Heidi Brandt, Photographer/Graphic Designer
The first photograph that caught my attention was one that hung above the sofa in our living room throughout my childhood. My parents were married a short two weeks before my father left for basic training in the U.S. Army. He returned home for a brief visit before being sent to finish his enlistment in Germany. There, he took up photography and created a wonderful photo keepsake to send back home to mom. The photo shows dad sitting with a cigarette burning in an ashtray. He looks deep in thought, staring into space, where my mother’s senior picture hangs suspended and surrounded by a haze. My father had creatively combined two images into one and this fascinated me.
In high school this fascination led me to the combination of creativity and technology where I studied typesetting and graphic arts. For the next ten years I thrived in the middle of the technological revolution where computers changed graphic arts at an exciting pace. In the late 1980’s I operated my first Apple Macintosh computer and took my first photography course. The combination of photography and graphic design was the perfect mix and I knew that I had found my career.
I also have a love and deep respect for nature. Some of my fondest school memories are of Earth day celebrations. We studied conservation, planted trees on the school lawn and sold “toilet tank bricks”, embellished with peace signs, to conserve water. Photography allows me to preserve the wonders of nature and to always have it around me. I found that my best design work happened when I was working with great photos that inspired me. I have finally decided to get away from the computer more to experience nature (and anything else that falls into my viewfinder) first hand and preserve it with my camera to share with others. In our fast-paced world I find balance by stopping to enjoy the beauty that is always near when I choose to take notice.
When I was a child I would grab for the bright lights that stayed in my eyes after the camera flash went off and became frustrated when I couldn’t catch one. My family still teases me about my preoccupation with the flash! I am still reaching for that bright spot that flashes in my minds eye. The difference is that I have the camera and can finally capture those images and share them with you.