Introducing FRĒDA Woman: Priscilla Gragg
Can you start by telling us a little about yourself? Your background, what you do and what has led you to what you are doing now?
My name is Priscilla Gragg. I am a commercial and advertising children’s photographer originally from Brazil. I am the 3rd generation self taught photographer in my family. I went to school for Languages and came to the USA when I was 22 on an exchange program to improve English. I met the love of my life at a bar in Vail, CO and when my program was over, both him and I backpacked the globe for 6 months together. That happened about 15 years ago! We then settled in California and I had to decide what I would like to do about my teaching career. If i wanted to pursue it in the USA, that meant go back to school and get all of the proper credentials. I decided to give photography a try and I never looked back.
How big of a role has photography played in your life?
I absolutely love what I do for a living and I have always known that. However, when Covid hit last year and the world shut down, I was faced with the fact that I needed my art as much as I needed to breathe. So I gave myself a dozen personal projects where I photographed my children. Most of the images were turned into editorial stories and published at magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar Kids and Milk Magazine. So I would say photography plays a pretty big role in my life ; )
When was the last time you were in awe, or in wonder of your own abilities—as a woman, mother or photographer?
I don’t sit and reflect too much on things that I do or on my own abilities. I am always too busy thinking about what’s next. However, the other day Naya, my 10-year old daughter told me and my husband that we are “killing it on the parenting game” as a compliment. Wow! I was caught by complete surprise and started crying. That was definitely a moment I will never forget.
What advice would you have for aspiring women photographers?
Tell your story through your photos. Your story is so unique, and if you can photograph it with honesty, people will respond to it and eventually you will start booking jobs. The closer to your heart the images are the better.
What are you working on at the moment?
Ooooooh, I am working on something really exciting but i can’t share about it yet! But stay tuned! Coming soon….
Tell us something you’re learning about yourself now?
I have learned about myself that I am very sensitive about the energy that surrounds me. For that reason, I try to surround myself with genuine positive people not only at work but also in my personal life. Oh, and I am really good at finding them!
Have your thoughts on career shifted since you became a mom?
100% … i used to photograph Fashion-Lifestyle (adults) before I became a mom. That portfolio really wasn't taking my career anywhere. Once I had my first born it all clicked for me like a big epiphany: “I used to be a preschool teacher in Brazil, then an au pair in Colorado. I have always loved children. I should focus on children photography!”. It was a big “ta-dah” moment.
What has been the most rewarding part of becoming a mother?
To live experiences through their eyes. The little daily moments with such innocence. To feel their unconditional love every single minute of the day. To watch them becoming such amazing little humans.
What’s the most sacred advice you have been given that you have passed along to your children?
Always be honest. No matter how bad it is, always tell the truth. If you made a mistake (like we all do), own it and then apologize.
What’s your mantra?
Fashion, interior design, travel, nature and light.
When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?
Lately I have been enjoying the weather outdoors. Going for walks with our dog Rio, biking on hanging out in the backyard with the family. I also enjoy taking little day trips to the beach or to a fun hike we have never been to. Outside from that, I do yoga on my own.
What’s your favorite word?
“Yes mommy” are my two favorite words ; )
Favorite fashion moment?
Most recent was Gucci X The North Face collab. It is sort of funny and non- practical at all, but visually I love it!
Flexibility and sensibility.
Must-have purse item?
A filled up water bottle.
I am learning French, so I have a big print out of a PDF I found online by my bed about French grammar, verb conjugations, phrases and so on.
I just finished Ginny and Giorgia on Netflix. It was ok. Before that I was really into The Crown. Also, Cidade Invisivel on Netflix was good too! It is a Brazilian series, i thought it was well done.
A bunch of traveling accounts! I miss traveling a lot and I miss home (Brazil).