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Travel, life, experience… Brianna Lopez is a photographer, solo explorer and outdoor educator, from Camden New Jersey currently living and working in Los Angeles, CA.  She is a self taught visual storyteller with a focus on environmental and lifestyle photography. She developed a travel photography workshop called I Belong Nowhere, where she educates and inspires young adults to travel the world, learn photography and progress towards self awareness and well being.

She is an educator, expedition leader, workshop instructor and mentor. Brianna has taught workshops at Canon Hollywood and Canon Burbank and in 2021 she taught an advanced photography course at Venice Arts in Los Angeles, CA.  Brianna has extensive experience in production and photography, almost never putting her camera down. She is a dynamic spirit whose goal is to create beautiful, but more importantly, emotionally impactful imagery.

In 2018 Brianna led her first photography workshops with National Geographic Student Expeditions in New York city, along with teaching a pre-college course in film and photography in Tokyo, Japan for Putney Student Travel. For the next few years she would lead expeditions for National Geographic Student Expeditions in New York, Japan and Yellowstone National Park.

When she is not solo traveling around the world,  hosting local hike meetups, or working,  she is developing I Belong Nowhere and running her photography and production company.

She received  her BA in English Writers Track from West Chester University and is a member of the Black Women’s Photographers Collective.


LACP Interviews Brianna Lopez

LACP asks Brianna Lopez ten questions about their background, career in and beliefs about photography.

Los Angeles Center of Photography: What kind of photographer are you?

Brianna Lopez: I don’t really think I’m any kind of photographer. I shoot photography for personal reasons and I work professionally doing portraits, events, and other types of photography as a business. My passion resides in travel photography, however I also take pride in the work I get hired to create whether it be an event or a grad portrait. I’d like my artistic expression as a photographer and my desire to educate the youth about travel and environmental psychology to supersede the work I do for hire.

LACP: How long have you been photographing?

BL: I picked a camera in 2012 somewhat by accident. I was in school getting a degree in writing while at the same time writing biographies for music artists in Philadelphia while becoming involved in the art scene there. The artist I was writing a bio on at the time, invited me to a show and asked if I could hold the camera, a flip camera. From then on I took both photography and film production seriously. In 2015 I moved to Los Angeles, and that’s where I believe it really all began.

LACP: Where did you get your training?

BL: I have no formal training in photography. I have been learning as I go using the school of life, working in the field, learning from my peers, making my own mistakes and continuing to push forward no matter the circumstance.

LACP: When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?

BL: I am still working through that statement as there is still so much life I am living. I have not made the conscious decision to devote my life to photography as I believe I have a deeper and higher calling aside from the camera, which resides in youth education and travel. However, it continues to be my most trusted source of inspiration, exploration and self evaluation. It is where I spend most of my time by working in both the creative and business aspects of photography. I do believe it will continue to guide me where I am supposed to go.

LACP: Did you ever come close to giving up?

BL: Yes, I have thought of giving up, but that has never come to fruition as I am still excited and inspired to continue working in the field. My instances of feeling like I want to give up usually occur because of a current block or negative experience. I think because I have other focuses, my dependency on the ups and downs of my photography is not as severe as others may experience who’s only focus is photography. I am just happy I continue to be working on and with my craft, however I do have moments where I think jumping ship on the whole thing would be best.

LACP: Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

BL: I don’t like the word sacrifice because it makes me feel like the decisions I am making somehow have a negative impact on something or someone else. I think I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing and I enjoying it. I don’t have to sacrifice anything to enjoy my life as a photographer. It’s something I continue to choose daily and something I feel inspired to keep pursuing.

LACP: What have you gained by being a photographer?

BL: I have gained an entire life of an existence only I have full access to. I have great respect for the camera as being the tool which has helped shape me into the person I am today. From intimate scenarios that can never be replicated, to creative concepts that have never been actualized. Although I know it is not my identity and I have much more to offer the world, photography is my main source of expression as well as main source of income. It consumes the bulk of my life, and I like it, most of the time.

LACP: What classes do you teach at LACP?

BL: I have not taught a class at LACP yet, but I will in the very near future.

LACP: What do you love most about teaching?

BL: What I love most about teaching is witnessing someone discover something new. Being excited about the world and maintaining a child-like curiosity is a key component in working with people of any age and that’s what I really love about the craft. Teaching people that they can use the tools of travel, photography and environmental psychology to not only create a path to career achievement, but also self advancement.

LACP: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?

BL: I don’t have any advice to give anyone aside from insinuating that they get comfortable with the ride as it is both long and hard and at times short and glorious. Love it, if it is in fact what you choose to do, there is so much to lose in it just as there is much to gain, but isn’t that like everything else?