It's fitting that high-school sweethearts would find purpose pursuing labors of love. After years of living and working in New York City's demanding creative world, Susan and William Brinson took a chance and founded their namesake photography company, House of Brinson. As if a risky career move wasn't nerve-racking enough, around the same time the Brinsons made another life-changing decision, leaving their midtown-Manhattan loft behind for a 150-year-old fixer-upper nestled in the Hudson Valley. At first glance, their robust Instagram feed of wintery landscapes, 19th-century architecture, and farm-to-table meals is pure goodness. But below the surface, their comforting images serve as encouragement to live the life you've always imagined. Join us on a journey of visual self discovery.
"We lived in New York City for 13 years, right by the Empire State Building, but we never left the island and our sanity was compromised. So we got serious about looking for a country house, and went back to a house I had been online stalking for three years. It was Stony Ford, and when we walked in, we looked at each other and said 'This is it.' It felt like home. The house was built around 1850 and still has many of the original details. It’s a huge restoration project, and we do much of the work ourselves. It has such a strong sense of American history. Many famous men who made America visited Stony Ford. Ulysses S. Grant smoked his last cigar in the house, which is really amazing!"
"About five years ago, we started working nights and weekends together, photographing whatever we found beautiful, and created a blog called House of Brinson. We blogged about our life together— simple as that. We had no rules, no job descriptions. We played to each other's strengths with the goal of creating beautiful images and not getting hung up on conventional industry expectations. We eventually left our full time jobs and we work together now. It’s pretty amazing to create our own paths."
"We love that our grandparents came from a different generation and experienced different things in their lifetime beyond what we could imagine. William’s Grandma Brinson had great style—she entertained with such a strong point of view and had one hell of a bee hive hair style in the '60s. She was full of sass and would eat Mexican food and drink beers with us when we were in college. My Grandma Dewe worked in her garden and kept the neatest house with no junk. She lived in a house my Grandpa built. I mean, who builds their own house nowadays? When we think of renovating this house or building a chicken coop and it seems overwhelming, I think of our grandparents and it all seems reasonable."
"We love the play between opposites and contrast in our work. It doesn’t matter if we are decorating our home or art directing photography, we believe in the same visual principals. We look for the contrast in masculine and feminine, light and dark, old and new, soft and hard. We don’t have a specific time period but we love vintage and nostalgia. We love the feeling of worn-in. We love showing history."