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Behind the Camera: Chad Brown

Arctic Circle Basecamp- photo by Dudley Edmondson

Chad Brown is a photographer, filmmaker, creative director, advocate, and nonprofit leader. Much of his work centers around telling stories of underserved voices. He documents indigenous stories, especially up in the Arctic, and stories from the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities that revolve around their connection to the outdoors. Every email from Chad ends with the following message under his signature, “NOTE: Please be aware that I live the adventurous life that my work reflects. My responses may be delayed for a few days, as I frequently find myself in remote areas with limited connectivity.” Chad’s visits to Pro Photo Supply are beloved by the staff as they usually come with tales from his most recent adventure and the challenge of figuring out how to lighten his gear load without compromising the quality of the stories he’s telling when traveling in the backcountry of the Arctic Circle. But Chad’s own story has quite the story arc of its own.

I've always been a creative, you know,” Chad remembers. “Even in high school, my mother had put me in different types of artistic magnet schools,” he continues, “and then I followed that path into college and ended up finishing off my grad schooling at Pratt Institue in New York and received my M.S.A in Communication Design. I went to Pratt for art direction, design, and branding and photography was what I minored in, school-wise.”

Ford Bronco marketing social media - Team Ford Bronco, Oregon Coast by Chad Brown

“Some people don't really understand the importance of teachers dropping some hard nuggets, it’s a framework within you that you can kind of never erase. Storytelling was taught to me in the form of developing concept, visual conceptualization, and then rolling that into telling your story through frames and sketching it out to a storyboard,” Chad says dropping his own knowledge. “When I'm telling a story, I'm still conceptualizing it into a storyboard. That's going to give me a direct path to the information I need to do and collect. When I’ve done that, I can come back and pick up some B roll, so my time is much more well spent on strategy, concept, and focus. I don't have to find my story when I'm shooting, it's already there. I know a lot of guys and women can run and gun. Running and gunning, I feel like you're wasting your time or you could be wasting a client's time. I can run and gun and capture everything, but my storyboard is my map of what I'm working with and allows me to not waste time.”

Chad’s creative journey took a brief hiatus after college as he joined the US Navy and served in the Gulf War and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. “When I got out, I had to grapple with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while I was also diving deep into living back in New York and working in agencies as an art director. I worked my way up from and designer to senior art director,” recalls Chad. “One day, I was on the subway, making my way up to Manhattan. I was actually running late that day and the subway train stopped right on the bridge,” Chad says traveling back to 2001. “Trains are always stopping in New York and this time it stopped right on the bridge. I'm sitting there and when I looked out the window from the train, that was when the plane was going into the Twin Towers,” Chad remembers. “I was running late and my meeting was at the Twin Towers,” he continues, “It definitely sat with me in a weird way. The train was really quiet and then minutes later, all of a sudden, the whole train of people in the car just started freaking out. I was caught in this denial stage and still in the mindset of trying to get to work and get to my meeting and then realized, ‘This is happening.’ It was very surreal. I made my way across into Manhattan. I end up making my way right up above 42nd Street, where our office was at, and I walked in there and everybody was freaking out, calling home, calling mom, calling wife, calling husband.”

Through all that, Chad ended up losing his job and got behind on his rent which pushed him into doing similar work on his own. “A lot of my work has been around the ad agency world and the fashion world,” explains Chad. “At one point, I was using the word freelancer. I hate that word, you know. I started moving toward becoming a creative professional. I did work underneath my own label and basically made myself appear as an agency. That's how I started to represent myself as an agency.”

Portrait shot by Chad Brown

“As time went on, a buddy of mine happened to know the guys over at Phat Farm, Russell Simmons’ line, and they happened to be looking for an agency to help launch a new line called Run Athletics,” says Chad. “Rev. Run and a guy named Rashid Young gave me this opportunity. I met with the team, and they said, ‘We're looking to make this happen. We're looking at a couple of agencies around town. Here it is Monday, you got til Friday to come up with something. Show us what you can do.’ So I connected with a good old friend of mine who was a copywriter and we started brainstorming. When that Friday came, instead of coming up with three different concepts, I came up with like 40 concepts. I basically plastered the whole conference room. And they loved some, they hated some. But it got me in the door and I took them on as a client.

