LA Woman: Filmmaker Tchaiko. You’ve lived all over the world, why did you you settle down in Los Angeles? “I’ll say the slow pace in LA is really helpful to the manifestation of all the ideas that I have in me. Like most creative people, I’m insanely sensitive - empathic, and having still, slow time is important and being able to find solace in trees and deer and coyotes (all of whom I talk to) feels special to me when compared to New York.” #lawomanbrinsonbanks
Filmmaker Tchaiko Omawale for LA Woman
LA Woman: Tchaiko Omawale calls herself a Third Culture Kid because she grew up in Rome, Jamaica, Mozambique, Thailand, England, Sierra Leone, Yemen and finally New York. We asked how that unique upbringing influenced her creatively: “Oh how to put this into a couple sentences; it’s influenced every aspect of my creative being. Mostly I would say I’m drawn to themes of magic and self-destruction because I identify with characters and stories that have an urgent sense of being out of place, of longing, abandonment and the resulting urgent drives to cure these things.” There is more to come about Tchaiko and “Solace,” the feature film she is working on. (As always, this blue magic was done in camera, not in post)
Raise your hand if you’re excited about Black Panther! We photographed the stunning + mega-talented Black Panther cast for The New York Times! This is clockwise from top: Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o. FYI, this is the first(!!) big superhero film with a majority black cast; it was written and directed by a black man (Ryan Coogler, who we also photographed), and it stars a black man. This is obviously way overdue. We can’t wait to see it and to see this trend continue
We photographed the insanely talented composer Hans Zimmer in his studio in Santa Monica for GQ. Zimmer has been nominated for 11 Oscars (Inception (you know that horn sound), Interstellar, Rain Man, The Lion King, ...), including a nomination for Dunkirk today! The man is brilliant and between lighting setups he snuck over to his keyboard and started playing a beautiful haunting melody that he said had just come to him in the shower that morning.
Three lions, two skateboards, one gorgeous jacaranda tree. Photographed for Amazon Student Prime
LA Woman: DJ + music producer Soraya La Pread in Beverly Hills / #lawomanbrinsonbanks
Banks by Brinson, Light Test for Lena Waithe portraits for Variety
Brinson by Banks, Light Test for Lena Waithe portraits for Variety
Oh c’mon, there are two of us taking photos so you know we had to double our lighting set-ups! Here’s our second set-up with the incomparable Lena Waithe for Variety. // And here’s an excerpt from Lena’s inspiring “Master of None” Emmy acceptance speech: “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers — every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.” She added, “And for everybody out there that showed so much love for this episode, thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago. We appreciate it more than you could ever know.” 👏👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
We were so excited to photograph actress + producer + screenwriter Lena Waithe because she has made big waves for herself and we’ve been watching.
Lena made history last year as the first woman of color to win an Emmy for best writing for a comedy series for her episode of “Master of None.” We photographed Lena for Variety and I kinda wanna pat ourselves on the back for this photo because we shot this outside at an apartment complex’s pool patio and if you saw the small setup you’d have absolutely no idea it had this sparkly emerald magic going on. It was pretty funny every time we used a spray bottle an inch from Lena’s face, and she never flinched. Lena’s new show “The Chi” premieres on Showtime this month and we will be watching.
Writer Liz Hannah’s FIRST(!) movie is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks! @itslizhannah wrote The Post, have you seen it? (Kendrick photographed Liz in downtown Los Angeles for The Washington Post. Yes, The Post hired us to photograph the woman who wrote The Post 😉)
Sooooo, how do y’all like our new work uniforms?
Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth — she is the youngest ever editor in chief at Condé Nast and has made such buzz with Teen Vogue the past year as the magazine tackled issues from trans inclusivity to giving a voice to rape victims to encouraging political activism.
LA Woman: Sarah Ullman, or Sully as we know her, said she created #onevoteatatime in 2016 after the Pulse Nightclub shooting. “I wanted to take action to fight gun violence, and I was tired of tweeting, calling, and donating. So, I decided to use my skills as a director to create campaign ads for candidates who support gun safety legislation.” She is part of a team of female filmmakers fighting for progressive causes and candidates. Case in point: In 2017 One Vote At A Time made campaign ads for 19 candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates and ten of those 19 won. Check out onevoteatatime.us to learn more! #lawomanbrinsonbanks
The uber talented Noel Wells, who we photographed for our #lawomanbrinsonbanks project, has a new film out! She wrote AND directed AND stars in “Mr. Roosevelt.” 👏 Cant wait to see it 👀
2 perspectives, 2 set-ups, 2 cameras, 2 photographers. Tom Barrack, CEO of Colony Capital and longtime friend and confidant of President Trump, photographed at his office in downtown LA for The Washington Post.
When we pack for a magazine or lifestyle ad shoot, we often have three cameras -- two digital SLRs and one medium format digital, along with 7 lenses. We fill a large pelican case with four strobes, and a long 5 foot bag with light stands and light modifiers and gaff tape and extension cords and so on, and while David keeps everything perfectly organized (he's the organized tidy one of us two), it's a pain to lug through the airport, up an elevator to our hotel room and to our shoot. Sure, we're used to it, but often when we've got our hands full in the airport and we're trying to navigate small trunks in our rideshare car, I fantasize about packing light (turns out we've got a pun here)--one small camera and just my clothes (y'know, like a normal human).
When we first heard the buzz about the new Light L16 cameras and how one small camera was essentially 16 individual lenses and sensors in the body of just one small camera and that the resulting file would be a massive 52 megapixels, we were skeptical. Lots of smaller cameras have come out on the market the past few years, but often the photo resolution is sacrificed. The Light L16camera(s) is a camera reimagined. The company hired us to create a library of photos with the device, so we took the cameras and two friends to Mexico and made a trip out of it. It doesn't look like any camera we've ever used before in our 12 years of professional photography and it doesn't work like one either. To be able to fit a camera in a little purse that has a range of 28mm to 150mm is pretty astounding.
We decided we'd take the Light L16 to a place we'd been dreaming of going. We love Mexico but hadn't spent anytime in Southern Baja and had recently heard rave reviews from a friend about Todos Santos. We brought along two friends and made minimal plans other than booking a hotel, a car, and a list of spots we found within 2 hours of our home-base with a quick Google. We found ourselves on a dirt road, riddled with potholes and lined with 25-foot saguaro cacti in search of a deserted beach, we wandered in and out of shops in town, compared tortillas at taqueria, we climbed rocks across the peninsula along the Sea of Cortez through the crystal clear water and through all of that we didn't have big camera bags on our shoulders or our waists, we just had to carry one camera each, which meant we could go further off the beaten path so much more easily.
We did try and take multiple versions of our favorite scenes because the technology isn't only new, but was brand new to us, and luckily we did because not all of our photos were sharp where we intended them to be. However, the camera was user-friendly right out of the box. You just touch the screen to focus and select your focal length. Though the battery is a single irremovable internal battery, we didn't have problems with running out of power (though we'd charge it each night and had a cable in our car just in case). For file processing, we recommend you make sure your operating system on your computer is up to date and that you have as much free-space as possible on your desktop because these massive files must be downloaded and processed on Light's Lumen software from your desktop drive. We actually received an updated processing software download link while we were in Baja and the team is clearly working to improve it because it was already better than the first we'd used.
All in all, it was incredible to experience this brand new technology in such a colorful, awe-inspiring place.
🙌🌈✨ Squad Goals. (Shot for Amazon and produced by our talented buddies SharkPig)
We photographed the cast of Will & Grace for The New York Times because the 1990s groundbreaking show is back. Good news, they are just as adorable and funny in person!
We photographed the oh-so-stylish and oh-so-creative Jayanta Jenkins for the latest cover of Pitch Magazine. Jayanta is the Global Group Creative Director at Twitter! #makeportraits