Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The man behind the lens

Minnesota has had more than its fair share of great nature photographers. Craig Blacklock and Jim Brandenburg are household names not just in the region but nationally. Unfortunately, the household names tend to hog the limelight, and keep the next generation hiding in the shadows.

Per Breiehagen is one such photographer. While he's most recently been working the commercial side of the business, you'll frequently see his photos in some of the nation's finest outdoors magazines, like Outside magazine, Men's Journal, and National Geographic Explorer.

In fact, after his apprenticeship with Brandenburg, Breiehagen made his own name taking photos of another great Minnesota outdoorsman and photog: Will Steger. The younger man documented the explorer's 1996 Antarctic expedition-- you can see a poster-sized blowup of one the most famous shots hanging high on the wall of the French Meadow Bakery, in South Minneapolis.

And unlike most of his subjects and his forebears, Breiehagen makes his home here in Minneapolis, and he's a frequent denizen of the bike paths and ski trails. Just yesterday, we caught him shooting at the Mill City Museum and the Guthrie Theater with an entourage of helpers and models.

Per Breiehagen photography,