My name is Bree von Bradsky and I am the COO of WildStorm and a photographer for both WildStorm and StillFootage. From September to December in 2014 I was studying abroad in Vietnam. Some people question my reasonings for choosing Vietnam, but there was only one answer, documentary photography. I wanted to have the ability to share what a beautiful country Vietnam is and the people who make it so. The Vietnam program offered a Photography and Cultures course taught by a Hobart and William Smith professor and I knew that that was where I wanted to spend my semester, and I am so glad I did.
Sharing stories through photographs has always been what's driven me in the field. Telling a story to someone is much different than being able to show them in a photo or video. Visualization allows people to understand further. I set off to Vietnam with my trusty Nikon D7100 and my three lens: 18-55mm, 35mm, and 55-200mm. I brought a tripod that was easy to travel with since packing light was a necessity. Along with my camera and lens' I brought multiple filters including my favorite, the neutral density filter. WIth it, I am able to indulge in more of a fine arts photography and take blurred photos of people during the brightest hours of the day.
Taking portraits of the Vietnamese became a focus of mine. Their expressions, clothing, and other physical attributes, including the 'crows feet' wrinkles next to their eyes made each individual special in their own mesmerizing way. As you will see from the photographs I will post on the StillFootage's webpage, the Vietnamese are hardworking, honorable people. I will forever feel a connection to them.
Photography allowed me to be included in peoples life. Taking photographs of them opened doors to conversation (limited due to the small amount of Vietnamese I knew), friendships, and exchange. To take the best close up portraits I used a high aperture (4.5/f) so the background was blurred. For photographs of people working or selling their products I would use a lower aperture (18/f).
When looking back, I am lucky to have had the assignments I was given because it forced me to break out of my comfort zone and into the life of the Vietnamese. With the photographs I took, I will be able to look back and reminisce about these experiences and the stories that accompany them.
While looking through my photographs of Vietnam, I hope you appreciate the culture and become intrigued enough to find out more. Photographing in Vietnam was a strenuous, but rewarding task.