San Antonio photographers, business owners share conflicts they’ve faced as biracial couple

SAN ANTONIO – Jason and Alejandra Bryant have a passion for photography and telling people’s stories, but their own has been somewhat of a rocky one as a biracial couple.

“We love it so much because it’s just so different every single time,” Alejandra said about her job.

Jason said he fell in love with photography in 2010. A few years later, he started Jason Michael Bryant Photography. His focus was shooting for high-end fashion magazines, including Vogue Italia, Cowboys and Indians and other regional and national magazines.

In 2014, Alejandra met Jason, a Lockhart native, and helped him run the business. Jason encouraged the San Antonio native to get behind the lens. She loved it so much that she eventually quit her job in social work.

“Essentially, he kind of pulled my creativeness that I didn’t know was even there,” Alejandra said.

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In 2017, they decided to shift their focus from shooting fashion to taking photos of families, for portraits and providing branding and photography services to small business owners in the San Antonio area. They launched Meet the Bryants Photography.

“We wanted to take that skill set that we learned and the quality and all the retouching, all these skills, and bring it to everyday people,” Jason said.

The Bryants say they do business differently. They don’t take on clients without the expectation of creating lifelong friends.

“It’s a relationship that we’re willing to build on,” Alejandra said.

They’re also willing to do pretty much anything to get the best picture of their clients.

“You hiring us is a luxury. We want to make sure that we tell the story in a perfect vantage point, perfect perspective,” Jason said.

The couple is also unapologetic about who they are.

“We are a biracial couple, and we are a package deal,” Alejandra said.

Jason is Black, and Alejandra is Latina. They say they are intentional about highlighting that on their website and social media pages. You’ll also find an “about us” on the couple’s website.

“And so for us, it was really important to highlight those aspects of our business of where we are so that people can really feel that they’re getting to know us before. Or just, you know, versus just seeing the color of our skin,” Alejandra said.

Jason and Alejandra are not only business owners but also full-time parents to their 19-month-old daughter, Jasale.

Like many small business owners across America, the Bryants’ photography business came to a screeching halt at the beginning of the pandemic. Fortunately, their company didn’t suffer financially, but it has created some hurdles. For example, being people of color and having to wear a mask.

“I am, at some points, concerned. And I make sure, you know, we are mindful of where we go because I’m just a regular citizen. But people automatically put, you know, stereotypes and now I look suspicious,” Jason said.

The Bryants say they always have to keep their business cards on them when they’re shooting on location to ensure no one confuses them as trespassers.

“So we just have to move a little differently or over-explain,” Alejandra said.

Discrimination doesn’t keep them from doing what they love.

The Bryants are booking new clients and follow strict safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meet the Bryants is one of several small businesses that KSAT is featuring in August for National Black-owned business month.

Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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