Friday, February 20, 2015

Photography Feature: Knoxville FD

A few weeks ago one our employees of the marketing team stumbled upon some beautiful photography featuring some amazing firefighters, EMT's, and police officers of the Knoxville area. We took the opportunity to dive in a little more with the photographer behind this collection, Brayan Zavala, and had him answer some questions for us.

Check it out!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I am about to graduate this May with a BFA in Graphic Design and a Minor in Studio Art (Photography) and Portuguese. I have been into photography for about 7 years. I mostly do portraiture. My favorite thing about portraiture is the human connection. I get to meet so many great people though the process. It’s interesting to see the relationship that develops as you photograph your subject and the trust they begin to have in you.

What made you choose the Knoxville FD/Police/EMT’s to photograph?
 Well, I wanted to focus on a group of people that really deserved recognition for the kind of work that they did. I simply went to a fire station and just let them know that I was seeking people to photograph. Once I had a decent amount of portraits, I started going to different fire stations and meeting the other firemen. Then I added EMTs and Police Officers. I also have a few portraits of retired veterans. 

What did you learn by photographing them?
Through this process I have learned that people have one perception of service men. However, once you start gaining their trust while you take their photographs, their true self starts to seep through the cracks. That is what I am most interested in: seeing the true person under the persona of the uniform.

Do you have a favorite from the portraits? If so, which one? 

My favorite photograph is probably the one of D. Tipton. He is one of the best examples of getting to know someone through photography. On January 16, 2015, I had a gallery exhibition of my work and it was so nice to see him stop and visit. It made me happy to see that I was able to meet him, and all the other servicemen with a project like this. 
Some more of Brayan's work:

Beautiful work, Brayan. Thank you so much for sharing a little more about this collection with TheFireStore and it's loyal customers.

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