Kendrick Brinson and David Walter Banks, known professionally as Brinson+Banks, are a photography team whose appealing style of lifestyle and imagery and portraiture is organic in feel and buoyant in spirit. Their editorial clients include Variety, ESPN The Magazine, the Washington Post, Smithsonian, and Fortune. They’re also among The New York Times’ go-to photographers, having shot portraits of celebrities ranging from Ryan Gosling, Key & Peele, and Chelsea Handler to Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg. On the advertising side, Brinson+Banks have been commissioned by Garnier, Toyota, Ford, Moet, Cuddleduds, and Red Bull, among others.
To all of their projects, they bring not just talent and enthusiasm but also the considerable power of two. “Working with us means twice the energy, ideas, and creativity on set, and during pre-production,” notes Kendrick.
“If we’re on a lifestyle shoot, we’re often shooting from two different angles,” explains David. “When only one of us is able to shoot—for instance, in a tethered studio situation—the other is normally either directing or helping map out the next shot. At a shoot for Garnier and PKT, we were shooting at a studio in New York, and Kendrick was shooting a still life while I shot portraits of the model, and then we reversed roles for the next setup. For the same client, we had to split up one day, one of us handling a shoot at one location and the other a scout day at the next locations in two different states.
“And on more than one occasion,” he continues, “I’ve served as a makeshift ladder as Kendrick shot atop my shoulders.”
Kendrick and David are big fans of social media, and in turn social media has brought Brinson+Banks many fans of their own. CNN, The Huffington Post, The Today Show, The Daily Mail, and many other media outlets have featured their ongoing Instagram series #BrinsonBanksing, in which the couple posts self-portraits re-creating a signature joyful pose of them kissing in various locations around the world. Now other people are taking their own #BrinsonBanksing photos using the same pose and hashtag. “A search of the tag on Instagram shows people #BrinsonBanksing in countries like Brazil, Ireland, and Costa Rica,” reports CNN.
While spare time is hard to come by, the pair have carved out space to develop two compelling personal projects: #WestCoastExplorersClub, which chronicles their many travels out West after spending their lives in the South, and “LA Woman,” an ongoing portrait series featuring creative women photographed at home in the City of Angels.
Brinson+Banks’ images have appeared in exhibitions in Houston, New York, Atlanta, and the Netherlands and are in the permanent collection of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection at the New York Public Library, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.
photo: Michael Rubenstein