San Miguel County in Colorado is the home of Telluride and your town Ophir. What are your favorite things in regards to being a resident of this remarkable county?
Well, it’s a remote spot of Colorado, in fact, a remote spot in the states in general. We have tons of open space, loads of wilderness areas, and some of the most majestic mountain ranges, in my opinion, in the lower 48 and perhaps the world. We also have the desert at our doorstep. That mixture of the two, I’d say, from a visually creative standpoint is pretty amazing. I live outside of Telluride, in the small bedroom community of Ophir, just short of 10,000 feet. Telluride is a ski town first, but then after that its a music town for sure. I’ve shot for the Telluride Bluegrass festival for almost every year over the last 20 years. And now we have so many other festivals. It’s all summer long; Jazz, Blues and Brews, The Ride Festival. We have a festival almost every weekend all summer long.
Your website’s tabs go in this order; Architecture, Weddings, Sports. Does this reflect the priority of your passions?
(Laughs) No! I suppose it reflects the order of my past financial sources. Weddings and architecture is where I got my paychecks for a long time and it’s only been in the last year or two where I’ve been able to say ‘No’. It’s a really great feeling to finally get there after 20 years of doing this - To be able to choose the direction and the subject matter I love, which for me is Travel and Adventure Sports. And skiing and snow sports are at the top of that. The architecture and weddings were really a means to get the equipment to do that.
Do you have any highlights from your Feather Camera Crane™ usage?
Austin City Limits hired me last year to shoot some video for The Ride Festival, which was a new Telluride festival, and they had heard that I had a jib, which I think helped me get hired. The headliner was David Byrne and St. Vincent and ACL Producer Terry Lickona gave me permission to throw the crane up on one of the stage wings. There was a crowd of 7,000 people and I was up on the wing running that crane with a Canon DSLR through the whole set; it was killer! I had gotten some great shots with the crane in more rugged environments, but for me this was a whole new thing; the crowd and stage lights going and David Byrne - just crushing it on stage! To be able to shoot him and that whole spectacle - to throw that camera out over the crowd and then back up on the stage was pretty cool. I’ve shot festivals before, but never had the opportunity to use a crane in that situation. I don’t think it had ever been done on our stage before. ACL loved that crane footage and the production value the crane offered. It’s low profile helped in that it didn’t take away from the event on stage, unlike the typical ridiculously sized cranes. It was definitely very ninja up there!
Can you list off some publications and/or companies you are proud to have shot for?
I freelance for magazines like Skiing, Powder, National Geographic Adventure, Paragliding & Hang Gliding, Rolling Stone and others. I have worked with Patagonia as a freelancer for almost 20 years, which has been fantastic. I’ve also done a lot of stuff for Chaco Sandals, when they were a Colorado based company. I am really proud to have worked for Patagonia and Chaco because I love what they make and their philosophy behind their business. I’ve also worked for some bigger clients like Warner Brothers, Jeep, Phillip Morris, US Army, and Toyota.
Any current or future projects that you are excited about?
For the near future, mostly a lot of little things - short, narrative pieces. I launched a new Music Series called the Telluride Sessions that I am really stoked about. I’ve also been working with GoPro cameras quite a bit and I’ve got some cool projects coming up with them. I’m doing a promotional piece for Telluride Helitrax (Heliskiing Operation) Obviously its a commercial project, but the subject matter is going to be a lot of fun; a lot of air-to-air stuff with plenty of ski action and helicopters.
Thanks Brett for taking the time to talk with us! To learn more about Brett, check out his website and 2013 reel: