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"The best camera is the one you have with you"

Creative, collaborative and humble, Rennie Brown is a well-deserving winner of one of this year’s PHSA+ Awards. His work as a communications officer and visual storyteller has made a significant impact on our workplace culture and public reputation.
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​Rennie Brown is the epitome of "behind the scenes" - he is literally behind the camera of some of PHSA's most powerful videos and storytelling campaigns. In less than a year of service in his current role as a communications officer, Rennie has helped to shine on a light on the best of PHSA through videos and photos of our people that are at all once moving, inspiring and sometimes hilariously funny. 

That, along with his seemingly endless creativity, ability to collaborate with virtually every program and service, and knack for putting people at ease and drawing out their best sides, makes him a well-deserving winner of a PHSA+ Award. We chatted with Rennie to find out more about his work and his favourite tools for getting the job done.

First off, congratulations on your PHSA+ Award win! How does it feel to be recognized this way, especially in your first year as a PHSA employee?

It's a great honour and an even greater surprise! I do feel a bit self-conscious about it, though, having just joined a team and an organization that is filled with people who are award-winning and equally deserving in my books. Nothing I've done could have been done without them. 

You made a splash within your first few months on the communications team with I am your nurse, which yielded more than 1.3 million views on social media and generated new interest in a number of PHSA's "hard-to-fill" nursing positions. How did you come up with the concept for that video?

BTS shots Rennie and Julia-5.jpg.jpegI have a lot of friends in the arts community and when I saw Julia Pileggi perform her spoken word art, I immediately saw how the power of poetry could transfer to the screen and help reach audiences in a more authentic and emotional way. 

Pictured above: Rennie and Julia take a break on the set of "I am your nurse" at BC Children's Hospital.

Have you always been interested in the art of storytelling through film and photography? How did you get your start doing this work?

VGH Ex Vivo.jpgI was given a camera when I was 10 years old and have been a photographer of one sort or another since then. I studied video and television production very early in my career and worked in production. Later I moved into communications and public affairs and then eventually came back to producing content again. Full circle!

In the field: Rennie at Vancouver General Hospital, ready to film an interview in the operating room. 

What's the most rewarding thing about your job?

Golden Ears Cheese Factory BCCDC inspection.jpgIt's very rewarding when content that I helped create really hits the mark with audiences and inspires or moves people. I really like that my job takes me out of the office and into the field where I meet a great many dedicated health professionals and learn about what they do. 

Say cheese! Rennie's work takes him to some unique places in the province, including Golden Ears Cheesecrafters, where the BC Centre for Disease Control did a dairy inspection.

How do PHSA's values show up in your work?

I think respect, compassion and serving with purpose are constant daily touchstones for our whole team. I think when we try new things, we innovate and when we work with other teams like human resources or with other organizations like Health Match BC then we cultivate partnerships. 

And for all the camera nerds out there…what are your tools of choice?

My favourite question! First off, I want to say that the best camera is one that you have with you and that you create with. The best gear is no good if you aren't inspired to create with it. For my work at PHSA I use Fujifilm X-H1 mirrorless cameras because they're a great value for the money and handle both video and photo work equally well. Some lighting and a couple of good microphones are also essential to do professional work. I do photo and video editing on an iMac.

Congratulations, Rennie, on your PHSA+ Award win and thank you for all you do to make PHSA a great place to work. You inspire us!

The PHSA+ Award program is managed by our Workplace Experience team, part of PHSA Human Resources. Workplace Experience also manages overall employee recognition programming including our Long Service Awards, e-cards, perks and a variety of other recognition efforts. For more information, contact

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