Photographer as Storyteller – About Patryce Harris


I’m a storyteller whose medium is photography. I am a lightstalker and happiness hunter, using my lens to find and capture moments of joy in people, transforming a fleeting, intangible moment into something that can be kept for a lifetime.

What I should say is that I am primarily a natural light, on-location, lifestyle photographer, located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County. Natural light allows people look like themselves on their very best day, but flash and strobe photograph, when called for, can accomplish the same if done with care.

My primary style is photo journalistic, capturing “what is” but I also like the polar opposite of creating a fantastical, exaggerated hyper-reality.  With my background as a singer -songwriter, I see stories everywhere. Candid, day-in-the-life photos are biographical stories.  Styled photo shoots are fun, fantasy fiction stories. At the end of the day, they both resonate with me. Some styled shoots, especially boudoir and pinup can change the way a person his/her self. “Wow, I didn’t know I was that pretty,” is often heard from clients, with a new vision of themselves.


Candids and portraits capture memories, which need to be curated and protected. And years later, the pictures still tell the story that the mind has long forgotten.

How would you like to remember these moments?
What type of story would you like to tell?

If you’re interested, here’s little more about my educational and technical background:

I studied Radio, TV and Film at Howard University. And worked in television for years before pursuing photography professionally. Always interested in media, age has focused my interests more specifically.  I found the pace and expense of filmmaking to be slow and expensive.  TV production was amazing – my favorite day-job to date.  I’d been an avid photographer for 2 decades, however, I really got into the study, technique and discipline of portraits around 4 years ago.  After traveling through Europe, taking tons of architectural and landscape photos, I discovered that I was more interested in human beings.

Techniques that work in landscape photography, do not make for exceptional portraiture. Landscapes are completely in focus, and your job is to include as much as possible.  Portraiture is quite the opposite. Why you see so much of the dreamy partial focus in the work of good photographers isn’t that it’s just some cute gimmick, rather it’s the job of the photographer-as-storyteller to direct the viewer’s eyes to what’s important.  Yes, your kid’s outfit that Aunt Kim sent from Chicago is cute, but, did you see the look on your child’s face?  What’s he thinking about?  That’s what you’ll want to remember in years to come.  There’s a quote from Diane Arbus:

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.”

So although you can take a fine point-and-shoot snapshot or school photo of your child, all in focus, with the outfit, the background all deemed equally important, distracting from the heart of the matter, there is something to be said about having professional portraits taken, that illuminate much more. When I look at my high school yearbook photo, I think, “I can’t believe I wore my hair like that,” not, “was I happy then?  Who was I at 18? ”

It’s the artistry that separates a yearbook photo from a portrait which calls you in.

I am constantly upgrading my skills, whether it be off-camera-flash technique, strobe lighting, set design or posing techniques, reading up on new technology at Current Photographer or Current Photographer.   The difference between a “GWC” and a photographer is that a good-with-camera person might be overly impressed with equipment, automatic settings, ignores post-processing or printing, and thinks that good-enough is well, good enough! The mark of a true photographer is the constant quest to be better, to do better, to find a new or better way to do something.  I am on the enjoyable, yet never-ending quest, not for perfection (doesn’t exist artistically), but for growth and discovery.  Feel free to join me, and allow me to capture some of you, or your family’s essence.

Specialties and services include: newborn, baby, maternity, engagement and couple sessions,  family, high school senior, actors headshots, Mitzvahs and parties. Service most areas of Los Angeles, including Valley Glen, Valley Village, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Van Nuys,  Burbank, North Hollywood, Toluca Lake, Glendale, Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Granada Hills, Reseda, Chatsworth, Northridge, North Hills, Pasadena, Malibu and Santa Monica in addition to the surrounding areas.