By Jayden Stauffer, public relations student at Mount Royal University
PR professional by day, aspiring National Geographic photographer by night. While it may not have been how she drew it up, Brandie Wright has never been one to stick to the script.
Currently a communications planner with the City of Calgary, Wright’s career has been global in scope; spanning from grassroots organizations in Zimbabwe as an undergraduate student to software programming for the United Nations in Toronto. “I love to travel…I just wanted to explore the world,” explains Wright, who has travelled extensively both within and outside of Canada. “[I’m] interested in politics and found my way in international development at the University of Saskatchewan,” continued Wright, who graduated with Honours in International Development from the school in 1998 before transitioning to marketing and communications.
As a hobbyist photographer, Wright decided to enrol in a night photography seminar five years ago; a decision that would ultimately spark her passion for the delicate nature of photographing the night sky. “For me it’s really complex,” states Wright, adding that “when you get something, it’s really exciting because it’s so technical. You’re standing in the dark and then the camera picks up something that you can’t even see. It’s really cool.”
Perhaps more importantly, Wright’s passion for nighttime photography has evolved from a hobby on the weekends to an artistic lifestyle that has seen her work-life balance improve; something many professionals struggle with.
“It’s really hard to do because having a day job, I can’t be up all night taking photos. I have to time it right and when there’s a big alert, I’m like; ‘I might not be coming in tomorrow,”’ Brandie said with a laugh, referring to the specific environmental conditions that need to be met in order to gain desired results.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the art form, Wright has already gained considerable recognition for her work, and is quickly rising up the ranks in the photography community; highlighting her goals that focus on tailoring her career to her passion, not the other way around. “I’m starting to get published now, and I would say I’m just moving from amateur [status] more into the professional side of things,” said Wright, who, like many enthusiast photographers, dreams of working for the prestigious magazine National Geographic.
“I’m actually working on a series right now of things that impact the night sky. Things like forest fires, farming, and light pollution from cities. Once it’s done I plan on pitching it to National Geographic.”
“That’s my dream.”
In the meantime, Wright will continue to excel in her position with the city – as well as in her newly appointed role as the Director of Career Services for the Calgary chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC); leading by example and proving that communications professionals don’t have to choose between a successful career and pursuing their passions.
Local photographer and accomplished communications professional Brandie Wright proves the sky’s the limit when it comes to balancing your career with personal endeavours.