Brian Wedge ’97 was at high altitude when the first big break of his photography career presented itself. An experienced outdoorsman, the former Outing Club member was working in Tibet as a mountaineering instructor when he was asked to fill in for a fellow guide on a trip. He spent the next three months traipsing across Southeast Asia with acclaimed National Geographic photographer Galen Rowell, learning the tricks of the trade from one of the best in the business in one of the world’s most spectacular settings. Several of the photographs he'd taken abroad were published in national magazines back home, which catapulted him to the status of professional. “It kind of blossomed,” he says of his early career. “If you get published…suddenly you’re acceptable.”
Brian continued to travel through Asia, Central America and Canada on assignments, scraping out a living and building an eclectic portfolio. “I would travel, travel, travel just trying to make ends meet,” he says. His work soon spread across the newsstand, appearing in Outdoor and Wildlife magazines, as well as Glamour and the Associated Press.
After majoring in biology at Bowdoin, Brian attended several graduate-level courses at Brown University, but attained most of his signature style by simply taking pictures—lots of pictures. Many of his collections, including a recent exhibition focusing on endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica, have oceanic themes—Brian is also a licensed Coast Guard Captain and studied wooden boatbuilding—and he has made it his mission to raise awareness on environmental issues as well as the personal stories of cancer survivors and their families.
These days, Brian, whose home base is in Harpswell with his wife Christine Adolfi Wedge ’98, is free to explore angles and stories of his choosing. “I’m at a point in my career where I can pay the bills through photography,” he says. “I go wherever I need to go where the shooting is interesting.”
Brian prides himself on bringing to life the more subtle details of what others consider ordinary. “It’s finding that interesting thread in the things we pass by and don’t notice,” he says of what drives his work. He applies this principle to every shot, whether it’s taken at a wedding in Phippsburg, or while stumbling through the Costa Rican jungle. www.brianwedge.com
Posted June 08, 2007