He has his own style. His art is recognizable. He is self-taught. He is becoming more well known, and a picture taken by Brett Russel is one you will not forget any time soon.
Brett Russel was born and raised on Curaçao, lived in Holland for thirteen years, but thought it was high time to get back to his native island. Since last year he’s been living in Curaçao together with his girlfriend Kimberly Margarita. She started an advertising agency; Tuna Creative Agency and they recently were blessed with their first child. They are part of the group of young people who left the island in order to study and attain some experiences abroad, but life on Curaçao, the island where they grew up, beckoned them and brought them back.
He had left Curaçao in order to study physical science, but quit after one week. Given that he is very musically inclined; he played the drums, he decided to study at the music conservatory. But Russel’s interests did not stop there. While he was at the conservatory he bought a camera. He found that he was able to express himself more with the camera and decided to say farewell to the conservatory. Even though he had never had any formal training in photography, he decided to persist. In order to support himself he became an event photographer, but he wanted more. He wanted to take better pictures, so he bought a flash, and then another one. He did an internship with a photographer with whom he shared a studio. He visited photography exhibitions and was a regular visitor to the Museum of Photography Foam. Russel started with portraits. He took to the streets to take pictures of people and noticed that this was what he wanted to do.
Russel also noticed that this was what he was good at and wondered how he should proceed. That’s when he decided to do portraits of famous people. Amongst others, he called Jörgen Raymann, comedian Jandino Asporaat and Jacob Gelt Dekker. He asked them whether they would be willing to help him. As compensation the celebrities received the picture taken by Russel. Russel thought that this would give him the means to get more work, but a trip to several advertising agencies did not yield many results. What he needed was word to mouth advertising or thru references. The photographs of the famous Dutch people were used in several TV shows and advertisements and thus Russel’s style received more fame, which in turn provided him with more assignments.
Russel’s primary goal as a photographer is to keep evolving his talents within the realm of photography. He wants to support his girlfriend with her work for the advertising agency and he certainly sees a market for that kind of work. According to Russel, photography is an important tool for advertising and marketing purposes.
Russel is happy to be back on his beloved island. “There are things that catch my eye that I hadn’t noticed before. The colors for instance.” He also has a different take on life than he used to due to the many life-changing experiences in his relatively young life. He wants to show the world through the lens of his camera, by working out his ideas he wants to show different ways of viewing things.
Source: Amigoe Express
By Judice Ledeboer
Photo: Ken Wong