Braina Laviena & Andrew Echeverria
How did you become interested in photography?
Braina- I went to school for advertising & Journalism and had to take a photo class and immediately feel in love with it. I kept doing it as a hobby ever since. Also, my dad was a videographer when I was little, so photography & video have always had a special place in my family.
Andrew- It stemmed from skateboarding; me and my friends filming each other. I borrowed a camera from my dad and started taking photos and then signed up to a photography class in high school. I have an uncle who is a photographer and he helped nourish that interest as well. When I went off to school he gave a Hasselblad as a gift, which I still use today.
How did you decide to start shooting as a duo?
It happened very organically. We’re both very creative, love photography, putting concepts together and follow a similar aesthetic, so it was very fluid. The very first shoot we did, Cenit was in town (one of my best friends from Puerto Rico who is also a model); I just casually said we should shoot her, we planned it pretty quick and it went so well, we decided to keep doing it.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of working as a pair?
Probably a lot more benefits than drawbacks! Drawbacks, definitely that sometimes we have no filter when talking because we are a couple, and can end up being harsh to each other during work, so we make sure to talk to each other with kindness and keep it light and respectful. Benefits: Two sets of eyes to look at details, double the creative for ideas, etc. In general, we are a good sounding board for each other, and can divide the workload as needed. Our skill sets really compliment each other. We definitely could shoot on our own, but we both recognise that we can better together.
Braina, how did you get into modelling?
B- I was always a fan of the modelling world, I would watch fashion TV until 4AM everyday when I was in middle school, every single show; but I was dancer all through school so that was my thing. When I started University however, dancing took too much time, so I decided to go to a modelling agency and try that out as a hobby and to make some extra money. I was lucky enough to find a really amazing agency in Puerto Rico, Element, and an even more amazing teacher, Ann La Place, who mentored me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. I have her to thank for so much of who I am today.
When and where are you happiest?
B- Either at home with the cats, Andrew & a cup of tea; on the beach in Puerto Rico, or when I can just create without worrying about money or an expected outcome.
A- I’d say the same; also when on vacation with no responsibilities, being able to just enjoy life as it comes.
interview HANNAH GLENN
More to read