Rebel Wilson for The New York Times Styles

Posted on November 9, 2015 in Portraits

This shoot was just me in an empty studio with one on camera flash. No assistant, no set, no props (other than a stool I dragged from a corner seating area), no complex lighting, no fuss. Me, my camera, and of course, the lovely actress Rebel Wilson (and her team), who was there to promote her new clothing line Torrid. (Story HERE)

The photo below, with the cellphones, wasn’t planned. Rebel walked over to the cyc wall and I was testing my flash when her makeup and hair guys (who were really great) came over for finishing touches and then started taking photos of Rebel with their phones. When you photograph celebrities, often they give you very little time so first I worried that this was going to slow me down a lot but then I stepped back and thought, wait, this could be fun to do intentionally, so I shot them shooting her and then asked for a few other people from her team to step in and worked with it. When I got home and told my husband David about the shoot and showed him some images on the back of my camera (including these phones with her shots), he said, “Go look at our fridge.” And on the side of our fridge is a postcard from our friend photographer Melissa Lyttle and this photo of hers. So I suppose this was an accidental homage to that photo she shot.

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A Troubled Group Home for ProPublica

Posted on November 6, 2015 in Editorial, Portraits

I am so behind on blogging that I fear I may never catch up with all the work I’ve been busy creating the past few months (take a look at www.BrinsonBanks.com to see some of that). Nonetheless, this story was very important to me so I am finally sharing it (while on a flight from LA to Miami for a 3-day shoot).

I teamed up with a remarkable ProPublica writer Joaquin Sapien (seen in the final image with a neighborhood cat we named Dog) to work on a very important story in a small community. The Level 14 (highest level) group home in a neighborhood in Long Beach was reported as being volatile by the residents who live next door, first by a neighbor who emailed Joaquin because she had become desperate. One neighbor led to another and the ones closest to the home each had binders with copies of letters they’d sent to officials and lists of time and date of incidences they’d witnessed. One even had security cameras installed at her house to feel safe. Read More

Christy O’Donnell and the Right to Die

Posted on September 4, 2015 in Editorial, Portraits

I met Christy O’Donnell in her home. She was warm and welcoming. When I arrived, her friend was just leaving. “She insisted on bringing me lipstick,” Christy said with a beautiful mauve covering her smile, “because she says I always look washed out in photos.” Her eyes then darted to me, “Well, I AM dying.”

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Bite Mark Analysis for The Intercept

Posted on September 3, 2015 in Editorial, Portraits

I headed to both Ventura and San Diego to photograph two distinguished dental experts for an interesting story in The Intercept called “Bitten By Experts: How the Flawed Science of Bite Mark Analysis Imprisoned a Man for MurderRead More

Undertaking LA for The California Sunday Magazine

Posted on July 3, 2015 in Editorial, Portraits

I was so happy to hear from The California Sunday Magazine to do a shoot because I’ve been a big fan of the newer magazine since its launch.

My assignment was to photograph two Los Angeles morticians in a graveyard. The pair are Amber Carvaly and Caitlin Doughty who together have created Undertaking LA to offer more burial options, including natural burials. Read More

A Reminder to Remember on Film

Posted on June 4, 2015 in Personal Work

Time has gotten more slippery recently.

Work has started to consume more of me (or my time, I suppose), which actually makes me quite happy because I’m one of those few lucky humans who happens to love (obsess over) her job. But still, it’s hard to process everything when it passes by so quickly and I’m moved on to the next thing without catching up on sleep between.

I take photos for many reasons–I love noticing things other people don’t, I love meeting people and hearing their stories, I love how holding a camera turns off the background noise, I love how being a photographer leads me places I’d be too afraid to go without it, but I also take photos to try and freeze time for a hundredth of a second for my own personal memory log.

Day before yesterday I was flipping through old Instagram posts trying to find a photo I shot a couple years ago and I was happily reminded of so many things I’d (sadly) forgotten between.

So these are just a smattering of personal photos I shot the past half year, almost entirely on my little point and shoot film camera (and a couple on my Rolleiflex). A walk in a swamp with my mom and husband on New Years Day and sparklers the night before in Atlanta, sunset worshipping with a crowd of photographers at a workshop I spoke at, my birthday, his birthday, our anniversary, a dear friend’s trip and our tiny adventure, one hell of a man having a personal drum session on the side of the highway en route to Malibu, Valentine’s Day at a date festival with zebras, a picnic in LA with two wild little boys.

They’re imperfect reminders of I was here, that thing we’re all shouting into the void of social media every day.

It’s a blur and I’m always grateful that I have something to look back at to remind me to remember.

To try and hold on to the past–something so slippery it’s already fallen out of my hands. Read More

Charlie Annenberg Weingarten for The New York Times

Posted on May 28, 2015 in Portraits

I photographed Charlie Annenberg Weingarten (of the Annenberg Foundation) in Santa Monica with his amazing dogs, including his enormous new puppy Marbles who hammed it up for the camera, for The New York Times Styles’ Scene Stealers. Charlie has created philanthropic ventures that are all about exploring and helping animals–two of my favorite things.

Read about the charities Charlie is devoted to in the story HERE. Read More

Wolves + Wolf Therapy for OZY

Posted on May 27, 2015 in Editorial

The best compliment you can get from a photo editor (besides the occasional wonderful “We love these photos, thank you!” type emails), is when a photo editor is really excited about giving specifically you a really fun and amazing shoot because they thought of you for it.  And their enthusiasm is infectious. This is what happened when Alex reached out to me to photograph Paul and Colette Pondella and their pack of 10 wolves (wolfdogs, actually) at the Shadowland Foundation. Alex knows I love animals (like, a lot) and she was right, this shoot was a a treat. Read More

The Central Coast + David’s Birthday

Posted on May 24, 2015 in Personal Work, Travel

We went exploring and camping for five days all along the California Central Coast for David’s birthday. It’s a truly beautiful area. Read More