Sunday, December 06, 2009

Brandon Boas

Check out this article featuring my cousin, Brandon Boas:

Brandon Boas knows how to overcome life’s struggles to pursue his dreams. The young man has launched his own photography business and received statewide and national acclaim, all while overcoming the limitations of Down syndrome.

On Saturday, from 4 to 9 p.m., he will present an exhibit of his nature photography at Iris Garden Gallery, 79 N. Van Buren St. in Nashville, and those attending will learn more about Brandon and his journey to become a professional photographer. His landscape photographs will be available for purchase.

“The reason why I like to take landscape photographs is because I like to capture the world’s beauty at any moment in time,” Brandon states. “The place that I find that inspires me the most to take pictures are the hills of Nashville, Indiana. The time I like to take pictures the most at Nashville or any other place is during the peak season of fall and springtime.”

Brandon says he likes to capture the changing of the color of leaves in the fall, as well as the blossoming of flowers in the spring, especially if butterflies are floating nearby.

“I began taking pictures when an old friend of the family showed me some of his photographs,” Brandon continues in biographical information on his Web site, “His photographs inspired me to start practicing taking pictures myself. Ever since then, I haven’t put down my camera.”

Brandon says he started off by taking photographs of his family, but then he realized his love for capturing landscapes and decided to pursue it more vigorously.

“At that point in time, my family started motivating me to begin to start taking pictures professionally,” he writes. That enthusiasm culminated into his company, BB Love Photos. “I want people with disabilities to know they can have dreams come true if they really want it bad enough.”

Despite what many may think, having a professional photography business with Down’s syndrome is only one aspect that Brandon believes makes him unique. The second is having no special training in photography.

“I have never taken a photography class of any sorts,” he writes. “I have just reached my goal by working hard and practicing. I am so thankful to have the ability to take photographs. Also, I am thankful for my family who helped me realize how much I love to take photographs.”

In November, Brandon won the John McCauley Memorial Community Awareness Award at Development Services Inc. in Columbus. DSI is a nonprofit agency established in 1975 to help children and adults with mental, physical and emotional disabilities reach their greatest potential at home, work and in the community, according to information from the organization. DSI also provides early intervention services, as well as job training and job placement, independent and group living, life skills training, respite care and family support. It serves individuals in 27 counties and also has a group home in Brown County on Hoover Road.
In his nomination of Brandon, DSI’s Tom Harping pointed out that Brandon’s message is a simple one: “Work hard and believe in yourself.” He added that Brandon has learned to use photography as a way to handle and cope with his feelings.

“A few years ago when he lost his cousin in a car wreck, Brandon took many pictures which were very spiritual and profound,” Harpring stated, explaining that one of Brandon’s favorite pictures from that time was of a barn and windmill at sunset.

“I can see God’s face in that picture,” Brandon says. “The world is full of beauty — sometimes we just have to pay attention.”

Besides being recognized by the McCauley award, Brandon has also been featured on WISH-TV Channel 8 and WRZQ radio in Columbus. He has photographs in galleries, stores and competitions in several counties, and recently spoke at a film series for the awareness of citizens with disabilities at YES Cinema in Columbus. He is also active on several boards: as president of the Bartholomew Chapter of the Self Advocates of Tomorrow and on the boards of Self Advocates of Indiana and Arc of Bartholomew County. Brandon has traveled to Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh to advocate for citizens with disabilities at the national level.
“I want others to have the same chance I got to pursue dreams,” Brandon has stated. “People with disabilities want the same things everybody else wants — a chance to get a job, have good friends and independence.”

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