The Village Gallery of Local Artists takes great pride in presenting our featured artist for December – wildlife photographer Stephanie Brand. The Gallery invites you to come in during the holiday month to view Brand’s amazing photographs.
Brand practiced personal injury law in New York City for over 30 years. Her legal work emphasized representing individuals who had been sexually abused by mental health and religious providers as well as serving on the Board of Directors of a domestic violence agency.
After retiring, she traveled extensively, especially through many parts of Africa, South America, and Asia, and has focused on creating wildlife images from each area.
Primarily self-taught in photography, she did study at the International Center of Photography in New York and participated in workshops with some of today’s most respected photographers. In New York, Brand’s exhibited in numerous well-known galleries.
Brand’s love of wildlife is a central force in her photography. She considers herself successful when her audience has a desire to know more about each photograph. To prepare for her photography, Brand learns as much as possible about the behavior and habitats of animals of a region to know what to watch for, anticipate, and expect. She knows the times of day she is most likely to see the species she wants to photograph. If she’ll be in a vehicle or boat, she learns as much as she can about its layout, sees pictures of that exact vehicle, if possible, and thinks about how properly to stabilize gear in different circumstances. Finally, she makes sure that the clothing she has blends with the landscape as much as possible and that she’s considered all the weather aspects-both for protecting herself and her gear. “It’s harder for a wildlife photographer to “work a scene” than it is for a portrait or landscape or wedding photographer. I can’t pose the animals, wait an hour or two for the lighting to change, come back another day for a better pose, etc. I try to get the best angle possible at the time, take a number of images of the same subject, and hope that 1 or 2 gives me the image I’ve pre-visualized in my mind’s eye. I try always to get the sharpest focus possible on the eye of an animal.”
Brand loves telling people who enjoy her photographs how they were taken – some captured with “dumb-luck”- many more by careful planning,
Brand moved to Arizona in 2010 because she loves the desert and hated the cold New York winters. Since the move, Brand’s work has been shown at and won awards in juried shows at the Sedona Art Center. Her images have also been featured in Arizona in juried shows at the Herberger Theater Art Center in Phoenix, and at the Phippen Museum in Prescott. Her work is in private collections throughout the USA as well as in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Brand, her husband, and her dogs reside in the Village of Oak Creek. They are both active in the Sedona Camera Club and Brand takes an active role in encouraging and mentoring beginning photographers. She also gives back to the community by serving as a volunteer CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children– a volunteer opportunity she shares with all who are interested in helping these children.
The Village Gallery of Local Artists is located at 6512 State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek and is open 7 days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. You can contact the Gallery at sedonalocalartists.com or by phone at 928-284-1416. Please stop by to see Brand’s striking work as well as the work of 40 other local artists.
Photographs provided by Stephanie Brand and Greg Griffin.