Run Athletics Magazine Advertisement Campaign for Vibe Magazine and Source Magazine - By Creative Director Chad Brown

“Before I even signed a contract, they said, ‘We need you to bring us your best photographers,’” Chad continues about his pitch to Run Athletics. “At that time, I wasn't really doing photography, I was doing more design and art directing work. So I went into Manhattan and started making phone calls to photography studio reps. I was calling and telling them what I needed, and it was like, no, no, no, no. Then this one studio said, ‘Why don’t you come in, sit down, and let's have a conversation.’ And so I went in there, had a conversation, told them this whole story. And they pulled their best photographers, bottom line photographers, 35k starting out. They put a whole portfolio together and they printed up a card and they put my name on there as if I'm representing these photographers. It was crazy. I walked in there that next morning at 9 a.m. and I put it on Rasheed's desk. I went and showed all the photographers' styles and everything. They said, ‘Let's go with this one. Let's set it up, get the space, et cetera.’ and now showtime! Time to execute, execute, and execute! And that opened up a lot of opportunities

Russell Simons/Run Athletics Magazine Advertisement Campaign for Vibe Magazine and Source Magazine-
By Creative Director Chad Brown

“Being in the same space with those guys and being around that hip hop culture, how they're moving and shaking in that space, definitely rubbed off on me,” Chad determines. “The rest was also failing at the same time. One time I was making my way to the office downtown and I wasn't even aware of what was happening, which was my PTSD from the war. I thought I was stressing but I was actually having some trigger moments. I was dealing with a lot and I was trying to get to the office. So I made this phone call to Rashid and he started talking to me about the power of yoga and how important yoga is. Russell Simmons and Rashid were really big on yoga and Russell credits yoga pretty much a lot to his success. I didn't really know that much about yoga and Rashid was talking to me and he said, ‘You know, Chad, if you give me an opportunity, I could sit down with you and show you that you could take a trip, like a vacation, in three minutes. You would be able to find your grounding, et cetera,’’ remembers Chad. “That was a new language to me and I didn't quite understand. But when I look back, knowing what I know today, that was some teaching that he was trying to share with me about remaining calm while you're in that storm and knowing how to find your grounding. The more that you are able to remain calm and keep your center, the more you are able to focus on your creative pursuit. So it's important for you to protect your creativity as much as possible and not allow any type of toxic energy to come into that space because that's your personal sacred space. That's where you're born, that's where you shine, and that's where you kick ass, so you need to protect that as much as possible.”

Russell Simons/Run Athletics Magazine Advertisement Campaign for Vibe Magazine and Source Magazine-By Creative Director Chad Brown

“It was real intimidating. It was like running with thoroughbreds, you know,” says Chad of his time with Run Athletics. “I was green still in the space of business, that's where I was really green. Because of that, I'm stepping into a space of having to learn how to do negotiations, learn how to do contracts, and also one of the biggest things that I've learned, it's one thing being creative, but where you really get paid is being a strategic thinker, especially when you step into larger money. Creative strategy is king. And when you're doing high-level type of work, you can make something look pretty, but that's about all it could be, just pretty. But if you add strategy with that, really good strategic and conceptual thinking, and then that becomes not just pretty, but more sustainable and actionable to evoke emotions and make a ripple effect towards the future of your project. You become a good return on an investment for your client as well. So I had to learn fast. I had to run fast. I didn't really have the type of mentors around me that I could pick up the phone call. I just kind of had to feel my way through and there were some times when the job looked great, but the money was peanuts and that was because I was green. It was kind of like the school of hard knocks.

Portrait shot of Native Black American by Chad Brown

In design school or any art school, even film school, you don't really learn that business part. You're there to sharpen your skills, mold your skills, and just create this awesome portfolio. But as far as understanding the business of creative, and how to add a lot of those zeros behind that creative and sell that to the client, that's a whole different ballgame. So I definitely had to learn really fast and I lost a lot, but at the same time, I gained a lot as well. And, that launched me over into doing some work in Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Bangladesh working with a national fashion house producing branding and communication design for their international clients...”

On location with fashion brand Circle Couture film/photoshoot in Alvord Desert, Oregon

“I never really picked up the camera much until I actually got into the field. When I was in school visual communication design was my background,” Chad says about his history of using cameras. “It's kind of always been in me, I just never really tapped into it,” he continues, “When I got more into the agency world, that's when I started picking up the camera. The birth of the whole film and video stuff came from my training as an art director doing commercials. I had an opportunity to work on a couple of commercials when I was in LA. I was a junior art director at that time and doing storyboarding and one thing led to another where I started looking more behind the camera and building that interest into, film and photography. And that's when it started taking off for me.”

