Story

"Vibrant People of Elkhart County" Article by Brea Persing

I am honored and humbled to say that I was nominated and chosen to be one of Elkhart County’s Vibrant Women of Nappanee last week. On May 27, Memorial Day, an article was published about me through 365 Vibrant People of Elkhart County recognizing me, and my mom on May 23, as Vibrant Women doing good in the community. I am proud of my mother and all she has accomplished and I am proud to be following in her footsteps in being a hardworking and proud member of our community.

You can find the original article on Vibrant Communities.

Here is the article below, posted on May 27, 2019.

Brea Persing

For the past week, we have written about some of Nappanee’s Vibrant Women. We end our series with Brea Persing. Brea is a Vibrant Person who has lived in Europe and Asia. She has found herself back in Elkhart County.

NAPPANEE

Brea Persing is home. For a while, at least. Nappanee is where she is from and where she is now, but for much of her adult life, Brea has been elsewhere.

After getting her degree in Visual Communication from the University of Indianapolis, Brea spent almost seven years based in Europe and Asia. She worked for a not-for-profit organization as a photographer and graphic designer. She would travel to places near and far to capture images that, not only told a story but made a visual impact.

Looking at Brea’s work you can see her interest in the details. Whether it is a field of lavender, a Moroccan woman in a kitchen, or the family’s Goldendoodle, Radar with a face full of snow, the images Brea produces will catch your eye and hold your attention. 

Brea also produces websites and hers is worth a visit. At breapersing.com, you will find photos and stories. Her blog is informative, often amusing and always readable. Brea is an adept storyteller. She can leave you satisfied or make you hungry to hear more.

Now that she is back in Elkhart County, Brea wants to use her talents to help other non-profit organizations tell their stories. She is offering her professional skills to help them create awareness and inspire people to support them. This August, Brea will be a featured speaker at a conference for the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Brea has seen much of the world in her young life. There remain places to go and there are things she wants to someday do. Brea is also happy to be here, with her family, doing good work. We’re glad she is.

Getting a Name Sticker by Brea Persing

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When you are a new arrival to a country, and are there to live rather than just tourism, you quickly find out that you don’t always find things where they normally would be in your home country. 

Let’s take Italy for example, when I first arrived to live there in 2011, I didn’t speak much Italian and I had no idea where to buy things. Thankfully, I had a colleague with me who did speak Italian, but had been in a different city in central Italy. Things change from city to city, just like they would everywhere. 

Well, both of us arrived one day a part from each other and found apartments, owned by the same person, on the same day! It was quite extraordinary. He also turned out to be an AMAZING landlord, which is rare overseas. Ok, so the building we were in had locked doors with call buttons. However unlike in a lot of places, they didn’t have the apartment number on them bell, but our names. Eventually, they would permanently put our names on there, but temporarily we needed to go and buy a sticker to place on there so people would know which button to press.

So the landlord told us what we needed and we set off to find where to get one of these. First we went to the “convenience store”, which is actually called a Tabaccheria. We explained to the man what we needed and he said that he didn’t have anything like that and that we needed to go to another place. So, we set off to go to the other place he told us. There, we told the lady what we needed and she said she didn’t do anything like that and we needed to go to another place. For me, I was getting frustrated. For my colleague, this was normal in Italy, so she was unfazed by it. So we go to the place the lady told us to go. This was place number three, third times the charm, right?! In this case, it was! We described to the man behind the counter what we needed and he said that he could do it! So we wrote down our surnames, he clicked some buttons, and just like that, we had what we needed. If I remember, I think the whole ordeal took a few hours and a couple of miles of walking.

So this is not something that just happens in Italy, but in a lot of places. So next time you’re traveling and need to find something and you go to one place and they don’t have it, then you go to another and they don’t have it, keep trying. You’ll eventually get there. This is normal…especially when it comes to filing important government paperwork, but that also includes a lot of time waiting in line and usually early mornings.

"The Paper" Article by Brea Persing

ON THE JOB  — Brea Persing, Goshen, stands on the sand dunes of Morocco zooming in on a string of camels in the distance. Persing is a photographer who partners with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to raise awareness for their cause. She also works with businesses in the travel and hospitality industry and teams up with individuals who want a vacation photographer. (Photo Provided)

ON THE JOB — Brea Persing, Goshen, stands on the sand dunes of Morocco zooming in on a string of camels in the distance. Persing is a photographer who partners with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs to raise awareness for their cause. She also works with businesses in the travel and hospitality industry and teams up with individuals who want a vacation photographer. (Photo Provided)

Article originally published on February 20, 2019 by “The-Papers” of Milford, Indiana and written by Laurie Lechlitner.

Photographer tells people's stories around the globe

    “I love observing other cultures,” stated Brea Persing, Goshen. “I enjoy sharing people’s stories across the globe. And I want to continue to use my photography skills to raise awareness . . . to make a difference around the world.”

    Persing has been a photography buff since she was a child. “I started taking photos on my parents’ film camera. My first digital camera was a little Canon PowerShot. I’ve always tried to capture the beauty around me. I love taking candid shots of people. I enjoy capturing colors and textures like old, rustic barns. And I really like taking closeups and showing the uniqueness I see everywhere.”

    Living overseas for the past 6 ½ years, Persing was a photojournalist and graphic designer. “I worked for a nonprofit organization for ten years and really enjoyed it.” She’s lived in Italy, Spain and West Asia.

    Whether she’s photographing a line of camels traveling through the sand dunes in Morocco or shooting in the city of Taipei, Taiwan, she wants to tell a story. “Actually, photographing people in Morocco was probably my most challenging assignment. Many people do not like to have their picture taken. I learned early that a photographer traveling in another country needs to understand and respect the culture and the wishes of the locals. Sometimes, just simply asking the person if you can photograph them, while smiling, is all that is needed. But if they say no, you need to respect their decision.”

    Her favorite residence was Verona, Italy. “I lived close to the downtown area. The city was very beautiful. I frequented the city shops and made very good friends there.”

    Another place she loved was Spain. “In the town of Málaga, I had a great view of the mountains right outside my window. I enjoyed walking around downtown, hanging out with friends at the port and buying fresh meat, fish and produce at the most amazing food market in town.”

    Now that Persing is back in Goshen, she longs to continue to travel with her camera. Though she no longer works for one nonprofit exclusively, her focus hasn’t changed much, “I partner with nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs worldwide to help them share their stories and raise awareness for their cause.”

    She doesn’t just stick with travel photography for nonprofits though. She also works with for-profit businesses in the travel and hospitality industry. And even more fun, she is a personal vacation photographer. “It’s a photographer that goes on vacation with you and your loved ones so you can enjoy all of the moments and memories you’re making without having to worry about capturing them yourself, or editing any of the photos afterwards!”

    With a smile, she remarked, “I see myself as adventurous and a risk taker. Traveling around the world, especially to a few places I’ve been, is not for the faint of heart. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

    Besides photographing her parents’ dogs, her hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, scuba diving and eating tacos. “I love trying new things and seeing new places.” While relaxing, she enjoys watching movies, playing cards, and hanging out with friends.

    “Every person and place has a story. And I enjoy capturing them.” Check out her Instagram: @photos.by.brea and website: www.breapersing.com.


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REVISION TO ORIGINAL POST: This was not a part of the original article, but I was so excited to see the article in print, I thought I would add the photo of me with the ink on paper here! :)