Brandon Kidwell is a Financial Analyst by day and a photographer and digital artist by night. He started studying Philosophy, but finished his school with a Diploma in Finance. Now also a proud father of three, he enjoys speaking about his family, his inspiration for all his life's choices and his amazing compositions in photography.
Brandon, your photographs are sort of like reading a book on life that is honest, daring, and humble... How do you come up with the titles and subject matter for each of them?
These photographs were created over the period of a year or a year and a half and were real life events that my kids were going through.
I love philosophy and art so I tend to try to carefully word my titles, but the idea and the image is all naturally driven and honestly quite quickly created. The titles tend to be generalized to be relatable on a grand scale, but it's all things every parent goes through.
Your bio, especially cool as it was written by a friend, reveals you are also a financial analyst. Did stress push you to find your way to photography? How do you make it work between these two seemingly different worlds?
My life seems to be written in grey areas.
I was going to school and heading towards a major in Philosophy. I took all the classes I could while still keeping my generals. Then one day I saw a guidance counselor who said to me, "why don't you go to school for something that you can make a living at, you can read on your own time!" I took this as wise as I was getting further in debt already just going to school and thought she was right. Forward 11 years later and I found that working with large amount of numbers and data takes a certain sense of creativity that I enjoy. I get to make order out of chaos and tell a story out of it. I don't tend to fit the personality profile of a corporate guy, but it works and allows me and my family a comfortable living. This also makes it possible for me to enjoy my artistic outlets to the fullest (as time allows) because I know I'm not dependent upon it.
This is not general advice. It's just the path I chose and I have no regrets. Art and music have always been my first love, but I have learned to balance the hemispheres of my brain and do what's best for me and my family.
What were your goals when you started your photography projects? How about now?
I don't think I had goals beyond trying to make my final result appear as I imagine it. This is something I will still be trying to do for the rest of my life. I also try to simplify my process. I like to do as little post production as possible as it feels closer to the real thing to me.
This just takes time, creativity, hitting my head against the wall a lot and when lucky sparks that bring it all together. Those are the moments that make it great. I think in the end I don't have a lot of pride in my finished product, but in my process. Being in the moment of creativity is what makes it beautiful to me.
Your work exemplifies the power of technology when used to its fullest extent for art projects. As an avid iPhone 5 user for your photography projects, would you say that an apple product a day keeps boredom or trouble away? What else could you say about the impact of technology in your photography and your life? I think that mobile photography has been an incredible tool for our culture. Suddenly everyone has the creative tools to make whatever they can imagine and they carry it all day. This means every moment is captured; no inspired scene is lost because you didn't have your camera or laptop or film.
That said, an apple a day does help, but it can also be a hindrance. This availability leads to a flood of information. It can also lead to information gluttony and everyone has to find their own balance. Seeing that much data and what’s popular or how fast things come and go now makes it harder to find your lasting voice and not get caught up in the static. I think it's both a creative and destructive tool that is up to the individual to use and balance to make their lives better and share their creativity.