Emerging: Briahna Patterson

The latest feature in our emerging photographer series takes us to Wellington, New Zealand where we chat with up-and-coming fashion photographer Briahna Patterson…


Tell us a little bit about yourself; are you self-taught or studying photography?
I am a young photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. I was always encouraged to be creative; I grew up drawing, painting, dancing and playing guitar until I hit high school. I attended two different high schools – changing because the first school wasn’t offering the subjects I needed to pursue design. At fifteen, I got into fashion design and digital design and this is when photography came to mind. I managed to find my way around the settings of the camera and taught myself in my own time. I began taking images of scenic views and flowers; from then on, I have been improving my photography by taking fashion portraits and incorporating nature whenever I can. I am nineteen now and have turned this little hobby of mine in to a bit of pocket money along the way!

What is it that attracted you to fashion & beauty photography?
I have always been in to fashion; I have relatives that have amazing wardrobes and they’ve always looked a million dollars – plus, I had a weird addiction to Vogue magazines. I had a seven metre long wall in my bedroom that was filled with collages of fashion models, pretty clothes, accessories and my favourite fashion editorials. It made my room look a mess but it was my big, fat mood board. Anything that came to mind, I drew and chucked it up there. Whatever I found, like fabric samples, watercolour stains, textured paper, old photographs, film rolls – I would put anything on that wall that inspired me.

Where do you draw your inspiration for a shoot? Talk us through how you set-up a typical photo shoot.
I always have an idea in mind of what I want to shoot but I can never find inspiration images to physically show people what I want to do. I ask the models to trust my ideas; they come around to my place or somewhere out in the gardens or beaches, I chuck their make-up on, do their hair and style them with my own outfits. When the photoshoot begins, everything is literally on-the-spot and it is whatever comes to mind from then on. It all naturally falls in to place and the images always turn out epic!

What would be your dream job?
My dream job? I don’t want to be working for someone, that’s for sure!  My dream photographic job would be working for some huge magazine like Vogue or Interview magazine (I am obsessed with artist Andy Warhol). I would love to be working as a full-time fashion photographer in the middle of NYC; I think that’s a pretty mainstream dream photography job but hell, it would be insane!
What I really want to do is have my own fashion label. I have always dreamed of this; I have already designed my first collection of garments – I just have to find money and a time and place to do it.

What is next for you?
I am taking a gap year to focus on myself and live a little more luxuriously than a student. Work full time, save and look towards my fashion label. On the photography side, I have a couple of events and a wedding on the way before the new year. I will be keeping up to date with my fashion portraiture too as I have a few fun ideas up my sleeve!

To see more of Briahna’s work:

Website / Instagram / Facebook

All images copyright Briahna Patterson.

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