Meet The Man Who Makes Algoma Look Good
One look at our 2018 guidebook and new website and one thing sticks with you – the gorgeous image of the moon and Pierhead Lighthouse.
That image and many more you may see trickle through your social media feed are done by professional photographer, James Brey, who is an Algoma native and constant advocate for discovering the beauty of our area.
To thank James for his support and talents, we asked him five questions about his art and Algoma.
How long have you been interested in photography?
Since my second year in College, I was a bit late in finding my direction.
What are some of your favorite things to capture?
I’m a very broad photographer. In my long career I’ve done just about every kind of professional photography. I’ve photographed sports, architecture, science, done photojournalism, shot portraits and artistic nudes, shot theater performances, hung out of airplane windows to get aerial images, repelled down buildings to get a unique perspective. I’ve climbed a Mountain on the steps of the Great Wall of China and toured the Forbidden City while doing my travel photography. My College education was centered on art photography so I try to keep that artistic, creative aspect in everything I do. What are my favorite things to capture? All of them, whichever I am shooting today… that has always been my attitude. Today is another chance to create something entirely new. The very best thing about being a Photographer, is that you create beautiful new things every day, and in so doing, you make the world a better place. As a photographer I contribute to the collective experience, memory and appreciation of our world, by all who see my work. In the past couple of years, I have expanded my craft into 4K video and drone aerial videos. I’ve grown my appreciation for photography that moves, and for cameras that fly! My chosen field just keeps getting better and better, and I try to do the same.
What about Algoma makes it one of your favorite spots?
I’m lucky to be able to say that Algoma is my home town, where I grew up. It is where my early memories of good times with family and friends will always reside. I was always very happy to be on the shores of Lake Michigan and to hear the soothing sounds of crashing waves and the Lighthouse horn calling out to the vast Lake. The Lake has an ethereal, eternal quality about it, that makes living near it very special. It is safe to say you have never fully experienced the beauty of a sunrise until you have seen one while looking East over Lake Michigan. Each sunrise in Algoma is it’s own colorful and unique experience. Today, I fly a drone to get cinematic footage of those sunrises, flying low past the pier and lighthouse, seeing it just like a seagull does. It’s even better when you can move through the scene, in any direction at any speed or altitude. It gives my photography so many new aspects and dimensions, it’s impossible to explain except to say, please watch some of my videos of the Algoma Harbor and you will understand.
Any advice for amateur photographers exploring Algoma?
Yes, get up very early, the beauty of Algoma starts way before sunrise. Bring a variety of lenses and be sure to use a tripod. Photograph the twilight before the sunrise, and you will be surprised at what you get. Lastly, if you have never tried a flying camera, Algoma is a fantastic place to fall fully in love with the art of drone photography. Just be sure not to bother anyone! The Algoma Harbor Sunrise is a tranquil and sacred time and place. Enjoy it and photograph it with due reverence.
Where can we see/purchase your work?
I work with some of the World’s biggest and best stock photography companies to sell my work online. I won’t list them all, just some of the best. You can license my work for commercial purposes on Getty Images, iStock, and for my videos, Pond5. I have just a few images available for ordering prints at FineArtAmerica. I expect to expand the choices at FineArtAmerica in the near future because their prints are truly spectacular. Here are some links: