Today we’d like to introduce you to Brie Banks.
After graduating from Houston Community College, Brie returned to Dallas and spent a great deal of effort earning her Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences from the University of North Texas. With specializations in business and nonprofit, Brie’s academic accomplishments mirror her creative desires in a peculiarly adaptive way. For someone who aspires and works incessantly towards her dream of helping people realize their beauty and complexity through moments captured in time, it makes sense that Brie has made people the center of her practice.
“Personally, I am driven by a passion for helping and loving others,” she professes. “In expressing myself, people feel comfortable with me, and it helps me see the vulnerability (an aspect of beauty, in my opinion) in them.”
The newly-graduated Brie took her degrees and experience and set out on her own path, where photography quickly acted as a medium for creative expression in the limited free time she could devote to it. While the lion’s share of her days was spent in corporate settings, her nights and imagination were spent in the presence of Black women. Women like herself. Women like her mother. Women who, by conventional standards, are only beautiful when paired with certain eurocentric exceptions were her company and passion outside of the office, and in stark contrast to it.
As time went on, Brie’s passions burrowed deeper into her life, driven forward by the affirmations and fulfillment her photography inspired. She and her camera (a gift from her Big Mama) had long become inseparable – a photography elective back in college would confirm her eye for form and aesthetic, but with a community of creatives now echoing the cheers of her growing and evolving work, it became clear that being split between her passion and occupation was a pose she could no longer hold.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been smooth sailing. As a creative, there’s always an element of perfection and or expression, and they don’t always blend. I’ve also struggled with technique because as a self-taught photographer, I’m learning as I go. I also don’t have access to some of the equipment that would make the process easier, so learning how to work with what you have when you don’t have much, can be frustrating, but it makes looking at the final product much more satisfying, knowing you worked through the challenge.
If I could give any advice to other young women, I would tell them to never stop learning. Every person you meet, every situation you are placed in… it’s all an opportunity to look at something differently and learn from it.
Also, TAKE NOTES! Keep a book with a log of all your sessions, and make sure you learn something from each one.
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She continues to explore the beauty and complexity of Black Women in her photography with a focus specifically on how infinite the forms of Beauty exist in Black Women, despite the long-ingrained social campaigns that reinforce self-hate and the notion of non-white ugliness constantly running counter to and oftentimes louder than her own message. She remains steadfast in her mission nonetheless, motivated by the dream of putting Black girls on billboards and the serendipitous chance of crossing paths with Erykah Badu.
“I want to show kindness,” she says of her photography. “My work’s purpose is to show appreciation for everything, and especially the things that make you feel good.”
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Everything you need is already in you, you just have to learn how to access it, and once you do, you’ll be unstoppable.
- Website: briebanks.com
- Phone: 214-856-0671
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brie.banks/
Porttia Portis (portiagabs.com), CeCe, Yolley, Destinee, Kayci