Today we’d like to introduce you to Bret Edge.
Hi Bret, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I began hiking and backpacking at around the age of 20. I carried a point-and-shoot camera to document these adventures with my friends and the photos I would take were nothing more than snapshots. In 1999, I attended a gallery exhibit showcasing the photography of Jack Dykinga, Ansel Adams, and David Muench. The images so inspired me that I purchased my first DSLR a few weeks later and determined that I would invest the time and energy to stop taking snapshots and start making high-quality images. Over the next couple of years, I shot hundreds of rolls of film and voraciously read photography “how-to” books. Slowly my photography improved and I sold my first image a little over two years after buying the DSLR.
I switched to digital cameras in 2005 and enjoy the freedom to experiment that they provide as well as the incredibly high resolution. I’ve gone through phases as an artist, initially preferring to photograph grand landscapes but more recently I’m much more interested in the intimate landscape – small scenes that are more contemplative.
I’ve also transitioned into photographing the overland and active outdoor lifestyle, both personally and commercially. I enjoy the challenge of producing photography that tells a brand’s story and helps them showcase their products in an engaging and authentic manner.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
For the most part, it’s been a smooth road. However, my wife and I opened a gallery in Moab and operated it for four years, and the constant pressure to produce led to burnout. The gallery was hugely successful but somewhere along the line, I’d lost the passion and joy that I used to get creating art. We closed the gallery and I sold all my camera equipment, never intending to pursue photography again.
After a couple of years, my shutter finger started to itch so I picked up my wife’s old Sony camera and started shooting when the inspiration struck. A year or so later, I bought a Sony A7III and 24-105mm lens and started shooting more. The time away from the craft brought perspective and returned the joy I’d lost in making photographs. I took my time diving back in and no longer plan trips around photography unless they’re commercial shoots.
I’m having fun with it again and plan to maintain a pace that won’t make it feel so much like work.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I specialize in dynamic nature and adventure photography. It feels awkward to answer “what I”m known for” but when we had our gallery visitors often commented on my use of light to evoke emotion and technical mastery of photography techniques, so I guess that’s it.
What I’m most proud of has nothing to do with my art. I’m a devoted husband and father, and raising my son to enjoy and appreciate nature and travel, and to be a good human being, is the greatest privilege of my life. I think what sets me apart from others is authenticity. I don’t photograph anything I”m not passionate about and I think that translates into my work.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
That depends on to whom I’m offering advice. For those who want to make a career out of photography, the best advice I can offer is to develop strong business acumen. Take classes and read books on marketing, accounting, business writing, etc. I studied business in college and spent over a decade in the corporate world before starting my photography business. The education and real-world experience were invaluable in my own success.
For those who just want to improve their photography, there is tremendous value in studying the work of photographers you admire and seeking brutally honest image critiques. Find the genre you love and then dive in. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You will fail. Don’t get discouraged, just enjoy the journey and create for your own satisfaction.
- eBooks are $25/each
- Prints range in price and size, starting at $25
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.bretedge.com and www.moabphotoworkshops.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/bretedge
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/bretedgephoto