pelican pro team jillian brown photographer

Jillian Brown

Photographer, Explorer, Athlete, PTSD Educator

Jillian is a Canadian born adventure photographer, turned athlete, now PTSD advocate and educator. After finding herself homeless and diagnosed with PTSD, she learned through losing everything, she could overcome anything. Shifting her mindset and her PTSD to Perseverance- Trust- Strength- Determination. Now sharing the tools, she utilizes to heal with our youth, first responders and veterans as Lead Guide and CEO of Camp My Way teaching how we can heal within nature, through fitness, goal setting, but most importantly through a positive outlook. Jillian is particularly known for her niche of integrating her deeply influential imagery and storytelling in powerful presentations, offering healing and connection to others. Pushing herself both physically and mentally, she knowns no boundaries when it comes to living a life of passion. This has led her to achieve a world first of paddling a tandem sea kayak down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and becoming the first Canadian to paddle across America. An over 6500 km journey in 150 days, covering 16 states with 23 portages including one 675km long over the continental divide, on a broken foot. Most recently, as the world was locked down, Jillian and partner, Camp My Way founder Terrance Kosikar took their 400 lb tire, shackled themselves in 60lbs of chain and flipped that tire for 75 days up 2 mountains to bring awareness and education around PTSD.

pelican pro team jillian brown outdoors
pelican pro team jillian brown athlete
pelican pro team jillian brown kayaker

What motivates you in the morning?

My motivation stems from sharing my journey through life, showcasing wild creatures and remote places, or sitting down around a campfire with a first responder to have them accompany me through my daily routine to find their own healing. Through this, I can impact an outlook, change how one views an animal, bring protection to the land or save a life!

What is your mantra for when things are tough?

“Nothing is placed in front of us we don’t have the strength to overcome, it is simply finding the belief in ourselves enough to keep going!”

If you could do anything else, what would it be and why?

I have no answer for this. I wouldn’t change a thing and couldn’t think of anything else I would do. I literally get to live my passions every single day, sharing them, educating and helping others. Whether it be through my presentations, My photography and writing, or in person at Camp My Way.

Describe your best moment ever.

I have to say, the most powerful moment I’ve ever experienced was 1 year after finding myself homeless. I had my first ever article published with the Canadian Women’s Foundation, sharing my journey of leaving a long term abusive relationship, my entire life behind to live homeless in a tent for 7 months with my dog. After this article was released I was booked for photograph headshots for an older women. It was a lovely shoot and as we wrapped up and she reached for her cheque book she turned to me, “ Jill, I have to tell you something. I read your article in the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and I too was in an abusive relationship. Here I was, seeing this young woman, find all the strength I couldn’t, to leave everything behind. Reading this, you, gave me the courage to leave my hell on the other side of the country, pack up, move here, and book this photo shoot to tell you.”
This will always be the best moment for me! To know that sharing my story and experiences has changed, impacted or saved a life, nothing could ever top that!

How did you get into your profession?

When it comes to photography, I received my first camera at age 10 (a yellow plastic Crayola camera) just before a road trip with my family. I took likely hundreds of images, remember this was the Film days, and not a single picture worked. I swore from that moment I would never let that happen again and I began to learn more and at age 12 working in a dark room. Photographing nature, the outdoors and adventure was a natural fit within the life style I was leading then till now. Now working as a Lead Guide and PTSD educator, this stems from the tools I’ve learned along my lifes journey. Truly, I just share my way of life that offers safe, natural healing for myself and easily can be adapted into others lives to overcome life stresses, battles and ptsd.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Just Breathe.

What are your top three Pelican products?

My Pelican 1500 case has been along on every one of my expeditions and is the number one piece of Pelican gear that I count on to keep my camera equipment dry, clean and safe. Easily found strapped to the deck of any of my water vessels for easy access.
0945 Micro Memory Card Case has also been along on every expedition, been in any number of packs, summited mountains and been down canyons, holding the contents of those once in a life time cap, from a world first to protecting the documenting of ever encounter on my Candian first.
1095 Hardback laptop case has been a newer addition to my Pelican and gear in general. Now allowing me to have my laptop along on expeditions to open up the opportunity of sharing stories live from the field!

pelican pro team jillian brown explorer