Friends of Brie Leon - Holly Sarah Burgess

In conversation with photographer Holly Sarah Burgess


Holly Sarah Burgess Brie Leon

Above: the Mini Chloe Bag, Black Oily Croc


Describe what you do for a living? What does a typical day look like for you?

I am a freelance photographer. My days vary a lot which keeps me on my toes. If I am not in the studio shooting or on location I will be at home editing and doing emails. I am lucky to have a mixture high energy days on set with other creatives, and low energy days editing by myself at home. I find balance in my schedule by going on coffee dates with my friends.


How did you start your business?

I was working full time as a photographer for a fashion company and freelancing on the weekends. I was working nearly 7 days a week, and it got to the point where I was having to turn down freelance jobs that I really wanted to be a part of. With the encouragement of my whānau and friends, I decided to take the leap and go freelance full time.


Holly Sarah Burgess Brie Leon

Above: the Mini Chloe Bag, Black Oily Croc


What was some advice you wish you were given when starting out?

I wish I knew more about taxes and finance. I’ve been focusing on the creative side of my work for so long that the business aspects of it are all a learning curve. I am so grateful for the community I have built around me though so I can call on whanau and friends who have skills in these areas.


What’s your favourite Brie Leon piece and why?

I am obsessed with all the mini Chloe bags. My wardrobe is full of oversized men’s vintage blazers so I love to contrast that with tiny bags. The smaller the better.


Holly Sarah Burgess Brie Leon

Above: the Mini Chloe Bag, Black Oily Croc


How do you approach your personal style?

My wardrobe mainly consists of vintage/op shop clothing. My whanau is from the Hokianga up north so I have managed to scope out the best vintage shops along the 3 hour drive. I love the process of vintage shopping so I feel like the journey that vintage takes me on is what shapes my style. Sometimes I find amazing pieces that fit like a glove and other times I’ll fall in love with something that’s way too big for me but I make it work. Because of this, some days I’m a slouchy oversized queen and other days I’ll be cinched. It’s all just creative expression!


What are you reading, listening to and watching at the moment?

I am currently listening to the Bobo & Flex podcast and the Guys We F****D podcast. Because I do so much editing, I have heaps of time to listen to podcasts. I am also listening to JessB’s new track ‘Shut Up!’ on repeat and am looking forward to her new mixtape ‘3 Nights in Amsterdam’ which drops on August 28th.


What’s something exciting that’s coming up in the next couple of months?

I am about to move house with my partner so I am living my Pinterest dreams and now hunting for vintage furniture instead of clothes. The furniture section of Trademe is a whole new world. Once we come out of lock down I am going to road trip up north – where all my favourite op shops are.


Thank you Holly! @hsburg