On location with fashion brand Circle Couture film/photoshoot in Alvord Desert, Oregon

“I was doing work in Hong Kong, Japan, Bangladesh, and Saigon,” Chad tells of his new creative path. The work he started doing at Phat Farm with Run Athletics led to him landing his second big client. Chad says of the process, “A lot of people don't know this brand, but everybody wears this brand. It's all in Gap Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Costco, Ralph Lauren Polo, etc. I had this opportunity to go over to Hong Kong and pitch against a couple of agencies. The client was meeting with some really big powerhouse creative agencies. And my creative was really, really good. I started with my presentation but then I got concerned and worried and stopped in the middle. I said to them, ‘I cannot compete against these agencies but my work is solid. I'm only one man and this is what I can do. I just don't have the team like what you're looking at over here. But what I can bring to the table is loyalty. What I can bring to the table is a strong skill set of creative strategy and the intimacy of building a relationship with you. There are things that I can do that there's much more corporate red tape that's going to happen over here within these teams. I can act more as a special forces type of guy where I can go in more tactical and get deeper into the creative.’ I said thank you very much. And as soon as I got ready to leave, he said, ‘Let's sit down and talk about a contract.’

Self portrait on location Olympic Peninsula

That contract opened up a big door for me. I was doing creative strategy, I was doing videography, branding, art direction, all in four different countries, all run by me. My office was in Hong Kong, Hong Kong and I would hire a couple of guys here in Portland who would fly in and work there. We’d have everything set up and we would basically tour through Bangladesh, Saigon, Hong Kong, we were all over the place, you know, and it was just really uplifting and maintaining this brand. It was a pretty amazing experience. I did that for around three years. I'll never forget it. It was amazing.”

In that third year, I'm back in Portland and my PTSD started to hit me real hard,” Chad states, changing gears a little. “I was fighting heavy, dark PTSD from what I experienced when I was in the Navy. I was in two wars, the second phase of Desert Storm and Operation Restore Hope Somalia, and never dealt with that stuff because New York gave me a fast track. It only allowed my mind to deal with everything in front of me. But when I came to Portland, it was a slower pace, that allowed my mind to relapse. I was in a really dark place, and it took me out of the game. It's no joke. I lost every single thing and ended up homeless on the streets here in Portland over time for nine months straight.

Photo Veteran Exhibition “Hidden Heroes” Photo by Chad Brown

I would dumpster dive to get food at the McDonald's on Martin Luther King Blvd. I would go to a blood bank up on 82nd Street to draw blood for $25 on Monday and $25 on Thursday. I did nine months on the street. I attempted suicide. I was found on the river, about to take my life with my firearm, and I ended up doing seven days in the psych ward up at the Portland Veterans Affairs (VA) here.”

Photo Veteran Exhibition “Hidden Heroes” Photo by Chad Brown

“A couple from a church guided me back to the VA,” Chad admits. “I had to rebuild, that's where I was at. Through a lot of prayer and a lot of support from people around me, I ended up finding my way into nature. It was a friend that put a fly rod in my hand,” Chad recalls. His friend told him it was where she used to go when she was going through her divorce. “That day I was strung out on heavy medication, so much that I was numb. I was glassy-eyed, had a thousand-yard stare,” he continued. “When they put the fly rod in my hand and I cast out, I hooked it on a Jack Salmon. I started hooting and hollering all over the place and I started to feel the wind going up against my cheek. It was really a weird sensation. Even though I was glassy-eyed, my vision was of the green leaves hanging from the trees and that made me feel alive. I started to fish more. That was literally my prescription from the VA It was like, ‘Chad, fish more and continue with your groups and we'll ween you off your medication,” Chad remembers about the beginning of his rebuild. He started to fly fish regularly and got good at it. So good that it put him in a position to get sponsored. “I got my back pay from the VA and I took a lot of that money and put that into my one of my nonprofits connecting inner city kids and veterans with doing outdoor excursions around conservation and leadership. And then that's when I started to pick my camera back up,” says Chad. As he was going out doing these expeditions with youth and vets, Chad started shooting again and documenting these excursions with a Canon 5D DSLR he had. “This time, I'm not shooting product,” Chad reminisces. “My life had changed and was more centered around humanity efforts, giving back,” he continues, “My photography changed from product to now storytelling, capturing moments in the outdoors and moments around change for a greater good, etc. The more work I started doing in that space opened me up to these adventures that started leading into indigenous communities.”

