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December 18th, 2014—I first wrote Brianna on iMessage. I had become a fan after seeing her shots on Tumblr. I got in touch with her as soon as I could & luckily she responded. I expected to figure out as much as I did, after-all, her Tumblr simply lists, “Los Angeles Photographer” in the brief bio. I hadn’t been following her for long, so I had to do some research.Bri Alysse

I suppose everyone has a story, but when it comes to dreams & aspirations, it seems like I’m always hearing the same old tale—college, degree, corporate job, etc. What I admire most about Brianna isn’t the photography. Don’t get me wrong, her work is excellent—& you don’t have to take my word for it, numbers don’t lie. But her back story is a lot more significant & sounds a hell of a lot more fun than college… degree… corporate job—in relation to… life?

I don’t mean to go off on a tangent, but it always excites me when I meet or speak with people who aren’t as consumed in the academic side of art, but more consumed in the… art side of art? I mean not going to college & actually pursuing your dreams outside of writing essays and circling answers.

I went in without much knowledge & emerged inspired by her story. The conversation was impromptu, so I was always thinking on my feet. I started with a simple introductory question—something to give the audience an idea of the setting.

“So when & where were you born?” I ask.

“I was born Feb 24th, 1994 in Indio CA.” She responds.

I was born that same year—having that in common made the connection feel a bit stronger. I wondered if that was her hometown, or just a birthplace. I went on to ask,

“Did you grow up there?” Laughing, she acknowledges the coincident & responds,

“Yea 1994 is the best year EVER (haha). But I grew up there until I hit the second grade, my dad ended up getting a transfer to a different city & we ended up in Murrieta, CA. I was raised there & I just recently moved to LA by myself. My family still lives in Murrieta though. They’ve been in the same house for almost 13 years now.”

LA is where I’m trying to be, I plan on moving there after college so it’s cool to hear that she settled there recently.

“How’s LA been treating you?” I go on.

“It’s pretty good I kinda moved to LA just to follow me dreams. Everything I’ve ever dreamed of is actually happening, I really believe in the *law of attraction so I believe I manifested everything that’s going on in my life so it’s pretty amazing, I really love LA”

“What has changed since you moved to L.A.?”

“I’ve just met a lot of amazing people & it’s always best when you’re around great vibes you know? I feel very productive out here and I love it.”

“I feel you, I want to move out there someday. So are you working, in school?”

“I actually dropped out of college & quit my job (I worked at wet seal) to come to LA & now I do photography/videography for the artist I work for”

Our conversation was sporadic over the course of 3-4 days, just casual talking—I hadn’t planned on including that portion in the article, but there were too many gems to leave it out. What stuck out most to me was her attitude—there was never a moment that I felt I was too invasive or weird, she was always open & kind & seemed happy to answer all of my questions. I was excited to hear that Brianna had dropped out of college. & that might appear shocking but my disposition (which would explain it all) concerning the matter is an entire subject of its own. Don’t take it literally—I wasn’t exactly excited because she had dropped out, I was excited because she decided to follow her dreams & it worked out for her—it really worked out. Brianna Alysse works closely with Oakland songstress Kehlani as her personal photographer/videographer.

Santa Cruz, CA #YSBHTOUR

A photo posted by @brialysse on

The Interview
How do you describe yourself?
I describe myself as ambitious, I like to go after what I want, I’m super caring of the close people I have around me. Fun to be around, I’m a such a goofy person. Very sure of myself, positive, outgoing, hard-working. I try my best to live in the moment, I don’t take one second for granted. Time is a precious thing and I feel that to fully enjoy life you can’t be caught up in every little thing that happens.
What attracted you to photography, when did you get your first camera?

Man it’s actually a funny story! I was in high school, it was maybe my freshman or sophomore year. My neighbor was in the photography class they held & I remember her telling me she wanted to start taking pictures and I told her, “Whoa I’m gonna start doing that too, my dad has this awesome canon camera I can use, we can make money off of this.” & that’s when it all began. At first it was because I just wanted to make side money but it ended up growing into something I really grew a passion for. I’ve also done a lot of free shoots in the past & that’s when I realized I had a passion for it because I wasn’t charging anyone at the time, I was doing it for the love of just taking & editing the pictures.

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Did you ever imagine your passion would bring you this far?

Yup I definitely think my friend/neighbor put me onto it. Once I began taking pictures, I realized I loved taking pictures of people. That’s my favorite. So once I really started getting into it I knew I wanted to take pictures of artists or at least be an artists personal photographer. Like I mentioned before, law of attraction, it really got me to where I want to be & of course also hard work because now I’m doing everything I thought of doing 5 years ago.

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When we first spoke, you mentioned that photography has been a gateway to meeting & making a lot of amazing friends, who are some of the people you’ve become friends with since you started?

I don’t wanna throw any names out there but let’s just say I’ve just met a lot of upcoming/known artists. Everyone that I’ve met is just amazing.

At our first encounter, we talked about how photography is truly a passion for you & how it brings you joy, what is it about photography that has that effect on you?

It’s just an enjoyable form of art for me. I don’t really know how to explain it I just get excited when I think about a future shoot & how I’m gonna edit the pictures. I get excited from just visualizing how my work will turn out in the end & it’s even a better feeling when my work comes out exactly how I imagined it to. It just brings me a lot of joy.

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What are your career goals & plans for the future?

My career goals are to branch out & work with other artists but I’m definitely gonna always ride with Kehlani. I don’t think I’ll ever meet someone with the same energy as her & the entire team. I would like to have my own studio in the future as well & having all the best equipment (haha).

There’s no negativity with Brianna, no matter the platform she continues to promote positivity, she understands individualism & how important it is to be creative & true to yourself.