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.
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,
“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.
“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”
How do you describe yourself?
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.
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.
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.
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).
Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen
— B• (@BriannaAlysse) June 18, 2015
Yall always ask me to post pictures of myself on my Instagram but I don't wanna continuously show you me. See my vision instead
— B• (@BriannaAlysse) July 15, 2015
I like people who have a sense of individuality. I love expression & anything awkward & imperfect, cuz that's natural & that's real
— B• (@BriannaAlysse) June 16, 2015