I had the pleasure of meeting photographer Lesley Bryce in June of this year when my daughter Jordan did a photo shoot for L.A.’s  favorite kids clothing store, Hipster Kid (below).  Lesley is an accomplished photographer and member of the Professional Photographers of America whose work you’ve likely seen in Popstar Magazine, PopCon and on the website JustJaredJr.com, among others.  While I knew instantly that I liked her photography, I became better acquainted with Lesley Bryce the person during her interview this week.

Actress Larsen Thompson, photographed by Lesley Bryce Actress Jordan Bobbitt, photographed by Lesley Bryce

As a child, Leslie felt the pull of art and the creative process.  “I believe I knew at about 7 years old I would [eventually] become an artist of some sort.  I was always a ham in front of the camera, and I can remember  incessantly bugging my Dad to let me play with his 35mm Pentex,” she states.  During her senior year of high school, Bryce enrolled in a college course in photography and immediately fell head over heels.  Her love affair with photography led her to California State University at Northridge, CSUN,  where she received a degree in Studio Arts/Fine Art Photography.  Bryce names her influences as Richard Avedon, Annie Leibowitz, Lewis Hine, Edward Weston, Man Ray and Walker Evans. “I find I am still continually inspired by color, geometric shapes, architecture and personality,” Bryce adds.

What’s your philosophy of photography? In other words, what makes a Lesley Bryce photo a Lesley Bryce photo?

I would have to say it is telling a story through an image, revealing the emotion of the subject…this is what photography is all about.  Capturing that moment in time, seeing something  no one else can, and then sharing  it with the world in a photograph.  A ” Lesley Bryce Photograph” is colorful, out-side-of-the-box Art.

You do all types of photography: Baby, Kids, Portraits, Commercial, Weddings, Publicity shots, Fashion. Which do you consider your forte?

Location is key to a good photograph.

Capturing human emotion is my forte…capturing people for who they really are, whether it be a wedding, a portrait or fashion.  The ability to shoot  a variety of styles  in photography keeps me alive and creative  and helps me crossover elements from one type of photography to the other. It keeps the process lucid, alive and original.  I much prefer natural lighting as it gives more room to let the subject be free and fluid.  Location is also an important factor when story-boarding my sessions with my clients.

How much, if any, retouching do you do to your photos?

Much of my work is done in camera…I have a few secret ingredients that I use in post production!

Disney Actress, Allyson Arm, of "Sonny With A Chance"

Reviewing your portfolio, it appears you’ve done a lot of work with young, up & coming  talent in Los Angeles. Who are some of the child and teen actors and actresses you’ve shot? How did that begin and do you see yourself moving in that direction?

Yes, I have[worked] with upcoming talent in LA…It really came about when I started working with my good friend Antoinette Bartsch-Newhouse, owner/designer of Three Peas Co. who had hired me to take lifestyle photographs of her clothing line.  From there I was introduced  to T2PR, a public relations firm and [together] these two companies have been of great help and assistance to me.  I am truly grateful for their tremendous belief in me and my work.

Hipster Kids Jordan Bobbitt, Hannah Zeile and Larsen Thompson for ShopHipsterKid.com in Westlake Village, CA.

Young talent I have photographed would include  Allyson Ashley Arm (Sonny with a Chance), Chelsea Makela (Dance Flick, 2009),  Amy Paffrath (I Kissed a Vampire, 2010), young musicians Destinee and Paris Monroe ( Despicable Me, 2010) and Keana Texiera (of the teen duo G-Girlz).  I’ve had terrific feedback and agents are really loving the images I’ve [captured].  I enjoy the limitless creative capacity of this type of photography and look forward to continuing on this road with a number of new projects lined up.

What 5 tips would you give to parents of child actors who are about to have professional photos taken?

1. If the child has an agent, discuss with the agent before consulting with the photographer so  you can give a clear description of what you are looking to have captured on film to suit your needs.

2.  Parents should not put too much pressure on their child before and during the shoot.  You have hired a professional to capture your child’s image, and have selected them to accomplish this for you based on their expertise, so please, let the photographer have the room to do so…I sometimes ask the parent(s) to go grab a cup of coffee so  the child and I can relate to one another without the pressure of trying to please their parents…and which almost always results  in their natural personality shining through in the image.

3. If you have no idea about what to wear, or the image you hope to portray, please consult with the photographer for tips on clothing, hair, and make-up.

4. Your child’s head shots are their calling cards, and can make or break whether they receive a call back, so even though you may have a friend who is a photography enthusiast, and may take photos  for little money (which is so awesome of your friend),  this does not mean they have the professional  know how to obtain that perfect shot, the one which could ensure that prized callback .

5. Parents should also be aware that your child should have new head shots done every 6-8 months.  Agencies want to know what your child looks like now….not six months ago, so keep current.

For a limited time, Lesley Bryce is generously offering  our readers a $99 “Headshots Special” to acquaint you with her amazing work.  Mention Hollywood Mom Blog when you call to book 805-443-2188.  At this ridiculous rate, you should book with her regardless of whether or not your child has acting aspirations!  You can review Bryce’s impressive portfolio at www.lesleybryce.com and follow her on twitter at twitter.com/LesleyBryceFoto