our email: thematernallens@gmail.com
follow us on twitter!


{low down, throw down with Brenda Acuncius}

happy thursday!!

oh, i'm a happy girl today!! i am over the moon excited to have one of my photography idols on the blog today! i love to learn more about who they are...it actually makes their photography have more meaning (if that makes sense). i love and adore every single thing that brenda does. her style, her way...and well, her!! she is a gift to the world of photography and she is an inspiration to all who see. seriously...LOVE her!!!!

so, enough of my chit chat....i'm super excited to introduce you to brenda acuncius!

Name: Brenda Acuncius
Business name: Brenda Acuncius Photography, Actions and Textures by Brenda and Bloom Workshops
Location: Denton, Texas (just outside of Dallas)
Website/blog: www.brendaacuncius.com

Tell us one sentence to describe your photography: I think that most people call my work a mixture of whimsy, light, fun with a dash of magic.

What's one thing that everyone should know about you?: I'm a self-confessed HTML/coding junkie! I love working with it. I taught myself how to read it so of course I make mistakes but it's cool when I figure something out and it works. It does have it's downfalls...I'm constantly changing my splash page and all my blogs! LOL!!

How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started: My first paid session was in January 2007. I actually wasn't planning on going into business but I was contacted by some companies via my blog about doing some product shots so it just took off from there.

What's the best meal you cook? Anything in a crockpot (which is basically everything)! I'm not a cook but I try to make meals for my family and since I don't have a lot of time to spend on dinner (especially when a workshop is going on and it's the holiday rush), I throw everything in a crockpot. I'd like to meet and thank the person that invented it...my family would too! LOL!!

If they made a movie about your life what would it be titled and who would play you? Oh goodness...no clue! Probably Dazed and Confused 2! Not that I'm like that in business but since I had Grant, it just seems like I'm out there (a little more than usual)! A second movie would be Confessions of a Shopper! My daughter has 100x more clothes than I do and better than mine as well...I LOVE to shop for her!! I figure I can still con her into wearing what I want her to wear because pretty soon we'll be butting heads in that department! Who would play me....I would say someone like Nicole Kidman but people who know me would say that is a far fetch! Tina Fey would be a good fit.

If you could own one exotic animal as a pet what would it be why and what would you name it? A penguin...not sure they are consider exotic but they are my favorite animals. Clyde would be a good name for it. They all look like "Clydes" to me with the way the waddle and stuff (hopefully I'm not offending any Clydes out there). =)

What is your greatest post processing tip that you are willing to share?: If you have an overexposed photos that you LOVE and want to save, try applying a dull layer over it to tone the brightness down along with some textures.

Tell us the best advice that you have ever received (photography related or life in general): I'm a quote girl so I LOVE quotes! A client of mine gifted me a book of inspirational quotes and every single one of them are words to live by. The book is called LIVE GOOD. A couple of my favorites are:
* Reach out and open the door that no one thought could be opened. Life is behind it. -Kelly Ann Rothaus
* I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives. -Tracy Chapman
* My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here. -Jim Henson
* You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. -Robin Williams
* There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less. - Kurt Hahn

If you were given $500 today what would be the first thing you would do?: A day at the spa...I NEED it! That would be heaven! I think my husband would have to drag me out of there because I probably would make it my permanent residence.

If you had an entire Saturday to do whatever you wanted...what would you do? Well..let's see. After I got home (I mean dragged home) from the Spa, I would say I would LOVE to sleep! LOL!! It's a precious commodity around here (especially with the time-change)!

Where do you go to find inspiration?: EVERYWHERE! Ever since I started photography, I look at things so differently now then before. I watch movies for the cinematics, color, location, perspective and so on. It drives my husband nuts because I completely miss the whole point of the movie. Magazines, Flickr, greeting cards, etc. Just the other day, I downloaded a Lady Antebellum song on my phone and I like the posing of the album cover. It's amazing what is around us in our everyday lives that can touch our creative side.

What type of sessions are your favorite (children e-sessions weddings newborns....) and why?: Hands down, definitely children. I'm lucky because I'm known as a child photographer so that is about 95% of my bookings. I think it's because I'm a child at heart and I can relate to them easily. I'll sing at the top of my lungs (fully knowing I sound awful) and I don't care. I'll do all sorts of goofy things and I think they just warm up to me and get into the session and have fun.

What equipment do you use and if you had only one lens to use...what would it be?: Up until a little over a year ago, I used a Canon 20D body. I upgraded to the 5D markII which I love! I only have primes lenses: 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4 and the 30mm 1.4. I'm eyeing a nice sweet fish eye that I think would be really fun to use with sessions. If I could only use one lens, I would have to say it would be the 50mm 1.4. It barely comes off my camera and it's very versatile both inside and outside.

What has been your most memorable assignment and why? Oh my....there are so many! I would have to say it was a family that I did for an indoor natural light session when I first started out. I left with only taking about 80 frames. It was one of those proud moments in my career because I knew I had some awesome shots. I didn't just shoot to shoot, I waited for the shot. It was a good feeling.

If we surprised you at your house today what would be the first thing we would notice? My ugly carpet! We are in the processing of replacing it It drives me nuts that we've had it in the house since we had it built. I hate it and I would rip it up right now if I had the muscles! LOL!!

