency that specializes in highlighting black women through makeup, photography and film. I’m also a freelance filmmaker, photographer and video editor. I love telling people’s stories. I’m currently working on my first short film, a docu-series and creating some specs around what I love. What I’m most proud of as a company is creating a space for the underrepresented. To be able to inspire and help other black women in this field has been the most fulfilling feeling ever.
I teach people how to edit, shoot and just inspire others to create with what they have even if it’s not a lot or what they want. I think that’s what sets me apart, putting the love I have for helping others before myself and just creating with no limits. I want to be able to give back and help others. What sets me apart is my transparency and the love I have for my gift.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck. I believe that everything that has happened in my life happened for a reason. I believe that God has truly ordered my steps. If I didn’t get kicked out of engineering I would have been doing something I didn’t really like, thankfully I did get kicked out and found what I really loved. If I didn’t get my equipment stolen I would never have met my mentor who shared my name with some many companies and clients I’ve been fortunate to work with. So I wouldn’t say it was good or bad luck, but I do believe that the alterations of my path allowed me to stay in my purpose and I’m thankful for that.
- Website: www.brittneyjanae.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/brittneyjanae
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/brittneyjanae
Dominique Oliveto – Photographer
Gianna Dorsey – Photographer
Erica Lorene- Business Partner, Make up artist
Noble Views – Photographer