Brittney Christie is a LA-based emerging portrait photographer with a serious amount of raw talent, a mature outlook on how we should consider beauty and a clear picture of what she wants to achieve with her photography. Sounds like a formula for success to me…
How long have you been shooting and what first inspired you to consider photography as a profession?
I started regularly using a camera around age 12 or 13. When I was first shooting it was usually at skate parks or BMX tracks. I loved the raw and grungy vibe of those people and places. Around 15 I started paying attention to fashion magazines and wanted to juxtapose those clothes and aesthetics with the dirtier stuff like desert landscapes and back alleys. Around 16 I started shooting portraits of whatever friends would let me and we would style the shoot with whatever clothes we had. By the time I was 17 I knew that I wanted to be a fashion portrait photographer and kind of went from there. I started my own business shooting senior portraits for students at my high school. That’s when I became focused on being my own boss, paying my rent solely on photo-shoot cash and honing my photographic style.
I don’t like that a lot of the industry centres around women’s bodies being flawless so I try not to play into that. I want girls to know that it is okay to just look the way they are and that true confidence comes from having skills and brains.
How would you define your style and what do you want your work to say to the viewer?
My style is pretty personal; I try to get to know the people I shoot and really get a feel for what they are like in their normal lives. I want it to seem like I’m shooting a friend. I mostly like shooting women who are badass and have a harder look or I try to pull that out of people that didn’t know they had it. I’ve always been aesthetically attracted to the tomboy vibe which always finds its way into my work.
I hope that my work makes women feel empowered and in charge of themselves and their sexuality. I want girls who look at my work to know that they can be ‘sexy’ without hyper-sexualizing themselves. I don’t like that a lot of the industry centres around women’s bodies being flawless so I try not to play into that. I want girls to know that it is okay to just look the way they are and that true confidence comes from having skills and brains. I want my photos to be as close to real life as possible and I want my subjects to feel good about that.
Who or what are your biggest influences when it comes to photography?
Currently, I’m really into the work of Kathryna Hancock, Hannah Sider and Billy Kidd. I would say that my main overarching inspiration is from classic photographers like Sally Mann, Robert Adams and Robert Frank. The quality of photos from the 60s and 70s is just something that can’t be beat. I have a lot of respect for photographers who shoot on film; I’m too lazy to do it all of the time but I dabble every now and then and process my digital work to emulate film.
My style is pretty personal; I try to get to know the people I shoot and really get a feel for what they are like in their normal lives. I want it to seem like I’m shooting a friend.
What has been the high point so far in your photography career?
The past 4-6 months have been good for me career-wise because I’m finally making more connections in LA. I became friends with one of my favorite LA photographers, Lucas Passmore, which has been huge because he’s become a sort of mentor figure to me. He’s an open book when it comes to photo stuff and it’s really cool that I have a resource like that. I also got to shoot for Nasty Gals blog a few times which was really fun. I’ve followed their brand since 2012 so it was cool to have my work on their website.
Where do you see your photography taking you next?
I hope it takes me somewhere where I can afford to buy my own gear instead of borrowing and renting equipment all of the time, haha. In all seriousness, I hope to eventually be shooting people who are influencers for this generation. I want to branch out and not only shoot models but musicians, comedians and actors/actresses. I want to be known for portrait photography. I’d love to get into shooting album art for musicians and it would be rad to one day shoot a cover or two for some magazines.
My younger self’s dream would be to shoot for Vans because they were the first brand that I ever realized even had branding or cool photos.
See more of Brittney’s work at:
All images copyright Brittney Christie.