Meet Photographer, Brooke Wilen, 1/30/19

Q: How long have you been shooting?

A:  I’ve dabbled with photography for many years. I took some photography classes in college for fun, and always enjoyed shooting. But I didn’t get serious about it until recently. A few years ago I started to work with companies on enhancing their social media, which included creating photographic content for their social media channels. This process of going into different businesses and being challenged to find the beauty in their day-to-day operations, really brought out my inner photographer. Now I can hardly go anywhere without noticing the light, composition, and colors all around me, and taking at least one quick snapshot.

Q: Who are some of your greatest influences?

A: Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Edward Weston. Their work all centers around finding the beauty and intrigue in the natural world. Even as a little girl, I remember getting lost in the dreamy landscapes that Ansel Adams captured. I love the intimacy that Imogen Cunningham presents via floral still life. And Edward Weston’s exploration of texture is pure magic!

Q: What inspired you to get into the arts?

A: I have always been involved in creative endeavors. With the advent of social media, I was able to share my photography for fun, and that turned into people asking for prints of my images.

Q: Why photography rather than another medium?

A:  I use photography as a way to improve my mental health, and stay present. If I go on a walk, and take a camera with me, it serves as a reminder for me to observe my surroundings and engage with them. I find myself literally stopping to smell the roses. I marvel at color and texture that I might otherwise overlook. Because I shoot found objects rather than staging something, photography allows me to be in the moment, and appreciate the physical world around me in real time. It’s very therapeutic, and a good reminder that life is magical. The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and it’s all there for you to enjoy if you train yourself to bring your awareness to it.