Joanna Briggs, a UK-based wedding and portrait photographer, spent many years in London taking masterful photographs tailoring services to individuals, families and weddings. Versatile in different areas, her fashion and bridal work have caught the eyes of audiences nation-wide. Her art is incredibly beautiful, showing a sophisticated understanding of composition and how to connect with her subjects.
She was one of this year’s grand raffle sponsors working with Nee Hao Magazine in support of COCOA, the organisation that aims to help Chinese orphans. Other sponsors included COCHI (a fashion chain), Herbal Inn (a Traditional Chinese Medicine provider), I Want Cute (supplier of contact lenses), Angel Face Cosmetics (mineral makeup line), and Khin Lee Restaurant (specialising in Chinese cuisine). Nee Hao Magazine interviews Briggs about her work, her reasons for helping COCOA and her aspirations.
Thanks so much Joanna for helping sponsor our raffle to raise money for Chinese orphans and abandoned children. Why did you decide this was an important cause?
I think that any charity that is trying to help children have a better life is worth anyone’s time and donations. In my opinion, it is so important to have a good upbringing as it can shape the way you are so much. Every child deserves a good start to life and to have as much support as they can get. I am so glad to be involved with this charity event.
Your work is dynamic and versatile. How do you keep ideas fresh?
For me, the people that I work with and the surroundings that I am photographing in always inspire me in a new way. Most photographers have a clear style that can be identified. But, when you’re working with a new face and a new location, such can also bring fresh ideas to mind. Also having an open mind about what the finished product is going to look like always works well for me, so that I’m not restricting myself.
What got you into wedding and fashion photography? What are the challenges of each?
I have always loved photographing people so fashion and wedding photography came naturally to me. As a photographer, you become known for your strengths… so I was booked more and more for beauty and fashion shoots. It wasn’t necessarily something that I consciously chose to do, I just knew that I wanted to photograph people.
Now that I’ve been working as a photographer for a few years, I feel like I know what direction I want to take my work, and that is focusing on weddings and private portrait sessions. The challenges for both areas of photography are that these areas are very competitive. But as long as you have good quality work and are passionate about what you’re doing, you will succeed.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be? We’ve noticed you’re quite the musician too. Tell us more about that.
Yes, I have always loved music, for as long as I can remember. I recently pursued my singing further but I found it wasn’t really for me in the end. I think if I had to choose something else, I would probably like to do interior design. I always have fun styling the spaces that I live in!
Who or what is your dream subject?
I don’t really have one! That might sound bad, but I get just as excited about every shoot that I am doing and a fresh face is inspiring to work with, no matter who they are!
Your self-portraits are spectacular. Do you find that your self-perception is influenced by them and/or perhaps influences your self-portraits?
Thank you! Self-portraits are how I got into photography, simply because it was easy for me to play around and experiment. Most of my self-portraits were done for a specific idea that I wanted to create, rather than having a photo of myself. So for most of them I wouldn’t say they have much to do with me but I think my self-perception or even just my mood on that day will always influence my work.
How will you be celebrating the Chinese New Year?
Unfortunately, I will be working but I’ll be thinking of everyone at the event and I look forward to hearing how it goes!
To view more of Briggs’ portfolio, please visit www.joannabphotography.co.uk.