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A chat with Brayden Howie

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Brayden Howie put a smile on our faces, with his warm and stunning images. Travelling all over the world has given him a real appreciation for this country of ours. We are very grateful that Brayden shared a bit more about himself with us…

 
Where is home for you?
The beautiful Hills Shire in northwest Sydney.

 
If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?
The one my kids seem to have. I admire the way my kids enter any situation so full of life and optimism. I’d love to have the power to turn that on whenever faced with a challenging situation.

 
You take wonderful photos Brayden, and it’s not even your full time gig! We’d love to hear a bit about what else you do?
I’m an international humanitarian and community development worker. It’s a fantastic job that enables me to meet all sorts of people in all manner of places and circumstances around the world.

 
Your work moves effortlessly between portraits, landscapes and documentary style. What motivates or moves you, to take the photos that you do?
To be honest, the motivations are many: in part it’s the challenge of learning and improving, in parts it’s the pursuit of technical quality, and in part it’s simply a compulsion to be creative.

But fundamentally, what I want to achieve with photography is connection. I believe a true connection (as opposed to simply admiration of beauty, which is fleeting) occurs when you successfully speak to someone’s core values and beliefs. When I have a camera in hand I see the environment I’m in as a rich palette – I start appreciating the changing qualities of light more, the qualities of a unique smile, the angles of a face, the textures, shapes, patterns, and colours around me. I find my best images are created when I stop, slow down and consider what core values I can communicate with this available palette. I then start to see new possibilities and that becomes an uplifting and even spiritual experience at times. When I find that these images communicate what words cannot by resonating with a fundamental human value, I just want to go out and do it all over again.

 
What have you been snapping recently, that shares something of your local area or community?
We are in the process of building a new house so will be leaving our neighbourhood soon. When you know you are leaving something behind you start to appreciate it more. As the seasons changed in Autumn and now Spring I’ve been taking more walks with my boys and capturing a little of the streetscapes around our home, and the bush and undeveloped spaces nearby. My boys will never be this age again, and we will not see these, the most picturesque seasons again in this neighbourhood. It has been important to me to capture those things in this place that I will miss the most – as I look back on some of those images now, I’m already glad that I’ve made the effort to do this. How blessed we are!

 
What are a few of your favourite things to take photos of?
Probably my favourite would be exotic and remote places. If it wasn’t for the craft of creating an image I certainly wouldn’t have seen all the places I have, or had all the experiences I have had. Having this motivation gets me out of hotel rooms to experience a new city after an exhausting week. It gets me up early on a cold morning to experience a sunrise that makes a great location incredible. It takes me down a path I would normally walk right past. These places are my favourite things to photograph.

I also like creating images of my kids doing what they do. Playing in the backyard, playing in the park or on the street, sleeping peacefully – my kids fascinate me and I could look at images of them all day! My photo library is literally FULL of images of my kids – I pity them when it comes to 18th birthdays and weddings…

 
What’s camera gear do you work with?
Currently I’m using a Nikon D800E, and my kit includes a 14-24mm, 35mm (this has become my favourite focal length for reasons I can’t fully explain), and 85mm, plus all the miscellaneous paraphernalia that accumulates over time. It’s not all generally in my bag at one time though – often it’s just the camera and one lens.

 
Do you have a favourite family tradition?
I’m pretty fond of the dinner ritual most days.

 
Where would we find you on a day off?
Taking my kids somewhere – the park, the zoo, the mountains. I don’t care where it is, just give me my family plus time!

 
Why did you decide to join our Austockphoto community?
I like what Austockphoto have set out to do. I’ve been a buyer of stock images in the past, and it is a struggle to filter through the mass of content to find genuine Australian feeling images from the major agencies. Australian consumers have a well tuned radar for things that that look or feel American. Having a one stop shop for genuinely Australian content would be something that I would have used in the past. My test of whether something will be successful is whether I’d want to use it myself – Austockphoto passes that test. I want to be part of the community because it’s a community I’d personally value. Plus it seems you’re all full of awesomeness!

Check out more of Brayden’s beautiful work at www.noborders.com.au.


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