In this photographer snapshot, we take a look at the images of Priscilla Gragg and hear from her on how she became a kid’s fashion lifestyle photographer . We first became aware of Priscilla’s work when she submitted the video Over the Ocean to Pirouette blog. When we explored Priscilla’s work further we discovered a beautiful fresh and fun world of careful composition and delicate style.
Text by photographer
I am a 3rd generation photographer in my family, my dad and grandfather were both journalist photographers in Bolivia where my dad’s side of the family is from. They migrated to Brazil at a time when many rebellions were happening in the country… in search of a better life, they ended up in São Paulo.
I was born and raised in Brazil, I have always loved to watch my dad’s excitement when he took pictures, it brought such a joy to him! Although I grew up amongst his Rolleiflex and Mamyia cameras, I decided to attend to Languages School in college and graduated at the age of 20. I had already been working with kids since I was 14 years old… children have always been a big part of our lives… my mom had her own daycare business, my older sister went to teaching school, my dad has always been crazy about children.
One year after I graduate from college, I decided it was time to improve my English (because as far as I knew it I wanted to be an English teacher in Brazil), I then took on an exchange program as an Au Pair and lived in Vail, CO for 2 years…. I took care of 3 kids, they were 5 years old and under. I had so much fun during those 2 years and took millions of photos of those children…. their mom told me they were AMAZING photographs but I thought “of course she thinks that, they are her children” LOL.
When my program was almost over I met this pretty cute guy at a bar, he was from California. Usually I wouldn’t hang out with guys in Vail that were from out of town because they were often there on vacation and then gone for the rest of the time… However I did break my rule for this guy and we ended up dating then backpacking the world for 6 months together right after my program was over. He proposed, I said yes and I moved with him to San Diego where I had to decide what to do with my career – If i wanted to be a teacher in the USA, i would have to go back to school and get all of my credentials again.
I thought about of all those fun images from our recent trip, and decided I would give photography a try.
Because I was in San Diego, I photographed the lifestyle I’d seen: surfing, active… did some families and weddings… I was still trying to figure out who I was as a photographer.
When we had our first child in 2011 that is when it hit me: I want to focus on children’s photography! I had always loved kids, I had been a kindergarten teacher and had always been super comfortable around them!
I embraced that idea and put down from the website all of the work I had shot for 3 years and completely rebranded myself.
We now live in the San Francisco Bay Area with our 2 children Naya (6) and Bia (3) and they provide me with constant inspiration!
Because I am passionate about fashion, colors and design my work translates as fashion-lifestyle with an optimistic side to it. I like everything graphic, interesting color palettes and thrive on authenticity when it come to my subjects actions.
I love to collaborate and listen to the ideas of my team, ideas can come from my make up artist, from my baby wrangler, from my art director, heck even the kids have great ideas too! Photo shoots are kind of magical to me, I love how everything just comes together.
Last year I started a pretty special project called “The Portrait Project” where I open my doors to the general public around the holidays. Each session booked, gives away 5 brand new toys to local foster kids. We were able to raise enough to buy 150 toys in 2016! I am working on the new dates for 2017 and plan on doing it every year.
Snapshot – recent work by photographer Priscilla Gragg
Featured work published in Awkward World Magazine, Babiekins, Earnshaws magazine and Milk magazine
Priscilla Gragg video work
Over the Ocean
Priscilla Gragg personal projects
The Portrait Project
The Portrait Project is “a photo session that gives back.” Each booked session raises enough money to give five kids in need a new toy. The sessions themselves are aimed at families who want professional portraits of their children. Each youngster starts with wardrobe styling and makeup sessions before having their photos taken. In 2016 Priscilla was able to raise enough money to gift 150 foster kids.
Learn more about The Portrait project – click here
Priscilla Gragg – website