Chewelah-area photographer Ed Broberg will be featured at Trails End Gallery next month and will have his work around town as part of the August 4 First Thursday Art Walk. Broberg, who grew up in Walla Walla, has a strong background in photojournalism, commercial photography, ski coaching, and sailing.
Along with Trails End Gallery, Broberg’s photography pieces will be featured at Paul’s Coffee Bar, ChewVino, and the Chewelah Public Library.
Trails End Gallery and ChewVino, will feature a wide selection of recent personal projects, while Paul’s Coffee will have some of Broberg’s older photojournalism work mixed in with recent work, and the library will display his images from the past two Light Up the Park events, and some images from his Washington State University project.
While he came to the Chewelah area five years ago, Chewelah area five years ago, Broberg grew up in Walla Walla and was “raised in cowboy boots.” He wanted to be a rodeo cowboy when he was a kid, but when he hit Little League age he started playing a lot of baseball.
In junior high, Broberg was able to get into the photography program at his school and began his lifetime love for photography. In high school, he captured an image of a motorcyclist hitting a jump that made the Walla Walla Union and the newspaper also used his images from a drug bust in action, that happened at his school that year.
This led to the sports editor to ask him to shoot photos of the semi-pro baseball team — the Walla Walla Padres — for the newspaper. His second year on the sports beat, he befriended an infielder named Ozzie Smith. Broberg would go on to shoot journalism for a few more years, but skiing began to capture his interest as well.
It was during this time too that he began shooting photos at the state penitentiary of unconventional inmate treatments and prison life in general. His photos made national magazines and newspapers, and Broberg developed his interest in shooting areas people wouldn’t normally go and capturing a story in images. He became the National Press Photographers Association youngest member at the age of 17.
He also entered the Pacific Northwest High School Photography contest, winning first place in sports and also best of show. He did it a second year and since then has not entered another photo contest.
“My favorite thing is street photography,” Ed said. “I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I’d go in some places where people wouldn’t want to go carrying a lot of expensive equipment, but you’d get great images from there.”
He became a ski instructor while still a junior in high school at Anthony Lakes in Eastern Oregon and ended up driving three-hour road trips to ski, then turn around to shoot sports for the Walla Walla Union. He became the youngest Level 2 instructor as a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America in 1977, but he is positive someone has had to break that record since then.
Broberg went to college in Walla Walla and then at Wenatchee Valley, where he attending their ski instructor program. Shortly before graduation he became the assistant ski instructor at Anthony Lakes and a month later became their ski coach too.
Moving to Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint, Idaho to be an instructor and coach the following season, the position at Schweitzer provided many opportunities, one memorial was doing some ski tuning and assessments at the developmental level for the United States ski team.
Eventually, he ended his full time skiing, to move back to Walla Walla to start his commercial photography business, only to get sucked back in to coaching full time the next three seasons.
His company was contracted by a power company in Richland, Washington, to create images for their nuclear refueling/outages, and also worked on a team that produced safety video that garnered a national award. From there, he got a darkroom job at the Coeur’ d’Alene Press and eventually became their chief photographer.
Broberg was also named the Coeur d’Alene Sailor of the Year in 1997.
After a few years, he got back into being a freelance photographer in CDA and then eventually moved to the San Francisco area. He worked as a manager for a marine company, and that opportunity springboarded him to a Branding/Retail manager for the America’s Cup team.
Around this time, when he was not sailing, he also got into real estate and consulting for Silicon Valley companies.
However, the death of a close friend on a sailboat got Broberg thinking about his true life’s passion, photography, and he continued to keep dabbling in an art that he loved dearly. People he sailed with continued to push him to continue to do photography as well. During this time he was the Vice President of the American Society of Media Photographers Northern California Chapter
“It lingered in my mind,” Ed said. “Photography is something I’m passionate about in life and something I want to do.”
Broberg moved to Chewelah five years ago, becoming the program director and head ski coach for 49 Degrees North’s youth program. While injuries slowed him down, his passion for photography again fired up and he’s been back doing professional photography since May.
Since moving to Chewelah, Ed has enjoyed shooting small-town life, rodeos and continues to wow people with his portrait work as well.
While doing an internship at the Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Broberg worked alongside and gained inspiration from his editor N. Christian Anderson III, and photojournalist Dennis Dimick.
Google those two names, Broberg says with a chuckle, “I was so lucky to have those two shaping my vision at such a young age.”
Other personal mentors have been Dean Collins, William Eugene Smith, Rich Clarkson, William Albert Allard, MaryAnne Golon, and Jay Maisel.
Broberg’s passion for images will be on display in Chewelah this coming month. They’ll be put up at the beginning of August and the Wednesday before the First Thursday event, there will be an Artist’s Talk at the Quartzite Brewery, and an opportunity to win some signed images too.
“If you’re interested in photography of all kinds, including creating and shooting images with your mobile phone, my artist talk is geared to inspire you to get out and start creating your own visual art. I just want to share the passion of what I love to do,” Broberg said.
By Brandon Hansen/The Independent Staff