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Meet Christopher Pedraza

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Pedraza.

Hi Christopher, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was born and raised in Michigan where I grew up drumming in local punk bands and skating around with my friends eating Hot N Ready’s.

I was always an artsy kid – spending my most formative years in Lansing, MI, where people care about sports and sports and guns and more sports I struggled to find where I fit in until I found music. That alone gave me the confidence to try other mediums – acting, short films, and eventually photography. After graduating from college, I packed what I could into my car and drove myself out to LA.

Flash forward to 2017, thanks to the encouragement of a close friend, I bought my first film camera for $50 on eBay – a Nikkormat FT2. Knowing almost nothing about what I was doing, I instantly fell in love…

…Ummm…maybe, it’s like closer to an obsession…once I started I never stopped. Over the years, I learned how to process everything myself in my apartment, which led me to greater control and weirder experiments to figure out my “look”. Just by becoming the film dude my friends and acquaintances started to reach out and ask if I would shoot album artwork, portfolio work, etc. I guess along the way, I became a one-man all-analog production house, shooting 35mm, medium format, Polaroids, and super 8.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I have been so privileged and lucky in my life but no road has been smooth. I think the two biggest struggles along the way have been financial and overcoming myself. I believe the majority of people know what I mean by financial troubles, but battling a crippling self-doubt and social anxiety can feel impossible to overcome especially when sharing your art leaves you open and vulnerable. Everyday is a lesson in appreciating myself and allowing myself to be proud of what I create. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been my most brutal critic but I have been so lucky to have a support system in my parents, which, looking back now at 29, feels more important than I ever realized. Even beyond my folks, I’ve found my friends/my crew/my second family out in LA whom without I would never be where I am today.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an analog photographer. I specialize in film photography – shooting, processing, developing, printing, scanning, blah blah! I’m most known for bright, colorful portraits, lifestyle, and conceptual photography. What am I most proud of?…I feel like that changes almost everyday…right now, I am most proud of my style. I love vibrant, dreamy images and I am able to execute that vision from initial concept to development in the chemical bath. It’s just such a good feeling when it all works.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
One of the greatest strengths I think in any endeavor is to be fearless when it comes to trying new things – it most certainly has been huge in my success as an artist. For me, it’s always a process though because I can get in my own way, but every time I am able to take that leap, however big or small, I am almost always glad I did it. It’s terrifying and rewarding. I always work to genuinely consider something new before saying No to it.

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Christopher Pedraza

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