If anyone can make the inside of a TriMet bus look magical, it’s Brian Lum.
Lum is TriMet’s web and social media coordinator, and he’s the man behind the photos that appear on the transit agency’s social accounts. His goal? To start a dialogue about sustainable transit through photography — creating images of iconic parts of Portland that we as locals tend to take for granted.
Lum fills TriMet’s Instagram with reflections along the Willamette River, buses passing each other, and Portland bridges at sunset — all through a seasonal lens. His photography brings inanimate objects to life like the poles of Tilikum Crossing or the handles inside a TriMet bus.
“I like different perspectives,” he says. “I like looking at the light on different surfaces, like when you’re in the bus (and) there’s a lot of poles hanging down … I think often at the right time of day can just be really beautiful.”
Lum is motivated by the changing of the seasons and the changing of light throughout the day. And it’s not just taking pictures that motivates Lum. He also enjoys the service aspect of working for a transit provider in a quickly growing city that needs solutions to help people to get around.
“I think we’re doing our best to be really thoughtful about that, and I like to give our work a creative edge,” he says.
Ultimately, Lum wants to get Portlanders talking about transit and learning about the different options for getting from point A to point B — and he believes attracting more followers on social media will help him do just that. His current goal is to reach 10,000 followers on Instagram in the next couple months.
“Whether it’s buses, trains, scooters, or bikes, we need to think of new ways to get around,” he said. “And I’m super excited about embracing that challenge.”