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Check Out Kasee Shambora’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kasee Shambora.

Hi Kasee, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hey! I’m Kasee Shambora, I’m a Production Coordinator/Associate Producer turned portrait photographer. I started shooting heavily a couple years ago when I traveled the world for a show called ‘This Giant Beast That is the Global Economy’. In my free time, I would do personal travel photography but while I was on the clock (basically the whole time) I would take the portraits of our interviewees as well as set stills.

Once I got back in LA, I started shooting more people which led me to shooting one of my (soon to be) really close friends and she had convinced me that I should really start taking headshots seriously. At the time, my biggest gripe with headshots was that there are too many rules but… after a while, I kind of took it as a challenge to see how far I can bend those rules. Now it’s turned into a game of trying to perfect my style with seeing how much I can experiment and learn through blending creative lighting and shadows with personalities.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The hardest part about starting off as a career portrait photographer in Los Angeles is that it’s HIGHLY saturated. Everyone has a camera but also everyone can shoot headshots/portraits. So it’s been a blessing and a curse because it’s also helped me to believe in doing what *I* want, not what everyone else is doing. If everyone can do the same thing, the best thing I can do is something different. The biggest struggle is that this industry lives heavily influenced by word of mouth and reputation. So what do you do? Marketing! Go door to door spreading word and dropping information off. I come from a sales background so this should be easy, right? Right?! No: Covid-19.

Whelp, as horrible as this sounds, that turned out to actually be one of the best things that happened to me. It put me in a situation where all I could do was practice my creative eye and really plan on what I wanted to do with myself. This whole time I was working production jobs which took up most of my brain space, leaving me barely any to grow creatively. At the start of the pandemic, I connected with Rick over at HB Studios and he’s invested a lot into allowing me to merge into his studio space and let my creative visions go wild. Plus, now that I can’t work, all I can do is practice haha. So I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth road but it’s definitely had its fair share of roller coaster moments.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I guess you could say I take “cinematic” headshots and portraits. If you research headshots, you’ll see that most are very evenly lit and follow a set of guidelines. I acknowledge the guidelines but I add more… cinematic lighting to the shot to make them feel more “real” and/or look as if it was taken from a scene from a movie. I also really like the game of creating the atmosphere/background. Though it’s important to know, headshots are just the base of what I shoot, I also do everything I can to get a lot of editorial-ish style shots out of my sessions.

As far as what sets me apart, I’ve been told from others is that it’s noticeable that I’m not doing this for the money. People enjoy the fact that there’s no stress or weight involved in working with me. It doesn’t feel like you’re going into a business to be your most professional self. I want my customers to feel like they’re catching up with a friend, collaborating on art that reflects who they are and gets them a really cool job. So you could say, it’s more of a creative collaboration and less of a business transaction.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Covid-19 taught me about how important it is to stop and work on yourself. Prior to the pandemic, I spent 95% of my awake time working. I had no time to work on myself or plan about the things that I wanted to care about because all of my time was dedicated to finding a way to pay bills. Once everything shut down, I really got a chance to see how much I hadn’t been able to do, all since I’ve been distracted. Don’t get me wrong, the pandemic wasn’t a great thing to have to happen but at the end of the day, all you can control is your perspective, right? (another thing I learned during this time)

Pricing:

  • Studio: 1 Look for $125
  • Studio: 3 Looks for $300
  • Studio: 6 Looks for $500
  • Local Neighborhood: 1 Look for $100
  • Local Neighborhood: 3 Looks for $250

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Chad Michael Collins Louie Chapman Jasmine Aivaliotis Lornalitz Baez Corey Omar Spencer Erin Zariah Sanders Cris Felipe James Austin Kerr

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