“I am an explorer and shoot in that manner. It is coming from an observer perspective so that those looking can always feel like they are there. ”
It is the first month of the new year; many of us are probably working on our New Year’s resolutions (or trying to start). If your New Year’s resolution was to travel more, then our Philly Geek Spotlight for this month will help you achieve your goal!
Meet Bri Lopez; she’s a travel photographer, visual media creator, blogger, and educator. She is a native of Philly and New Jersey, but as she would put it: “I belong nowhere.” Lopez fell in love with traveling when she went to Paris at 16, and then found herself into photography by accident. Bri Lopez shares her experiences, the places she has been, and how to live life without boundaries.
What made you want to get into photography?
I got into photography by accident. It was my senior year in college and I was interning at a radio station in West Philadelphia. There I met a rapper named Dosage and DJ Ferno. The first show I attended of theirs, they had this little pocket camera and asked if I could record the show. I wasn’t completely head over heels for it just then, but that was the start of me finding myself wanting to shoot and create imagery.
Describe your work; your style and what inspires you?
Describing your work is hard because you just do it. I am an explorer and shoot in that manner. It is coming from an observer perspective so that those looking can always feel like they are there. I shoot more from feeling than technique and I have still so much to learn. What inspires what I shoot again are travel, people and the arts. I have shot everything from conferences, to travel, to portraits to fashion and more. Its said that at some point you have to focus on one type of photography, however, I haven’t hit that mark yet. I cannot control my environment, but I can control my camera and therefore don’t feel the need to focus only on one aspect of life. I live life deeply and the camera just comes along.
Can you share some of the people you have worked with?
I have worked with so many people starting in Philadelphia and now where I currently live in LA. Because of some amazing relationships, I have with people I have been blessed to have images of a few people like Snoop Dogg, Ab-Soul, Quincy, Nia Long, Russell Simmons, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Steve Aoki, and others. This is not including clients that hire me regularly for content creation like the City Ballet of Los Angeles and FIBI Pasadena.
What role does traveling play in your photography?
Currently, travel is everything. I am so infatuated and passionate about travel that I’d like to confess that a lot of my hard work goes into making money to put towards travel. It is the one thing I know I want to focus a lot of my attention on. Being a travel photographer is crazy because I am in the early stages of everything. I have only had the camera in hand for 6 years and only in 2017 did I know I wanted to travel extensively and shoot.
What places have you been to?
I have been to France, Bahamas, Dubai, Japan, Cuba, Thailand and of course, many places in the states. One of the benefits of living in California is the vast opportunity to travel to different types of environments. You have the beach, the desert, and the woods. There are so many things to see. The places I still have to get to are unlimited. The hardest part is choosing to go back to a location or finding somewhere new to explore. As a photographer, it is always important to go back to a location especially if you have an interesting subject to document, but that will come in time.
Why do you think traveling is so important?
Travel is so important because as you are learning about different cultures, you are learning more about yourself. Self-exploration is the epitome of why I travel.
What is your message you hope to share with your photography?
The message I hope to share with my photography is life and living it. As a society, we are forced to put so many boundaries on ourselves and who we truly want to be. For me, it invokes freedom and the ability to find out the deepest parts of myself and I hope my imagery gives that feeling to people. It is not really about social media or how many times your images are shared it is about how well you choose to live your life.