Florida Wedding Photographer Overcomes Career Threatening Injury

When Member Jim Brandano, Florida Wedding Photographer of JP Brandano Photography decided to go out one day for a bike ride, he never thought he’d end up with a career threatening injury. But that’s just what happened! He fractured his elbow in six places, making any future in Wedding Photography unlikely! Even though his road to recovery was difficult and the odds were against him, Jim worked tirelessly to overcome this trauma.

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jim and Phyllis, the husband and wife team of JP Brandano Photography. They are truly amazing photographers and we wanted to tell their story to spread the word that Jim is fully recovered and ready to shoot weddings!

Find out more about Jim and Phyllis, how they became wedding photographers, their unique specialty service they offer called “Romance Day”, what they love most about photographing weddings, and how Jim overcame his unexpected injury.

1. Tell us a little about the both of you

We are Jim and Phyllis Brandano, the husband and wife team of JP Brandano Photography based in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. We have been married for twenty-six years and grew up in New England. Phyllis was a former educator and Jim was a former director for people with developmental disabilities. Before we were married, we both enjoyed photography but once we got together, we realized how much photography was a part of our lives so we turned our love into a business. We’ve been living in Florida for the past three years.

2. How do you think or would like people to describe you?

We think people would describe us as a happy couple who enjoy each other’s company and entertaining family and friends. Jim is an extremely creative person which can be seen in his images and in the dishes he prepares in the kitchen. His photographic vision takes us to places that allow us to take advantage of many unique opportunities. Phyllis is the organizer, she puts the creativity to work and helps the team show off their talent. We compliment each other beautifully.

3. How did you both get into wedding photography?

After many years of taking portraiture, landscape and nature photography, we wanted to expand our client base. We had been repeatedly asked to photograph couples and when some friends asked us to shoot their wedding, we agreed. We received such strong positive feedback from the couple and guests at the wedding, we knew it was the correct move to make.

4. How long have you been wedding photographers?

We have been shooting weddings for over a decade.

5. What equipment do you use for a typical wedding day?

The images created during a wedding are varied and require multiple cameras, lenses and flashes. We use three Nikon cameras: a 300S, and two 300s. We have fixed lenses including 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 105mm and zoom lenses of 12-24mm, 17-55mm, 70-200mm and 18-200mm. We use four Quantum Turbo flashes and battery packs in addition to tripods/poles and umbrellas.

6. Do you offer anything different or unique?

One of our specialty services is a Romance Day where we accompany a couple to a location and photograph images that reflect their relationship. Many couples say this is a unique experience because it is part fact and part fantasy. We are not intrusive, we are more like quiet observers. The images are beautiful, honest and creative.

Because we understand the economy everyone faces, two other differences in JP Brandano Photography are financial. The first is when you hire us, we are available from the rehearsal to the reception. We do not charge by the hour. We arrive at the rehearsal to become familiar with the ceremony and the needs of the officiates. On the wedding day, we arrive for the preparations and stay until the last dance. Secondly, we offer travel to cities within Florida, at no extra charge. These unique offerings receive high praise from our clients.

7. What do you love most about your job?

What we love most about being photographers is getting to know our clients, their friends and families and creating special memories that they can share for a lifetime. The relationship between clients and their photographers is a special one and continues well passed the actual event. We continue to hear from former clients about special times in their lives like the birth of their children or grandchildren, moving to a new home or changing jobs. We are truly thrilled when they keep in touch.

8. What do you think is the most challenging thing about a wedding?

The most challenging thing about a wedding is the unknown. The more prepared you are, the better you can accommodate any challenges that come up. Whether it’s the equipment, event timing or whatever, good professional photographers must be quick on their feet to adjust. We are always prepared for that challenge.

9. Do you provide any other services besides wedding photography?

We are a full service photography business which includes, weddings, portraiture, family events, business events, pets and a fine arts department.

10. If you weren’t wedding photographers, what would you be?

If Jim wasn’t a photographer, he would be a professional chef. This would allow him the opportunity to use his creative talents in a way that pleases guests. Phyllis would be a writer. She would like to create stories to entertain.

11. Finally, tell us about how Jim broke his elbow, how he recovered, and what your plans are for your future ahead.

Jim was riding his bike, got distracted and fell. He fractured his elbow in six places and it had to be repaired with a plate and screws. The prognosis was that he would be lucky to recover 70-80% extension in his left arm. That made any future in photography unlikely.

We had to cancel a few weddings so Jim could recover. Through extensive physical therapy with a professional and at home, Jim worked tirelessly through extreme pain to gain mobility.

At the surprise and delight of the doctor, Jim has recovered with 98-100% extension in his arm.

We are looking forward to our next wedding in a month.


JP Brandano Photography
Florida Wedding Photographer

Premiere wedding and portrait photographers of South and Central Florida. Professional photography for weddings, engagements, social events, personal and family portraiture plus fine art photography.

You can check out more from Jim & Phyllis on their blog or website.

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