“You know I am always so honored when you guys use my photos as your profile pictures. It tells me I did a great job,” Grant said with a grin on his face.
I smiled back, “It’s because you’re so talented! You know how to make me look good. I LOVE the Batgirl photos. You’re amazing.” We were walking around to the side of the Mesa Convention Center on Sunday of Comic & Media Expo to get some quick photos of my classic Harley costume and chatting about the photos he had taken the day prior. It was the first time I had worn Batgirl and he was the very first photographer to capture photos of the costume. I had been so giddy when he shared the photos with me that same night and he had shared my excitement via Facebook chat.
That was one of the last conversations I had had with Grant Brummett, who seemed so full of life and absolutely excited to try out a new photo technique of compositing a cosplayer’s costumes together. I remember thinking it was super sweet that he got excited over something as seemingly simple as choosing his work as a profile photo on a website. But it really did mean something to him, because he loved his photography work that much.
This conversation was the last time I had seen him in person just a week ago. Yesterday, I found out that Grant passed away suddenly that afternoon. I tried to make a post on my social media, but honestly I just simply wasn’t coherent enough to get all my thoughts out and I just kept bawling my eyes out every time. Hell, I’m doing that now still. But it’s slightly easier today.
You really don’t know how much someone affects your life until they are gone. What’s amazing to me is that although I really know hardly anything about Grant outside of his photography, I still feel like I lost a very close friend yesterday. We still considered each other friends and we conversed occasionally, but mostly about photography. Still the loss of Grant had a profound affect on me and so many others in the Arizona cosplay, photography, and Renaissance Festival communities.
Looking at all of the love and beautiful messages about Grant on Facebook the last 24 hours is incredible. If you knew Grant at all, you know it’s the truth when I say that he was the sweetest, most genuine soul to have ever walked the earth. He was nothing but smiles every time you would see him and he was always keeping himself fully engrossed in his photography passion. His Facebook posts were always sweet, positive, and inspiring. Whenever he would post about his family like, for example, how much he loves his wife and how beautiful she is, I would always smile. Sometimes I feel like there are not many truly pure souls that walk this earth, but Grant had the purest soul of them all.
I had met Grant for the first time at Phoenix Comicon in 2010. He had taken a photo of my Slave Leia and I remember thinking “Holy crap that shot is AMAZING!” when I saw it pop up online later on through his Flickr. You can see that photo over here on his Fickr: Princes Leia from Star Wars 2010 Phoenix Comicon.
Ever since that year, I kept running into Grant at local conventions, primarily Phoenix Comicon and also Amazing AZ once that started taking off. He was always sweet and his talent just continued to improve over the years. We eventually added each other on Facebook too and honestly every photo he posted, whether it was one of Twig, or one of his creative shots of landscapes over Tempe Town Lake, always inspired me as much as it blew my mind.
His underwater shoots were honestly one of my favorites. I was always so excited to see new photos he would post of the shoot he just did and it was always my goal to get together with him to hang out and see the underwater shoot process too. Unfortunately now, however, that will not be able to happen. This I will regret.
The last photoshoot I had with him was all three days of Comic & Media Expo. He was actually the very first photographer to shoot my brand new Batgirl and now I’m glad I immediately sought him out that day. He was just so excited to see the costume and even more excited thinking of ways to get cool photos of it. That was something I always loved about Grant – his passion.
Whether it was at a convention, the Renaissance Festival, or his animal and landscape photos, Grant was truly passionate about his photography. The excitement he showed about every single project was contagious and inspiring. And seeing how giddy he would get both during the photoshoot and once the photos were processed was something truly special.
While I have only just begun my photography journey, he truly was one of the people that influenced me to begin experimenting with the other side of the camera. His incredibly creative photos such as the underwater shoots, his macro photography, and his wildlife photography were absolutely mind-blowing to me and I always wanted to pick his brain about how he created such beautiful masterpieces with the camera. He knew exactly how to bring out the magic and the beauty in every single thing he pointed his camera lens at, even if it was something you wouldn’t think is beautiful – like the Phoenix Metro Lightrail.
Grant always said that when he was gone, everyone would have his photos. While he has left us in body, his spirit still lives on in the beautiful artwork he leaves behind through his photography. His work and the fond memories I have of him through every convention will continue to inspire me daily. Please, please keep him alive by continuing to look at his work and share the beautiful photos he leaves behind. While he is so much more than just a photographer, especially to his family, he will still live on through his photography. Every time I see a photo of his, I will be reminded of the gentle soul behind that camera and the crooked smile, his bright, excited eyes, and his contagious positive energy.
Grant loved sunsets. Last night after I had heard the news, I was sitting on my back porch in shock, reading through the Facebook messages. But, as I looked up, I saw the sunset. It was breathtaking and was changing colors before my eyes to a brilliant pink and orange. The light bounced off the clouds so perfectly and it was as if he was sending us all a message last night. It was Grant’s perfect sunset.
Here is a link to Grant’s Flickr where you will find all of his photos: Grant Brummett’s Flickr
Before you go: Please also consider donating to his family, whom have an account set up to help with his memorial expenses. Unfortunately, Grant had just started a new job a few weeks prior and had no life insurance at the time of his passing. Grant never asked for anything in return and his family deserves all the love and support during this rough time. Any amount will help. In addition to his work, I would be so appreciative if you could also help spread the word on this fundraiser: Grant Brummett Memorial Fund
Some of my personal favorite photos of his work that I’ve gathered here: