Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
By: Amelia Robinson
— Sometimes one of the most interesting people in the room is the one behind the camera.
That is the case with Briana Snyder.
We caught up with Snyder, the owner of Knack Creative, our latest Daytonian of the Week.
What do you do and why?
I do commercial photo and video production with my life-and-business partner Max (Spang) out of our downtown studio, Knack Creative. I do this work because I love telling the visual stories of brands and organizations, going beyond just ‘pretty shots’ to find the substance, so that they can share why they are passionate about what they do. We work with all sorts of organizations, but it is an extra special treat when we get to document and share the talent of local arts organizations like DCDC, the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, and Playground Theater and nonprofits doing the real, challenging work to improve our city like YWCA Dayton.
How did you get involved in your business? What was the most challenging part, and what advice do you have for others?
Max and I had been working in these fields separately for over a decade, so starting Knack together in 2016 just made sense. But, I had been working as ‘Briana Snyder Photography’ for years, and had had another business in the meantime, so starting a whole new ‘brand’ posed a challenge. I wasn’t sure if it would be a smooth transition or if people who only knew me from my other businesses would support my shifting endeavors. But they did, and it has been a fantastic couple of years so far. My advice for others would be to not be afraid to shift and grow your business as you change. If you commit yourself to working hard and providing the best possible service that you can, that will resonate, regardless of what field you are in.
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What should people know about Dayton?
People should know that Dayton is a city of incredible opportunity. If you want to get involved in the community, start a business, create art, etc., there probably isn’t a more supportive place that you could find. People are so accommodating and lift each other up. That, coupled with low cost of living, makes this city a great place to try out your ideas.
If you could change or bring one thing to Dayton, would would it be?
This is an absolutely fantastic place to live, but we aren’t perfect, and I’d like to see a Dayton that is less afraid to look our flaws in the eye, as that is the only way we can begin to address them. We can celebrate our town, its successes and its progress while at the same being willing to ask the hard questions about it: who isn’t currently being included in that progress? And how can we make sure that they are? I hope that the work I do, both professionally and personally, contributes to building a city like that.
What’s one word you think people would use to describe you?
Why did you decide to settle in Dayton?/What do you love about life in Dayton?
Dayton is my home. I grew up south of town and moved downtown as soon as I could, and now we’re settled within the tight-knit community of St. Anne’s, only a 20 minute walk to our studio. Dayton has (at least) one of everything you could want in an (exceptionally affordable) city. I love that I can grab a variety of great food, coffee or cocktails just a handful of blocks from my home. I love that I can experience a wide range of art and dance and theater and music. And I love that there are so many opportunities provided to young people here. There aren’t too many doors that are closed off, if you want to go through them.
What is your favorite Dayton hidden gem?
Sunday night at Jazz Central.
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What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?
I don’t know what the future holds for Dayton, but I know what I hope for: that we will be held up as an example of a welcoming, inclusive place to live, known widely for our compassion, and that the city continues to grow and prosper in a way that mindfully and intentionally elevates all of our residents, whether newly-settled or lifelong Daytonians.