Essential Images | Amber Bracken
July 24, 2020
A lifelong Albertan, Amber Bracken photographs primarily across western North America. After getting her start as a staffer in daily newspapers, she has founded a successful freelance career.
Select clients include National Geographic, The Globe and Mail, The Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, Maclean’s, ESPN, The Canadian Press, and The New York Times. Select recognition includes The World Press, The Marty Forscher Fellowship and an ICP Infinity Award.
In her personal work, Amber’s interest is in the intersection of photography, journalism and public service with a special focus on stories about de-colonization. With the rise of movements like Idle No More, Indigenous communities are increasingly empowered to fight for a more just relationship with the government and non-native people. Amber has built relationships in Indigenous communities and documents important issues around culture, environment and the effects of inter generational trauma from residential schools.
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COVID self-isolation 1: A self-portrait with my partner, as an exploration of the luxury of normal touch while the whole world was socially distant. I really felt the absence of normal human interaction and it was/is exhausting to have to be so conscious of my every move in public and with family and friends. One relationship with touch preserved has been a gift.
COVID self-isolation 2: The house sparrow’s nest that we had to clean out of our internet box (after the babies had flown away), with our dog’s paw for scale. The “new time” of staying home meant noticing natural time in much greater detail than the pace of regular life allowed. The time of plants, seasons, and baby birds. The rise and fall of a squirrel. Most of it was observed from our yard or on the daily walk with the dog. I took delight in fully inhabiting the progression of spring melt, to buds, to flowers and empty nests. The demands of the world are seeping back in now, and the ruined nest feels appropriate.