Well, hello! I’m Brigit. I’m a photographer, translator, polyglot, a recovering academic, and a former semi-expat.
My family could never afford a nicer camera, so my budding photography career was always limited to Kodak disposable cameras until I turned 23 and bought myself a Canon EOS 30D. Growing up, I was always on the move — usually relocating across the country, but often accompanying my mom on a business trip, or going on a plane by myself back to Southern California to see my family. This left me with a kind of existential feeling of flux, knowing that everything around me was impermanent, and photography was a good way to combat that. I could photograph my friends so I wouldn’t forget their faces when I moved again in three years. I could photograph the lake down the street where I would just sit on the shore and feel at peace. I could photograph the places I travelled, to remind myself that I was there.
I came to decide on professional photography through my other previous careers. While in university and grad school, I lived and studied in Japan and South Korea, and also worked for a time in tourism in China. I know that sounds like a bit of a u-turn from academia, but my specialization was on the history and anthropology of tourism, and specifically, tourism to North Korea. After leaving the tourism industry, I worked for a brief period of time as a Japanese preschool and kindergarten teacher here in Seattle. I also enjoy translating print and visual media, and only wish there were more hours in the day so I could devote more time to it.
So then, why the switch to photography? As I’ve grown, and especially since having my baby, I am more acutely aware both of how quickly the days pass and how precious every day is. I love travelling, and I love photographing new places, but at a certain point, it all just felt like kind of the same thing over and over again. Having my baby and seeing him grow up, I was struck by how desperately I wanted to capture every moment, and how challenging and rewarding it is. Pretty buildings and tranquil landscapes are all well and good, but there’s a special kind of joy in chasing around a small human and capturing their joyous grin on film.
My love for photography grew out of a need to transcend impermanence, and it has helped me to connect with people across states and oceans, in a multitude of languages. In “The Art of Travel,” philosopher Alain de Botton talks about how we should approach our daily lives with the wonderment we usually reserve for travel; in other words, to find joy in even the most mundane, everyday activities. (There’s the academic in me; can’t even get through a self-introduction without quoting a book). I believe photography is a fantastic way to keep that wonderment alive. My goal as a photographer is to capture life in all its forms, from a lazy Saturday morning making pancakes in your pajamas, to a train trip up the coast.