The Unfiltered Collective is an extension of myself and my passions. I was born with a drive to create and a heart that needed to help others. My life's journey has lead me to a career that feels like home and for that I am so thankful.
I'm a full time documentary style wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan (available to travel). I also offer videography services which is actually how I stepped foot into this industry.
I grew up sketching any chance I could get. I attended Kendall College of Art & Design for Illustration right after high school.
Before I continue I have to share about a key moment in my life story. Right before my senior year, at the age of 16 I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Leah and just a month later my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Needless to say my world was rocked at a young age. As a new mom I went through my first year in college also helping my mom through her cancer journey. Unfortunately she did pass away 4 months after my daughters first birthday after a hard fight. I bring this up because part of my passion for documenting other peoples life stems from experiencing first hand just how valuable a photograph or video can be. While I love a posed, editorial shot my heart lies with the unstaged photos of the unique laughs, smiles, kisses, and even tears of my clients and those close to them. The moment after the moment is the picture I love to take.
I've spent countless hours studying the fundamentals of art like composition, color theory, light, and techniques in most mediums to be able to translate what I see or dream of on to paper. However I had never taken a professional photography class and never once thought this would be where I landed so to see all of what I've spent my life studying actually come full circle and be applied in my career is rewarding to see.
During my first year of motherhood & last year of having a mom to call my own I developed a passion for preventative health care aka healthy eating and a regular gym routine. This new found lifestyle did wonders for my mental health during such a difficult time which resulted in a passion for wanting to help others achieve these same results. Since I was 15 I worked for small businesses. I enjoyed the hustle of growing a small business and the love that went into it. My experiences gave me the confidence to open my own fitness studio in 2017. I learned a lot about owning and running a successful business during this time.
The most important lesson I learned was the importance of setting boundaries to avoid burnout. I'm thankful for my time running a fitness studio as it taught me all the back end business things that now make running this business familiar and dare I say easy... Knowing how to do the "boring" business things makes for a good business.
My mom was a prosecuting attorney for Kent County and LOVED her job. She worked right up till her last days because it was her passion. I have a note she left me on my bedside table that reads "Brianna. My wish for you is for you to be happy and to be loved all your life! I think if you strive to do what makes you happy, you will be successful. Love Mom xo" I have stuck by this note everyday following what makes me happy and helping others in one way or another has always done that for me. I seriously can't express how blessed I feel to be able to capture memories for others and provide something that you one day will cherish more than you know now.
I love small, intimate weddings for laid back, couples with an undeniable chemistry. My favorite thing about weddings is the moments that are unique to the day it's self. I will never be able to pick a favorite wedding or client because I genuinely love each one for who and what they are.
When I am away from my camera or computer you will more than likely find me at the ice rink supporting my daughters love for playing hockey, soaking in the sunshine with a fiction novel (which in Michigan is only 1/4th of the year), cooking a new recipe from Half Baked Harvest, cuddled up under multiple blankets + my cat for a movie or simply enjoying the presence of my closest friends and family.
If you are reading this I assume you may be considering having me capture your wedding day. If that is the case please fill out my wedding inquiry form. I only take on 13 weddings a year so that I can provide the best possible experience for each one of my clients. It is important to me that we have a connection, and that starts with communication. You can always expect to hear back from me within 48 hours of sending an email throughout our time working together.
If you value communication, kindness, artfulness and expertise we are a perfect match. When investing in your photographer you are not just investing in timeless heirlooms but someone to get it all right the first time. When you choose The Unfiltered Collective you are investing in skill, a friend and someone who has thought through all the details for you. There is no one more committed to making your wedding day more stress free than me. Which is why I have a detailed client experience process and have secured a process that allows for everything to run smoothly before, during and after your big day.
My mission is to make all my clients feel comfortable, confident, and stress free.
My wish is that my clients can look back at their time working with me and feel that I genuinely cared about them and anyone close to them while working together.
I know first hand just how impactful photos and videos can be. I wish I had more videos of my mom's laugh, facial expressions and goofy personality. My goal is to capture those memorable moments for others so down the road you can look back and remember those little things that made your loved ones so special.
Proof that you really lived
The Unfiltered Collective is a brand that is owned and operated by Brianna Eslinger.
Inspired by her mothers advice Brianna encourages others to Live Life Unfiltered, meaning live a life true to you and do what makes you happy.
The Unfiltered Collective collaborates in efforts to continue to bring awareness to Mental Health.