The Photo Man
Bryan often took photo safaris, meeting people along the road and asking if he could capture their image. When he would return with images he had created, people would call him ‘The Photo Man”. Sometimes, the image he would deliver was the only image these people had ever had of themselves.
The Starving Artist
After graduating with his art degree, Bryan spent a few years in the health and fitness industry, where he met his future wife, Blayne. It was pretty much love at first site. He promised to make his first million by age 30 and sweep Blayne off to live in the Turks and Caicos Islands. That didn’t exactly happen when the fitness industry went bust in the early 90’s and Bryan had a few solo art shows in Atlanta. They were living the starving artist lifestyle. After Bryan lost several random jobs, Blayne pointed out that he clearly couldn't work for anyone else. Why didn’t he go back to photography and shooting weddings? They could do it together. So with a small loan for some used equipment from his dad, and Blayne’s support from her full-time job, Whitelake Studio was born. They had already built a studio home in the Lake Lanier area (hence, Whitelake) but they didn’t realize where this journey would take them. Soon they were booked every weekend and filmed their first commercial on the local TV station:
The Whitelake Digital Revolution
Blayne continued to work 2 jobs for several years - full time during the week and shooting up to 2 weddings every weekend with Bryan, who was home all week on the phone, rounding up new clients. Then the studio got so busy, Blayne was able to scale back to part time work, finally joining Bryan at the studio full time in the mid 90’s. It was at this point that they were approached by (literally) a guy in his van with his family, driving around the country trying to sell this crazy software that would allow photographers to scan their images and design a wedding album on a TV screen right in front of the wedding couples, mere days after their weddings. It was unprecedented. It was exciting. It was $14,000! Blayne realized that this could set them apart from every other photographer in the southeast and they took out a loan. The Whitelake Digital Revolution had begun!