Meet The Photographer: Kristen Brown

by Southern Coastal Weddings


Kristen Brown

Owner & Photographer

Samba To The Sea Photography 

My words to live by are: 

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

My trick to making a couple feel comfortable is:

In general, people love to talk about themselves. My trick is to get them talking by asking them questions: things they like to do together, how they met, etc. By doing this it becomes an open dialogue between all of us, and often my clients feel free to ask me questions right back! It’s such a great way to build trust. My other trick is to give my clients permission to be 100% themselves – – I encourage them to talk to each other and to laugh. When I’m behind the camera, I’m consistently talking to them and complimenting how great they are doing.

Are you a Canon or a Nikon? 

Nikon since before birth. My parents used to shoot with the Nikon Fs and when I started dabbling with photography in middle school, I loved using their cameras and all of their lenses. I shoot with a Nikon D750, which enables me to use their old lenses from the 70s. There is no automatic focus, but I love playing with these beautiful lenses – – the quality is top notch.

If you could describe your photography style with one song, what would it be? 

Gal Costa- País Tropical.

You do a lot of elopements and destination weddings. What’s the best part? 

I love everything about destination weddings and elopements—the beautiful, natural locations (beach or jungle), the magical lighting during golden hour, the EPIC sunsets, and my clients that are super adventurous!

A Savannah shoot isn’t complete without:

Savannah is just so darn gorgeous, with a beautiful mix of Mother Nature (the marshes, rivers, beach, live oaks) and the man made with the gorgeous architecture downtown. A Savannah shoot isn’t complete without featuring either of these two!

Outdoor or indoor? 

Outdoor, hands down. Natural light is the peanut butter to my jelly. Yes, I just said the PB to my jelly!

How do you know when you’ve got the perfect shot?

It’s the moment when my clients forget they are in front of the camera. As soon as that happens, their true personalities shine through and what results is magic. Each shot is authentically them – – their real smile and all the little things of how they express themselves. Added bonus points if the lighting, background, and composition happen to be beautiful as well!


Do you have a secret weapon? 

My Chihuahua, Gidget. Besides weddings and some elopements, she comes with me to my shoots. She is such a great ice breaker for my clients because so many people love dogs. She is such a character and has a bag of tricks that she loves to show off. During my family shoots, she always brings a smile to kids faces—especially when she does a trick for them. There have been many of times that Gidget has saved a meltdown by doing a trick.  I post photos of her quite frequently and lately, if Gidget doesn’t come to a shoot, my clients ask where she is—even my wedding and elopement clients! 

What’s the best part about shooting weddings?

Besides photographing two people in love (major swoon!), I love photographing weddings because I’m not just a “photographer” for my brides and grooms, but rather a trusted confidant and friend. During the wedding day, the photographer is the one that working closest with the couple and is with them pretty much the whole day. I’m always honored to help guide my couples through their beautiful, but hectic day and take the reigns when need be (especially during family photos!).