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Meet Calvin Baines of Calvin Baines Photography in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Calvin Baines.

Calvin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My fascination with photography began at a young age while growing up in Durban, South Africa. I was the youngest in the family and I remember seeing my older cousin’s black and white film photography of squatter camps in the area ridden by extreme poverty. Those images from the local villages have always stuck with me.

I immigrated to Northern California at a young age, where I was given my first camera. Over the next few years, I began to build a great interest and appreciation for photography. I started paying attention to lighting, framing shots and reading about famous photographers like the Northern Californian native, Ansel Adams.

After living in London and traveling Europe into my early 20’s I decided to head back to California and ended up in Los Angeles. I continued pursuing my career in photography by furthering my studies, interning for celebrity fashion photographers, shooting headshots for aspiring actor’s and models who I met mostly in the service industry while bartending. These were some very challenging but memorable years in Los Angeles.

Once I had established a life in LA and was shooting regularly I started to become intrigued by both the classic and modern architecture in the city. I decided to get my Real Estate License and began to work as a Realtor in Hollywood Hills. I only later realized that I wanted to take photos of Real Estate, not sell it. This is around the time I began taking photo’s nationwide for my close friend and celebrity interior designer, Kari Whitman who I met years ago through her nonprofit dog rescue, Ace of Hearts.

My client base kept growing and I realized I found what I love to do, showcase design and architectural projects through my photography. Since then I have had the opportunity to photograph both commercial and residential projects nationwide, which have included some amazing 5-star hotels, award-winning restaurants and multi-million dollar estates.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Living in Los Angeles, I definitely had plenty of challenges while starting out. I was bartending full time which paid the expensive city bills but took time away from marketing my photography and furthering my career. However, I did meet a lot of clients while working in the service industry in LA and it definitely made some great memories and storytelling for the future. All of these challenges helped me find my niche in Architectural and Interior Design Photography. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Calvin Baines Photography – what should we know?
To sum up what I do, I showcase architectural and interior design projects through photography. I like to work closely with my clients to showcase their creations in the best way possible. My clients spend months and sometimes years creating a project which is something I have a huge respect for and why I take my job so seriously. Planning the correct time of day for perfect light, staging and performing pre-shoot walkthroughs are some of the necessary steps taken to create the perfect images for my clients.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I would have to say, my good friend and interior designer, Kari Whitman has been an unbelievable influence in my photography career. She believed in me when I was starting out in the Architectural and Interiors side of the business and opened up a lot of doors for me which lead to client after client. I couldn’t thank her enough.

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