If you were to ask Brent what he’s been up to, he would kindly reply with the words “livin’ the dream, man.” Mostly to inhibit the wonders of life in that moment, and to throw back at you the question of your dreams. There is the dream that he follows through his vision of photos and experiences that one can see, but mostly feel. “One has to get out and take in all one can, for life is short, so smile.” Maybe this is why people get lost within his images. Brent lists growing up on the Navajo Nation as one of his greatest accomplishments. Living in various places around the United States since then, he often refers back to his small town upbringings surrounded by the grandeur that is mother earth. When Brent’s not found in the classroom, editing, or behind a camera, you can find him hiking, biking, and in the waters of what is Montana. In his other passion, filmmaking, he explains that taking photographs and shooting actors walk hand-in-hand with each other. “The camera is but a tool to explain what is in the mind’s heart, now how the heck do I get that done?” he often asks himself.
We are ecstatic to share Brent’s photos with our readers in this edition of Literary Orphans and encourage everyone to become followers of his work online. To see more of his portfolio or contact him professionally, please visit his Flickr.
Brent was also kind enough to answer a few questions regarding his photography and inspiration, which you can read here, in his interview with Literary Orphans:
1. What sparked your interested in photography, and when did you know you would pursue being an artist?
I’ve often thought that when I get old I would like a collection of events that I’ve had and shared in life in front of me. The best and easiest way to do that is with a camera. Moments can be caught and shared. In those moments laughter and love can be seen and remembered. This idea started to churn while in Jr. High School but not until as of recent have I seriously started to develop my eye and share more with anyone who wants to take a moment and look. We are all artists, some just need more of a push in a certain direction.
2. What other artists and art forms have influenced you and your work?
People who have not gotten caught up in the mass production of weak and sorrowful wastes of time that is Hollywood. These people are found everywhere everyday all around me and of all ages. I watch with a conscious eye what is happening around me at all times to catch a glimpse of beauty. I enjoy shadows and uncontrived moments with life.
3. Can you describe your current artistic process, habits, techniques you have formed?
Inspiration happens, when it strikes it’s important for me to write down an idea. Then it slowly begins to grow into a, “How can I develop this idea into something more and in what venue?” I ask myself. From here I take various shots in photo, film, writings, and paint to see where it can go.
4. Is storytelling important in your photography?
Every picture has a story. I enjoy sitting down and telling people stories the photos that I have taken. Even more important I believe is that connection that a photo makes with the giver and the taker. Sharing happens.
5. What are some of your favorite books, movies, poems, authors?
Books: On The Road, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Odyssey, Custer Died for Your SIns, Into the Wild, The Captain’s Verses Movies: The Big , Animal House, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Bicycle Thieves… Poems: Many of Pablo Nerudas, Walt Whitman, Yeats, Emerson, Twain… Authors: Thoreau, Lama, Mother Teresa, Books on Mountaineering, Books on Surfing
6. Can you put into words the way you have evolved over time as a photographer?
I have become more patient and am willing to wait for a moment, a look, a certain light. With less angst but with vigor, I strive to convey my vision with all my influences making it my own.
7. Where do you turn for motivation and new sources of inspiration?
I definitely come in vision and contact with the highs and lows of my emotional spectrum. Each one serves a purpose and gives a varying snapshot of what I feel needs to get done. On my highs I share and grow. On my lows I hide and grow.
8. Discuss the role of community and gallery showings, etc to your growth as an artist.
As an artist I create to satisfy what urges that may come and go. At times in my life I think I have had the ability to develop in mind proofs of what I would like to see. That can be seen through my photos, films, art that is constantly evolving into something better and hopefully not the opposite. People, friends, family, and the public all can give feedback. And they do! Good, bad, sucks, who are you, why am I here answers. I listen to people and nurture ideas constantly writing them down day in and day out. Galleries hold people for a moment to share a creation, to share life an moments.
9. What do you think is more important for your craft: passion, dedication, or raw talent and can you elaborate on why?
All three contribute to what an artist produces. Our individual talents all vary but its passion that takes the cake. Passion can lead you through the long days of searching, editing, and tearing oneself down over a project that may or may not be what one wants. Passion brings a smile to my face when I’m done working at 4 in the morning and ready to meet the day at the same time.
10. What is a project you are currently working on, and a project you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
I currently have written and completed two short scripts this summer and will shoot them this fall. I also have wanted to get out a children’s book and is an ongoing project. I found an artist/illustrator that fits my vision and hope to get that out by the end of this year as well.