Jul 19, 2015

Photographing the Quiet Places ~ Jaime Brandel

Geri's Introduction

I view many images on Instagram daily. I'm sorry if I don't always take the time to like or comment, but I do see them and am constantly inspired and moved by what I see. I know when I visit the gallery of Jaime Brandel, I will be instantly transported into a dreamy word of muted colors and soft textures highlighting peaceful and serene scenic imagery. I am delighted to present this interview with the very talented Jaime Brandel.

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What is your name and where do you live?

JB:  My name is Jaime Brandel and I live in Victoria, B.C., Canada


How did you get started in mobile photography? What device do you use?

JB:  I resisted getting a cell phone for a very long time. I really didn’t think I needed one, and I didn’t see the point of using a camera on a phone when I had a much better quality camera to make images with. But that camera is heavy! And I can’t carry it around everywhere I go, tucked in my back pocket. So I eventually saw the value in having a phone at my disposal no matter where I was, and finally broke down and got an iPhone4s. I have since graduated to an iPhone6 and couldn’t be happier. I wasn’t inspired to buy a device to use as a phone.. I bought it just for the camera!


© Jaime Brandel



© Jaime Brandel


Do you have a traditional photography or art background?

JB:  I grew up in a family of artists. Both my parents and my brother are all successful painters. I have learned a great deal about art through them, which developed into a strong need to find my own creative outlet. About 15 years ago, I picked up my first camera, and eventually became a wedding and portrait photographer. I love to photograph people, but strangely, I have no interest in doing so with a mobile device. Not right now, anyway.


Where can we view the work of your brother and parents?

JB:  They all have their own websites:
My dad's work: www.mervbrandel.ca
My brother's: www.shaynebrandel.com

© Jaime Brandel

© Jaime Brandel

Who or what inspires you?

JB:  I can sit for hours pouring over images from other photographers in places like Flickr and Instagram. Often, I can’t get out of the house fast enough, camera in hand, once I’ve seen imagery that moves and inspires me. Nature is also a very powerful inspiration. I feel very connected to the landscapes I call home.. the trees, the sea, the tiniest of wildflowers... I am constantly seeking out and trying to capture the incredible beauty that surrounds me.

© Jaime Brandel

© Jaime Brandel

I would characterize your gallery as dreamy, ethereal, peaceful and embracing natural beauty. How did your style evolve?

JB:  It’s kind of strange, but before I had an iPhone, I wasn’t interested in photographing landscapes. I was more interested in my macro lens, peering through the glass into new and wondrous worlds, that even now, still make me gasp out loud. But the iPhone almost forced me to see things differently. It’s difficult to create macro shots with an iPhone without adding other lenses to it. So I started focusing on the bigger picture. I love simplicity. Whether I am photographing one subject up close, or taking in an entire view, I look for things that are simple and solitary, because that is what is most pleasing to my eye, and my sense of well being. If the image is full of clutter, I have no interest in it. There are exceptions, of course, but I am drawn to the quieter places in my surroundings, that coincide with the quiet spaces within myself.

© Jaime Brandel

© Jaime Brandel

Even the tones in your gallery all blend so beautifully together - is this done purposefully or are you just drawn to this particular scheme?

JB:  I am always pulling color out of my images. I love a softer view of the world, I suppose. The images I choose to put into my gallery are carefully chosen because I see the whole gallery as one entity that needs to flow well. So if I include an image that is brightly colored, it seems out of place to me.  I fully understand that this limits me in many ways in terms of what I choose to share, but my desire to create unity and harmony overrides those limitations.

© Jaime Brandel

© Jaime Brandel

What time of day do you do most of your shoots? Do you have any advice for shooting outdoors for aspiring landscape photographers?

JB:  If it is a bright overcast day, I will go out anytime. But if it is sunny, I will wait for that sweet light just before dusk. My advice applies to any type of photography... have a camera of some kind with you at all times, because that one time you see something amazing that you don’t have a camera to capture it with? It will haunt you forever!

© Jaime Brandel

© Jaime Brandel

Describe a typical workflow for your editing process including your favorite apps.

JB:  I always start with Snapseed for the basics. From then on, it depends on the image. I love to use Stackables and Distressed FX for texture and if I wish to add my own textures, Union is great. Mextures is wonderful for color and tone. It’s a different process every single time.

© Jaime Brandel

Have you ever sold or exhibited your work? If not, any plans for the future?

JB:  I haven’t yet, other than with a stock agency.  But there has been great discussion with a local gallery who wants to do a show with the work of my entire immediate family. We are all very unique in what we do, and it would be an amazing thing to collaborate with the people I love most!

© Jaime Brandel

What is the best advice you ever received regarding either mobile photography or photography in general?

JB:  The advice I received that I hold close to my heart is to capture anything that moves you, that stirs your soul and that reflects who you are. 

© Jaime Brandel

© Jaime Brandel

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

JB:  Geri, this was such an incredible honor. Thank you so very much for giving me the opportunity to express myself through words, as usually it is done through imagery. I can’t wait to read and learn about other talented photographers that you have interviewed on your wonderful site, and become inspired all over again. This was great fun!


© Jaime Brandel

© Jaime Brandel


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