Self portrait Sandy River, Oregon

“You can sit at the table and you can create your short-term goals and your long-term goals, right? But life just has a really interesting way of throwing some twists at you,” says Chad. “I was not expecting to be doing the work that I'm doing today. I kind of had this straight direct path in New York. But I'm doing it in this space, just in a different way, you know. I think that the beauty of this is that it's helping people at the same time. It's helping wildlife and people are learning. It's educational. This work is an awesome opportunity where I'm able to earn the trust of individuals that will allow me to come in and tell their story and bring that to the screen. A lot of my work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Alaska Wilderness League, and private foundations and conservation groups has given me a platform. It's like one minute I'm in Portland, next minute I'm at the top of the world on an expedition talking with the chiefs of the Gwich'in Nation in the Arctic Circle or the Inupiat Nation. And I'm there with my team and I'm in the field and I'm doing it and I'm bringing their story down to the lower 48 and running a full-blown exhibition, photography, and film exhibit across the entire United States. So yeah, you know, it's creative justice.”

Women looking at photo - Arctic Refuge Exhibition "Vashraii K'oo"

Storytelling is a beautiful thing when it's done right, when it's with grace and open-mindedness, especially when you're working with indigenous communities. Storytelling with them is very delicate. You have to be authentic and very respectful of their culture, you know?” he says. “And for me, that becomes a relationship, a dance, you know, a courtship with the indigenous community. You're bringing them along the entire process and they're becoming part of that process. That's probably the safest way to do storytelling because they're involved through the whole process and they're giving you the sign-off, the green light, on everything that you're doing because it's aligned with their culture respectfully. But it's a much slower process. It's much more intimate.”

“Coming from the creative space and doing some work around commercials, my approach to filmmaking is kind of old school. The fundamentals are building a strong storyboard. So when I started doing more filmmaking, I would develop and conceptualize my storyboards for every documentary I was doing. It gives you a path to shoot and that's my background,” Chad proclaims. He also admits that his ability to think strategically and absorb a concept allows him to see the storyline and connect with the humans who are living that story.

Photo expedition in arctic village, Gwichin, Arctic Circle

Gwichin - Arctic Refuge Exhibition "Vashraii K'oo"

Gwichin - Arctic Refuge Exhibition "Vashraii K'oo"

I have never actually never received any pushback before,” Chad states proudly. “But before I even deal with the storytelling I had to enter to their sacred process. I literally made my way up to the Arctic Circle to a place called the Arctic Village, which is where the Gwich'in Nation is. And before I can even think about camera gear, I go there to have a meeting with the chief. I share my idea of what I want to do, with the chief. He turned around and walked to his committee, there were like 20 people on the committee, and he brought all of them into the room. I sat right in the middle. He presented what I shared with him to the committee and they did the whole yay or nay in front of me.” Chad got a unanimous vote. “It was cool because I think history-wise, news-wise, there's been some bad storytelling and definitely bad misrepresentation of cultures. So knowing the process of what I've done, it just felt like the right way to do it. I felt good about it when they all voted yes because I gave my time to the community, with no urgency. I was there, respectfully, on their time, and I just basically broke bread with them and shared with them what I wanted to do and my intentions and they collectively made a decision in the same space and said, ‘Yes, we want to do this.’ Getting that kind of green light is magical. It’s very special. To this day, I continue to get those kinds of green lights for working with indigenous communities. And do understand you can't rush the process. It takes time and energy to pursue something larger than yourself.”

Photo expedition in arctic village, Gwichin, Arctic Circle

“What I try to do is develop a storyboard around certain scenes that I want to try to create,” explains Chad. “I don't encourage acting if I'm doing a real-life documentary. But, there is a place in a documentary where it's just that question mark of just shooting and gathering that information. I'm still able to follow my path and finish that story in a timely manner.”

Another key component to finishing his documentary projects promptly is making sure that Chad has the right gear to allow him to tell the story well while keeping him and his team agile. “It fluctuates between two to three Pelican cases. I try to operate with two decent-sized Pelican cases because those go straight into the back of the bush plane. When they drop us on the tundra or in the village, those are my go-to that I need,” he explains. “When we go in bush planes, they like for you to keep 40 pounds or less basically. You can go past that 40-pound mark, you just have to pay for it. I pay a little extra because of what I take with me. Usually, I have a light kit, and then the other Pelican case would be my cameras and my lenses, and my still photography gear would be in my backpack.”

