Monday 6 June 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

Born in Tucson, Arizona in 1972, Brie Childers , discovered her passion for photography as a student at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California when she was 21 years old. The photography classes she attended learnt her much on fine arts aesthetic. When she left the school she was adamant to work in fashion and, having no contacts, she printed a portfolio, bought a leather jacket and went for three days in Paris where she knocked on Karen agency’s door. The agents were impressed by her work and offered their opinion. When she came back in the United States, she decided to move to Los Angeles and made several little jobs as a bartender or headshot photographer. Through the months, she made more and more contacts until a make-up artist arranged her a photo shoot with Shannon Elizabeth that finally landed her career.

She makes a lot of celebrity portraits (she worked with Christina Aguilera, Kanye West, Eva Longoria, Tommy Lee, Carmen Electra or Nicollette Sheridan among others) and works for editorial publications such as Playboy, Maxim, Esquire, People Magazine, Uptown, Curve, Orange Coast or Pregnancy and her dream would be to work for Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated. She took a lot of swimsuit photographs for Maxim or the fashion brand Beach Bunny Swimwear. She also worked in advertisement for Sony Music, HBO, New Line Cinema, Ed Hardy, Paul Mitchell. Her photographs often emphasizes the sexiness of the subject but as Steppin’Out Magazine puts it, she doesn’t only make her subject look gorgeous but also « manages to illuminate the inner quality of her subject ». A skill and human quality that made her quite popular among her clients. She indeed believes that there has to be a balance between the subject and the photographer. « If I don’t bring my own style to the shoot, then it’s just a documentation of a subject rather than my interpretation of who that person is. My approach is to find ways of coaxing out their personality so that each image is reflective of both their inner and outer beauty. » She thus makes no distinction between a celebrity photoshoot and a fashion one and is enjoying people who « give back to the camera, people who are willing to be open emotionally to me. » Among her influences and other artists work she admires, she cites Ellen von Unwerth, Annie Leibovitz, Pamela Hanssen, Dominique Isserman or Mario Testino.

She worked with Tori Amos on the artwork of her album The Beekeeper’s tourbook and her gorgeous photographs of the singer are also included in the songbook of the album. These photographs portray Tori in the different gardens of her concept album and convey sensuality, replacing « original sin » by the garden of «Original Sinsuality ».

Brie is currently working on a book to raise charity funds for the Pink Lotus Breast Center in Los Angeles, a clinic newly founded by surgical breast specialist Dr Kristy Funk, which fights against breast cancer. Brie met Dr Funk when she had a breast lump while she was feeding her son and later contacted her for her book project. The book, titled Exposed: Insights and Inspirations on Feeling Fabulous will feature celebrity portraits (including Christina Aguilera, who supports the project among others) as well as women having survived breast cancer.