Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandon Banks.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Brandon. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Long story short, I was the friend who always took a million photos of friends on cell phones and point and shoots. On the suggestion of a colleague and brother, I bought an Olympus Evolt E420 from another friend, and off I went on an unexpected, self-taught journey to being a professional image maker. I’ve worked with people and companies who have the same social aspirations as me.
My work with Jeanine Daniels and Black and Sexy Tv led to shooting for Black Enterprise, Essence and Tv One while photographing black faces and seeing them published in LA Weekly.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest hurdle on my journey has been my self limiting ideas. My girlfriend has really done yeoman work, changing my perspective. She’s given me a reason to live, work, and create. I’m stepping more and more into the truth that I don’t need to be special to be important and therefore have value. I am valuable because I am.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with B W Banks Photography – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My primary focus is also a bit of a comfort zone. Black people and “high” fashion were two aspects of my world I thought I could easily translate to photo. I know the stories and I know the techniques. I know that historically the two have not always found common space in a westernized, mechanized world. But, see, I was a church boy. Specifically, Pentecostal. From a damn near ALL black church. Unfettered worship and song and community wafted through the building, and it all looked immaculate. It looked like Sundays best even on a Tuesday. I knew blackness and “high” fashion could be because I lived its existence. At school, I assimilated into uniforms. At church, I had flare. I wore suede and leather. Sweated profusely in wool and silk. My grandmother sang to God almighty in feather and fur. My whole ideology in photography is to widen the margins until they are just the paper.
I’m an L.A. based photographer specializing in fashion and portraiture with a focus on marginalized groups. I take great pride in specifically speaking to black women. It feels like my whole platform is one big love letter to my mother (love you, mommy). Setting myself apart in the niche of photographer who predominantly photographs black women with artistic touch and social awareness, is hugely important to me.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Currently, I’m in post-production on a photo series on toxic masculinity and pre-production on a series about black hair sharing space with forced upon westernized regalness; all in an effort to include even more of my ideas on the marginalized.
I also teach photography in an after-school program at a middle school in Koreatown. Thanks to some diligence and serendipity, spaces are being made for me to teach at different campuses. Possibly even teaching new photography teachers, to grow the tree of knowledge so more people of different backgrounds can tell their stories. Or just take nice photos haha.
- Portrait/Fashion sessions: $180/look; 2 look minimun; 3 edits per look; $25/additional edit selection
- Event Coverage: $150/hr; guranteed 50-100 photos per hr of coverage
- Styling or Creative Direction: $35 per look
- Phone: (323) 892-1734
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @bwbanksphotography
Nsa, Jimetta Rose, Obamas Other Daughters, Ashley “Novi” Brown, The Poetic Moment, Arria Willis, Brianna King, Jimetta Rose