Chad's Gear

Chad breaks down his gear list a little more to accentuate how intentional his gear choices have to be. “I would run a Sony FX3 and a Sony FX6, have that in my Pelican case along with the lenses. Then I would have my audio mics and everything in the same case,” says Chad. Keeping in mind that every piece of gear could cost more when doing the type of work Chad does, you might wonder what lenses he’s working with.

“A prime lens is great sometimes. It depends on where I'm at, but I tend to straddle both primes and zooms. It's all about the environment for me. Especially when I'm working with indigenous communities, it's so interesting culturally. So, I go into the environment and allow it to bring me in, and coming out of that will tell me how I need to approach the scene, what lens I'm going to use, and how I'm going to shoot that.”

Chad's Gear

“That second case would be lighting and miscellaneous stuff that I may need in the field, from duct tape to all kinds of stuff,” details Chad, further breaking down his Pelican cases. “I modified the connecting piece on my lights to where I can use the Peak Design tripod to put a light head onto it,’ he continues, “I also make sure I have trash bags. When I'm up there, especially deep in winter at like negative 60 below zero, your lens will fog up a lot when you come in and out of the environment. So I use trash bags to eliminate that condensation.”

“When it's weather like that, I use heated pads put inside my Yeti and I put my batteries inside of that,” Chad describes his process for making sure he’s got battery enough to film. “They're still going to drain but I start pretty strong and I just make it work. If we're driving up into the Arctic, it's a little bit better than flying in the bush plane. I would have a big Goal Zero cell block in the back and immediately once that battery gets low, my guy will pull that battery and just start charging it immediately. It's a lot of work when you're dealing with below-zero weather.”

Photo expedition in arctic village, Gwichin, Arctic Circle

Not only does he have to be conscious of how much gear Chad takes on one of his filming trips, but he has to be conscious of how big a crew he takes as well. “The biggest that I've had has been four, but typically, it's a two-man team,” says Chad. “It kind of depends. It fluctuates between two and four. The further I go out, especially up in the Arctic. My teams do become smaller because sometimes it takes us three days to get to our location traveling with gear and the spaces are really, really small and it's very expensive to have another body up there.”

“People get very excited about how tools could be used, and the mastery of tools for creating something like the movie “The Creator,” Chad says of the now infamous film shot on the Sony FX-3, their entry-level cinema camera. “There's something to be said about the technology in the FX3, but we cannot forget about the person shooting the FX3, right? Sony makes some awesome stuff. Canon makes some awesome stuff. Fuji makes some awesome stuff.

But to take it to that next level, that takes a level of life work, education, and experience for the person that's going to take it to that next level shooting with an FX-3 to produce the caliber of the film “The Creator”. It's that experience. The wisdom. The hard, long hours put into mastering the craft of how to use technology and not allow technology to become a bandaid to your creativity” Chad says passionately. “You could tell the difference between a photographer who knows their stuff and can set their camera up for the right lighting. They can do everything in camera and do very little Photoshop work. That's mastery level, that's experience, and I'm really big on that.

Photo/Film On location Atlanta Ga, Michi Meko studio

“There are different levels of documentary work and a lot of my documentary work is centered around connecting with people and humanity,” proclaims Chad. “There's a beauty in that opportunity of being able to learn about the folks who I'm connecting with,” he continues. “My why, my connection to telling these stories and working with underserved communities, these indigenous or BIPOC communities, it's mission-oriented and mission-focused. It speaks to that veteran inside of me. I signed up to defend my country. I'm not doing that anymore, but I'm signing up to defend and advocate for these stories that need to be told and shared, which helps me mentally. It's doing something for the greater good. And when you do something for the greater good, automatically by default it's medicine back to your soul,” explains Chad. “To break that down even more, acts of kindness turn into micro wins, and the more wins that you create they become a success. That success equates to your overall health. With my PTSD, number one, it's an ongoing process of continuing to build the tools that I need to help manage my PTSD. So I continually have to work on and manage my health. That's me aligning myself continually with my therapist, getting massages, acupuncture, all those healthy things I need to put in line. You never become healed, it's an ongoing work in progress. However you receive that kind of medicine, it's on you. But for me, that's a jolt of support, it's kind of like a natural way of coping that helps me manage my PTSD and allows me to be doing something for the greater good that's releasing itself to the bigger screen where people can be able to learn and experience and be enlightened and engaged.”

