Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Fulcher.
Chris, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a freelance photographer originally from Newtown, Connecticut. So I started photography when I was 13 years old. I used to play “speedball” paintball around that time, but the sport become very expensive and my dad couldn’t afford every weekend for me to play. I would remember seeing photographers at the fields we would play at, and how they would be charging teams to do photos per game. At the end of the games, the photographers would go to the teams (who hired them) and everyone on the team would get so excited from the photos. I was very inspired by this, so I remember going back to the field the next day with my dad’s 35mm camera and from that day on I never put a camera down. A few months later, my Dad bought me a Nikon D50, and I was hired by this paintball magazine called Chrono 300 to take photos all around the United States at different paintball events.
When I turned 14, I started getting into music photography and eventually stopped doing paintball events. I would email bands that were coming into the area for a show and try to book a photoshoot with them before their performance. I even got so busy at the point where I was offered to join “A Night Program” my first week of Freshman year of high school, where part of the requirements for joining the program was to have a 40+ hour every week job in exchange of going to class for only 3 hours a day, 4 days a week at night. My parents saw how busy I was and let me join the program.
That’s when photography started really taking off for me. I teamed up with another photographer who shot weddings mostly for his business. He was a lot older than me and had been doing it professionally for many years before I met him, and he would come with me to the gigs I had booked. I would help him out with his wedding photography in exchange for helping me with my shoots. He was a gaffer in LA for many years, and he taught me how to use portable photography strobes and how to master them correctly on location. We worked on multiple clothing line and rock-band photoshoots together.
When I turned 16, I met someone from the town next to me that was a musician in a band. We instantly became friends and he hired me to go on Warped Tour with him for a summer and a tour in Japan the next summer with a band called “Cash Cash”.
When I turned 18, I teamed up with a four other creative freelancers in Connecticut. Two were music producers, one was a videographer, and one was a graphic artist. They were creating a “creative agency” at a studio, and they were looking for a photographer to join their team. It was a HUGE studio. We had one half of the studio in 2 different rooms as music studios where artists could come in and record. One room was for events we would hold and another room was for me, the videographer, and graphic artist. For two years straight, we would be a “one stop shop” studio. A musician or band could come in, record an album, get their album cover photographed and designed, and music videos shot to top it all off.
When I turned 20, I went to school for 12 months in Upstate Massachusetts called “Hallmark Institute of Photography” to further my skillset in the areas I was lacking. While in school, I started focusing my photography towards boudoir and fashion; working with many freelance models around the area.
When I turned 21, I packed all my stuff up and moved straight to Los Angeles. I had a few buddies of mine from the studio who had moved out there, so I followed. I ended up not leaving. I loved it out there. I mostly like to work outdoors on location, and I’m not too big into working in a studio, so the weather (compared to Connecticut) was perfect for me. And with me getting into boudoir and fashion photography while still shooting musicians, it was the most ideal city for me to be in. I was working a lot with this company called “Arsenic” who would connect me with lots of different models in the area, and further grow my business.
When I turned 24, I decided to go back home to Connecticut for a year. I was working with a creative company called “WOW! Creative Group” who was flying me back to Connecticut every other month to shoot random commercial and advertising gigs for their clients. So me going back home just meant I did not need to jump on a plane so many times that year.
When I turned 25, I decided that I wanted to get into travel photography and work with resorts and travel agencies for their marketing/advertising efforts. I went to Europe (Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia) this past summer for a month and starting pursuing that. I worked with multiple luxury resorts while oversea’s with a friend of mine (Anthia Mo @anthia.mo) that was a professional model in LA. Her and I would create content with ourselves in the images to show certain amenities the resorts had to offer (swimming pools, suites, etc.).
When I came back from Europe, I met Savannah, who eventually became my girlfriend while on vacation in Connecticut. She was very big into traveling, as so was I, so we teamed up to start pushing content creation even more for resorts and travel blogs/agencies and multiple clothing and shoe companies to model (ourselves) overseas and all around the US. We just got back from Japan a few weeks ago, we worked for a few hotels and clothing companies throughout the trip. We just booked our trip to Europe in June until August. We will be going to 4 different countries and working with more resorts and various clothing brands while over there. And we are now looking into booking our trip to Colombia where a good friend of mine had opened up a hostel that needs content.
And here I am today. Writing this super LONG description of my life for you guys haha. I am very excited to see where the future takes me with photography. It seems like every year, something VERY brand new and exciting ends up happening.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely NOT been a smooth road. Before getting my license, my biggest struggle was finding a way to photoshoots. I would have my dad, mom, grandma, older friends and other photographers drive me to photoshoots. And honestly – at that age; booking a gig (and some were BIG deals to me) and not having a ride there felt like the end of the world. I remember one gig I had booked a photoshoot with Atlantic Records for this band that was coming to perform and I couldn’t find a ride (eventually I did) but man, did I feel like the world was ending around me haha.
But as I got older, some of the struggles were more financially based and clientele. When I was in my teen’s I did ALOT of free photoshoots, but a lot of paid ones too. Definitely more free then paid. After the highschool program, I was part of, I did not want to get a 9-5 job. And my parents knew I was making money doing photography, but they were very persistent on me needing more of an income. That’s when I started photographing things I was not super excited about doing (like weddings, or certain commercial gigs) to make extra income on top of me shooting musicians, boudoir, and fashion. I even at one point was a delivery guy for a pizza company down the road from me when I was 18 just to make some extra money.
One of the biggest struggles for me was moving to Los Angeles. I went out there with NO money, no job. Just a camera and a dream. I do have very supportive parents who helped me financially as much as they could, and I saved up a good amount of money before moving. But there were points where I couch hopped a lot, slept in my car, moved into rooms in houses on craigslist that were cockroach infested just to save a dollar. I did a lot of odd jobs to make money too – I did a lot of food tasting surveys, personal assisted for some musicians. I even got part of my head tattooed (little black dots) for this micropigmentation company that paid me to be in their commercial!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Chris Fulcher Photos – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
So I specialize in what I call “Commercial Entertainment Photography”. I photograph mainly musicians, clothing brands, and commercial advertising. What sets me apart from others is that on 90% of my shoots is that I mainly build sets. So one day I might build a room with plywood from Home Depot, or next day gather 15 vintage tube TV’s from various goodwills and stack them on top of each other.
I also use portable photography lights on location to exaggerate the photos in scenes of my projects and to add certain aesthetic and emotion to fit whatever my client needs are.
I am most proud that a lot of my reoccurring clients give me full creative control and trust me to bring their vision to life. A lot of photographers feel like they need to go somewhere “cool” to take a “cool” image. And sometimes, that is true. But why not build it if you can? Thats my intake on it at least. My father growing up was always very handy when it came to building things, and I like to think that he passed that skill down to me.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
So as of now, I am planning some big trips to work with various resorts and travel companies. I also am starting to shoot music video’s and more videography this year.
I want to push myself as “Chris Fulcher”, not “Chris Fulcher Photography” as the years come. I want to be recognized as an individual that is creative in all spectrums – a “jack of all trades” as you would call it. I am starting to make clothes (I am actually making sandals right now too). I am learning more video, helping other sets as a creative director, etc.
I also want to start creating more of a platform on Instagram and other social media sites that showcase various places (traveling). So basically a “travel influencer”. I’ve never focused my energy into social media since I started doing photography. I started so young that most people who know me, they know I do photography. So my clientele comes from word of mouth, not online. I also want to start working with more nonprofit organizations and charities when it comes to media and helping in any way I can there too.
- Website: https://www.chrisfulch.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @chrisfulch