We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Blindauer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think inherently photography has a lot of risk on its own. It’s a very competitive business and to succeed you have to put a lot of time, effort and money out with sometimes very little payoff. But with landscape photography itself there’s a lot more risk that is associated with being out in nature and trying to get the best pictures. I know for myself I can be out in the middle of nowhere with no service in search of a hidden spot for beautiful pictures. I never know what can happen out there, but I go out in hopes to get unique pictures that will set me apart from everyone else. Sometimes the risk doesn’t pay off, but sometimes it pays off very well. Most recently I was in New Mexico with a few photographers. We were deep in the Navajo Nation in probably one of the most remote places I’ve ever been. As we arrived there was a huge storm coming in. We started hiking and as we were about a mile in on our hike the storm started dumping heavy rain on us. We immediately put our cameras in our bags so they didn’t get damaged from the rain and we started to hike back in case there was a flash flood or anything else. After a quarter mile the rain slowed down a little and I suggested to the other photographers I was with that we keep going instead of turning around. So they agreed to wait about 10 minutes and then decide on what we would do. So we waited and sure enough the rain started to slow more. So we continued on and after about another mile of walking the most vibrant and beautiful rainbow I had ever seen appeared in front of all the dark storm clouds. Immediately we all rushed to photograph it. Had we turned around and went all the way back to the car instead of risking getting rained on again we would never have gotten those conditions and amazing photographs.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Growing up I never had any artistic sense. I was very analytical and straightforward. When I first started to take pictures I would just shoot everything that looked cool and hope I got something good out of it. As time went on I tired of this and wanted something more. So I started to study landscape photography every single day. I would look at others pictures, watch YouTube videos, read books and articles, and whatever else I found. Eventually my brain started to turn on its artistic side and I started to understand art more and see what it meant. That pushed me to learn even more. It was the biggest challenge to learn to be an artist. To this day I’m still learning, but I have such a higher understanding now and am still surprised about how much I have learned. Currently I’m focusing on my style and seeking new and lesser photographed locations so I can do something different from all the other photographers I see out there. I’m trying to make a bigger name for myself. And if you look at my work you will see that unique take on the world through my developed eyes.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would most likely take them out to Joshua Tree National Park for a day and then to the Salton Sea for a day. Both of these places are extremely unique and where I feel at home. Joshua Tree is full of nature and beauty. I would take them to see skull rock, arch rock, the Joshua forests, some hidden places in between, and the Keys View for sunset to see the entire Coachella Valley. Then you have the Salton Sea which is full of crazy art, decay and weird people. I would take them to see the dying town of Bombay Beach, the beaches of fish bones, the mud volcanoes, slab city, and the famous Salvation Mountain.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to my dad. He’s always supported me in my photography journey and I wouldn’t be where I am today without that support.