Green Garage Member Stories – Brendan Ross

The Green Garage is home to a strong, diverse, and supportive community of professionals. We work across a wide array of industries but share a commitment to each other and to minimizing the environmental impact of what we do. We believe that people are more likely to succeed when they’re surrounded by a supportive community, and we’ve seen that proven out as our members tell us time and again that the Green Garage has changed their lives. This series, Green Garage Member Stories, explores how.

Brendan Ross calls himself  a “photographic generalist.” What is that, you might ask? Brendan is open to all kinds of photography jobs, from professional portraits to event photography to photographing workers in factories.  He says his favorite kind of assignment is taking photos in factories, of both the machines and the workers.

Brendan Ross

Brendan Ross Photography started in 1971 right here in Detroit. After a handful of years in advertising, Brendan started his photography business because he felt that he could do a lot on his own, and he had a burning desire to start his own business.

His company has changed a great deal since it was founded 46 years ago. In its earlier days, Brendan employed a team of assistants and had both a darkroom and extensive studio space. Over time, with the advent of digital photography and the flexibility that came with it, his team narrowed down to only him, and his darkroom turned into a Photoshop-equipped iMac and a handful of external hard drives.  And while he was keeping up with changes in business and technology, he moved around, too, setting up shop over the years in a Southfield office building, a loft in Eastern Market, and, as of 2014, at the Green Garage, where he operates his whole business out of a single desk.

The Green Garage has affected his life a lot, and more than he thought it would. He says that it has made him more environmentally conscious, in his work, at home, and in his daily life. He began to realize how wasteful his old methods of photography were, with all those chemicals and negatives and cast-off prints made in the darkroom, and just how much it had contributed to the pollution of the environment around him. He’s happy that that doesn’t happen anymore, and that the process of photography is much simpler, and so much less wasteful.

Brendan is also a frequent participant in our Friday lunch conversations and our monthly TechShares. He finds that hearing about people’s businesses and what they do to be one of the most interesting things about his experience here. He loves to learn about others, and to be a part of our tight-knit business community here at the Green Garage.

Green Garage Member Stories are written by Nicolas Perales, a student at Detroit Cristo Rey High School who’s working at the Green Garage this year.

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