What was your first paid session like? Were you nervous? Did it turn out how you wanted? My first paid session was actually a referral from another photographer. I didn't do any portfolio building and so it was my first session ever (other than product/commercial stuff). I was soooooo nervous because they wanted a lifestyle session which really isn't want I'm known for but it was awesome, better than I ever expected. They were naturals in front of the camera so of course that made it easy for me.

What moment in your life makes you smile every single time you think about it?: There are so many both personal and business. Personal, definitely the birth of my kids! Business, it would be doing taxes (weird I know) but I finally got the sense of how much I make a year after our taxes are done! LOL!! Even though I'm a stay at home mom and I LOVE it and wouldn't have it any other way because it's so rewarding, it's also a good feeling to be able to contribute income as well. Another business one was when our first Bloom Workshop sold out in 3 minutes!
I would also say that I was in a position to help save some animal shelters and abused animals too by giving my actions away to generous people that contributed to them. If they contributed $15.00 to these places, I sent them all my actions for free. Every time I've done this, it's been a great turn-out! One time in just 4 hours of doing it, we were able to raise $2500.00 for one shelter. I'm a huge animal lover and just to be able to do this makes me happy. Plus, my daughter is learning from this as well. When she received some Christmas money from some relatives, she donated to the SPCA. That makes my heart smile!!

What is at the top of your wish list right now?: A studio! It will happen! My husband is more into looking for places than I am. He'll email me links of locations that he looked up while at lunch at work. His goal is to quit his job and become my business manager. LOL!!

What is the first photographer that comes to your mind and why? Amanda Keeys to this day! She is the sole reason why I got into photography. Had I not seen her work, I shudder to think what I would be doing instead. After spending hours and hours on her website, I decided right then and there that I wanted to take better photos of my daughter.

And lastly.....when we started the maternal lens all of us filled out this questionnaire and shared our answers....now it's your turn :)

What is your favorite word?
Seriously? Really it is...I say it way to much!
What is your least favorite word?
No! It a limited word and of course I hear it a lot from my son! LOL!
What turns you on creatively spiritually or emotionally?
Being with my kids, family and friends! They bring out the best in me when I'm surrounded by them.
What turns you off creatively spiritually or emotionally?
Having a messy house. If I know that I have dishes to unload or a pile of laundry to do, unless I get it done first, I'm worthless.
What sound or noise do you love?
Rain....it's so comforting to me.
What sound or noise do you hate?
Ambulance sirens.
What is your favorite thing to say when you get mad? "I'm soooo over this!"
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Interior decorating.
What profession would you not like to do?
Port-a-potty cleaning and disposal!
If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
You lived the life I wanted you to live...you made me proud!

a HUGE thank you to brenda....
ALSO brenda is offering a 25% off discount off of anything you order from her actions website!! awesome, huh?! all you need to do is enter the coupon code: maternallens!!!!


  1. WOW Awesome I enjoyed the entire read and feel very inspired ! Like her I know there are some dishes that need done and it is BLOCKING me so first things first (READ THE BLOG lol)

  2. I'm a huge fan of Brenda (and a former Bloomie :) and I love this interview! I learned so much about you that I didn't know, thanks for sharing! :) Plus, an ACTUAL picture of you!?!? You should "remain mysterious" behind your camera less often! :P

  3. awesome! I've always enjoyed Brenda's work. So nice to read more about her!

  4. Beautiful work! You are inspiring..

  5. You are such an inspiration, Brenda. Your work always makes my heart smile. :)

  6. Alison3/25/2010

    I feel like I should have know about her before now, but I didn't. But, boy, am I excited I do now! Brenda, your photos are amazing!

  7. Wonderful interview! Thanks for opening up, I really enjoyed reading it. Your work is an inspiration. I never get sick of it!

  8. I nearly cried when I read this! Goofy huh? Here's why: I've been struggling with my SLR FOREVER! I won't even use it at this point. There aren't any great workshops where I currently live and online classes would be tough for me since I am so visual. I cried for joy when I found out Bloom is just outside of Dallas, TX because my family and I are moving there in June! Brenda's photography is so inspiring and beautiful. I love her style!

  9. she has always been one of my favorites and it's so fun to read her interview to know a little more about her. she seems like a wonderful person and her work is truly art. the first image i ever saw of hers is the little girl with the doggie in the basket (last one from her interview), and i instantly fell in love.

  10. I've admired Brenda's work for so long! So nice to have her on the blog!!! xo

  11. Oh, I just love, love the stuffed puppy peeking out of the basket! Thank you for sharing everything :o)

  12. look at that Cutie Brenda!!! So proud of my friend!

  13. i'm a brenda fan, i'm a brenda fan! loved her since coming across her work on flickr!

    good to see you too brenda! i had no clue what you looked like!

  14. LOVED this interview! Brenda has definitely been someone that I've been inspired by. I think she was one of the first photogs blogs that I followed. :)

  15. AWWW...thank you everyone!!

  16. awesome interview. brenda's inspired me SO MUCH!!

  17. Loved learning more about you, Brenda! You are a true inspiration to SO many!


want our button on your blog? copy and paste the code below: