Location: Los Angeles
Even if you haven’t heard of the name Brian Erzen, chances are you’ve been photographed by him. This self-proclaimed Life Style Photographer has captured some of the most stunning and visually compelling photographs to grace the West Coast and the famous Black Rock City, home to 70,000 artists, musicians, lovers, and friends.
As the creator and executive of Los Angeles-based Erzen Design’s, Brian is a busy man and We Choose Art is excited that he took some time away from his busy schedule to talk about his love for Burning Man and photography.
Why do you choose the art of photography?
Photography is personal to me, and about capturing someone’s emotions in a moment in time, or capturing the moment of an experience.
How did I became a Photographer?
Living in Los Angeles and having an eclectic group of friends, meant there was always something I could capture. Whether it was friends spinning fire or actors needing head shots, a masquerade ball, a birthday party, or going on a hike, I’d bring a camera every where, and honed my skills and learned new techniques and over time developed my own style.
By taking someones photos, it allowed me to connect with just about anyone no matter who they were, and over time this lead to bigger opportunities and then providing coverage for media outlets, private engagements and weddings. The people involved and those experiences and friendships, developed a new hobby into a passion.
How is Burning Man important to you?
Burning Man is unlike any other event in the world, I recommend reading the survival guide for the event, for more information, even if you think it’s somewhere you’d like to go.
It’s difficult to describe this temporary city in the desert with 70,000 people for one week a year. Burning Man is not what most people think it is, although you can now get a pretty good idea of what the event is about. In a nutshell you create your own adventure and everyones is different, there is a saying you don’t get the Burn you want, you get the Burn you need. To truly understand you need to go there, and experience this for yourself.
Its also visual playground of art and ideas. The entire community is connecting with others also present in the moment. Wi Fi, and cell phones don’t work out there, so it’s easy to escape the heavy demands of reality, for one week a year, and that means we are all on the same level and we are all equal; Burning Man is all inclusive, and excepts everyone for whom they are no matter what together we form a community, we are all Burners.
Tell us a little about the photography at Burning Man?
There almost a limitless potential in creativity that all comes together by it’s city of participants, and although it’s one of the best places to take photos, it becomes a catch-22. Burning Man is about being an participant, and not just an observer. Getting involved in any activity you see, instead of being an observer and taking pictures of your experience.
This can be quite the struggle at times. “Do I climb up that large structure in front of me? OR do I take pictures of that incredible sunset”.
This year was very different.
Burning Man 2013, I over committed and offered to shoot too many projects, as well as provide media coverage and suffered some dramatic burnout, this year was all about being a participant, and being in the moment and about giving back, as a photographer It can be quite the challenge to not take photos, so it can be a tough balance, I shot a few things here and there, but mostly kept the camera in my bag and went for the personal interaction instead.
That said I’m incredibly happy with the gallery I put together, and shot very little, mostly for friends, or projects friends where involved in and it’s an honor to have my Burning Man 2014 gallery hosted on WeChooseArt.Com.
For more information about Burning Man… Well you just have to visit Black Rock City next summer!
All photos are property of Brian Erzen and were taken during Burning Man 2014.