Work and Travel

Who Are We?

We are B & L Creative, LLC. Brad and Leandra to our friends. We are an Austin based photography business specializing in  capturing your brand and lifestyle through images.

Brad and I met in high school. There was a short and sweet teen romance. Once our twenties were over, (praise be), we found each other, (thanks, social media!), and realized we were both still living in Austin. That was ten years ago.

I started a portrait photography business as Leandra Blei Photography in 2014. Over the past couple of years, B and I found our life goals changing, which led to us shifting what we wanted the business to look like and the roles each of us needed to take on to make that happen. We changed the name to reflect our newest adventure in coupling, working together. This meant immediately developing a clear and concise workflow and assigning tasks. JUST KIDDING. This meant we needed a vacation to clear our heads and sort it all out.

Nomadic Work Life Balance

Food and travel have always been huge parts of our lives. Our first trip together was to Costa Rica in 2009. It was a no frills time. We stayed in a one-man tent on the beach in Santa Teresa having gallo pintos for breakfast and ham and avocado sandwiches for dinner. The change of scenery and little access to well, anything, slowed us down, giving us the time and mind space to recalibrate. We have continued the tradition ever since.

 Most of us entrepreneurs have heard we simply need to, ‘find something you love and figure out how to make a living from it’. Like most things in life, there is much more to it. But it’s certainly more rewarding when you see your efforts and persistence begin to take shape. Even when  it’s more ebb than flow, there is always comfort and pride in knowing you are doing what you love.

For us, living a fulfilling existence means we will always be looking for new experiences. 

We relish the big trip but that is not always an option. So how do we balance the need for adventure? By being intentional. Running a business means figuring out how to prioritize money and time. The behind the scenes work can seem overwhelming. Not to mention, as we get older, making plans to see friends and family must be well-orchestrated. We like the “two birds one stone” approach. Thanksgivings with mom in Mexico. A road trip through Spain with our favorite French couple. A long weekend in a South Padre airbnb.

Not only is it a financial plus, (a place to stay, home cooked meals), but staying with friends and family often allows us to reflect on how we have grown and how far we have come when catching up with those we love. Exchanging stories over dinner and drinks, receiving questions and words of encouragement can trigger a perspective you hadn’t yet considered. Even hearing the journey said aloud in our voice. 

More pragmatically, a short visit before pushing off on your own could be a great way to get advice on where to eat and what to see. While we like to keep our travel plans loose being  able to incorporate seeing friends into our getaways means we save a little bit of money, we see people we like, and still enjoy the benefits of a change of scenery. Wins all around.

As creatives, travel is an invaluable way to filter through new ideas and reconfigure old ones.

 Foreign languages, foods, scenery, all of these things have different attitudes. Stepping out of our daily routines, seeing how friends and strangers are living their day to day lives in other places helps to expand possibilities for how we can live our own

We get to imagine new paths for ourselves doing things in ways we hadn’t considered before. Doing this as photographers means literally focusing on new and interesting subjects. Reframing our thoughts. Documenting our travels through pictures is also an incredible insight into one another’s strengths. It gives us a glimpse into how the other is absorbing a shared environment. Understanding how my partner processes visuals is really important in running a creative business, and there is always something new to discover.

Leandra Blei
Photographer, based in Austin, Texas.

see more of Leandra's photography and travels here

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