Michi Meko Portrait shot by Chad Brown

You think you know everything until you meet someone and they're educating you,” says Chad about the stories he tells. One of Chad’s more recent films, entitled Inward, was recently featured in the Wild Scenic Film Festival in California and the Eli Film Festival in Minnesota. “This was a film, shot down in Atlanta, Georgia, and, it's centered around an African American artist that I was able to connect with and learn about his story,” says Chad. “His name is Michi Meiko and his pieces are beautiful. He's a fine artist and a painter, but what makes this really unique and special is that after COVID-19, he was inspired to pursue the sport of fly fishing. When he stepped into that space, he felt a lot of resistance. Him being African American and stepping into an all-white type of sport, he didn't feel like he was accepted,” Chad describes. “He did not allow that to stop him. He continued and got more into fly tying. But again, that space was not welcoming for him when just buying fly-tying materials like feathers, etc. So he went back to the streets down in Atlanta and started picking up trash and turned that trash into fly-tying materials, tying it onto hooks, creating insects from the trash you find from the streets. He was going out and catching fish with that. Talk about recycle, reduce, reuse,” Chad reflects. “We spent some time on the water together, fishing. He's a really cool dude. And he gave me the blessings and the trust to come into his world and help tell the story.”

From the 50,000-yard view, It looks really cool. It's sexy, you know, in the movies and National Geographic, that kind of stuff. But man, it's hard. It's really hard. It takes a lot physically from you and mentally from you, especially a lot of mental, but it is fun at the same time. I love it,” Chad says authoritatively. “The work that I do puts me in some really interesting, far-off places, telling these stories and there's a lot of that military that comes out. That discipline, mission-focused, mission-ready, that's still in me and that has not left me. I think that's probably why I'm able to, adapt to those kinds of situations and move in with my camera. If you look at photographs of the tundra, it looks like a green carpet. But when you walk on the tundra, your feet are sinking 6 to 10 inches into the ground, which is moving like a waterbed because you're walking on melted permafrost. The Arctic in the winter is a place where if your skin is exposed, within seconds it feels like it's burning,” Chad warns. “So you can imagine trying to shoot in that kind of weather. And you're walking, hauling gear into a village that you can't drive to, so you gotta hike in there. Your whole body is moving, and you have to manage 75 to 80 pounds of gear on your back. You gotta carry all that lighting gear, tripod, everything, on your back, and it's tough work, but that's what a lot of people don't see. They see the glossy, and the beautiful, and the storytelling, and that's what they're supposed to see. And it's pretty awesome to be able to make that happen. It's pretty special.”

“I think at the end of the day, all that stuff, it's the educational piece of enlightening people and inspiring people,” Chad observes. “It opens up this big opportunity for people to really, learn about how delicate our planet is, how sensitive it is. It's one of the most far-off, wild spaces that man has not really tampered with. And the indigenous communities that's been up there living 100% off the land. They hunt and it's quite a special place. Less than like 1% of the world population sees a place like this, so to be able to document it and tell these stories, that's important. People need to know what's important up there in the Arctic Circle about our public lands and our fresh water, our wildlife, our indigenous communities, people need to know these things. The more people know about what's happening, that's when it starts to build advocacy. It starts to engage people to learn more about this because ethically, what's happening is not right. And I want to play a role in helping in some kind of way to protect our planet, indigenous nations and elevate black and indigenous communities' stories of connection to nature. To help stand up against what's happening up there and in our own lives in the lower 48, so I'm playing a role as a visual storytelling messenger and bringing the message back through film and storytelling.”

Portrait shot of Bipoc Women on set film shoot of “Mother” by Chad Brown

Through the work that I do creatively, I'm in these spaces, land that's being attacked and threatened, wildlife being attacked and threatened, and it puts me in a place to strive to pursue that greater good through creative justice spearheading the social justice and environmental justice happening and use that as a way of slaying the environmental and social justice issues that we face today. When I see those kinds of things happening, it tells me that I'm not just doing the right thing, but it also helps drive me to continue to do more.”

Self Portrait / Camping marketing for POLARIS / Photo by Chad Brown

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