Chad Brown

An award-winning documentary-adventure photographer, filmmaker, and conservationist, Navy Veteran Chad Brown is the founder/president of non-profits Soul River, Inc. and Love is King. In addition, Chad’s latest efforts include outdoor adventure travel, threatened wild spaces, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities. Through his projects, he connects the public to endangered lands, capturing the true essence of their peoples in moments of passion and the indomitable human spirit. Utilizing striking documentary portraits, photographic exhibitions and film, Chad also advocates for social and environmental justice. 

Chad’s pathway began as a conventional one, but took on a number of unexpected twists and turns. He studied communication and photography at American Intercontinental University, then moved onto the Pratt Institute in NYC earning his Master’s Degree in Communication Design. He went on to manage interdisciplinary teams in multiple agencies, serving in various roles including creative/art director and photographer, as well as a freelance artist and editorial photographer for the New York Times. His efforts crossed into the world of hip-hop fashion and culture, where he worked with hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of PhatFarm and Rasheed Young of Run Athletics, photographing and developing creative campaigns for national hip-hop culture magazines. 

In 2007, Chad moved from New York to Portland, Oregon, once more expanding his life and career path beyond the conventional. Today, his adventure photography leads him around the globe – Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Bangladesh, and into the Alaskan Arctic several times a year. Mother Nature played a significant healing role from the war trauma he experienced during his Navy service. After a failed suicide attempt, he launched his first non-profit, Soul River Inc. in 2013. The organization specializes in cultural expeditions called “deployments” which bring at-risk youth and Veteran mentors together in threatened wild spaces for mission-driven experiences where advocacy and outdoor education meld seamlessly together. Soul River, Inc. also led Chad to Capitol Hill, where he advocates for public lands, wild places, and indigenous peoples and provides youth leaders of tomorrow the opportunity to interact with Congressional members. 

In 2021, Chad founded Love is King, a second non-profit organization focusing on access, safety, and healing in the outdoors as well as conservation leadership training opportunities for BIPOC communities and other underserved voices.

Chad also serves on the board of the Alaska Wilderness League, Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, and Northern Alaskan Environmental Center. He has been featured on the BBC and CBS, including Good Morning America and NatGeo/Disney’s Called to the Wild, as well as national publications like Outside Magazine and The Drake and regional publications in the Pacific Northwest. Chad was the first recipient of the Breaking Barriers Award presented by Orvis, and the Bending Toward Justice Award from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley.

Most recently Chad is the 2024 recipient of three prestigious IndieFest Film Awards – including the African American Theme Award of Recognition, the African American Filmmaker Award of Merit, and the African American Theme Award of Merit. 

To learn more about Chad’s non-profits and how to help, please visit Soul River Inc. and Love is King.  

To experience Chad’s award-winning and life-changing creative works, please visit https://chadocreative.com/about/

Learn more about Soul River Inc and Love is King.

Adventure / Expedition

Specialized in off grid shooting
And production of remote locations

Stylized Portraits

Conceptual and model theme creation

Editorial Photoshoots

Recent Work