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Meet Sylmar Professional Photographer: Chris Kirksey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Kirksey.

Chris, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My father was an amateur photographer, primarily taking photos on our yearly vacations to national parks. At the age of 12, he bought me a camera. However, I pursued corporate careers in Aerospace and later finance all the while taking photos of scenery and cars, my other passion. Finally, in 2008 I left Citibank ( just prior to the banking meltdown) and went full time in photography. I found in the digital world too much competition in the normal headshot, family portrait world where any guy with a new DSLR thinks he can shoot a wedding. I found more of a niche in fashion/boudoir/pin-up/swimsuit/events. I was the sole photographer invited to a charity event held by Idina Menzal at the El Rey theater. I shoot a charity event every year at Sony Studios for Muscular Dystrophy. However, I find my most rewarding work doing model and swimsuit portfolio shoots. I just finished a shoot for My Lucky Lipstick Boutique working with 8 models and focusing on the lipstick they were wearing. So that is a start. I like to say for me in photography I am a jack of all styles, and master of all.

Has it been a smooth road?
Digital cameras make it easy for someone to take a few great shots and then think they are a pro and since they work a job, do shoots for free or low $ amounts. But, they aren’t a pro and their clients learn fast that the images will not look good. Of course, cellphone selfies make it unnecessary for as much need for photography as in the past. This is why I try to work the niche, out of the box styles of photography.

Has there been people or an institution that has played a pivotal role in your career?
Only the unyielding support and encouragement from my wife Pamela. She always praised my work and has assisted as a makeup artist and wardrobe advisor on many shoot.s.

What type of clients or projects do you look forward to most?
I believe there is a Supermodel waiting to break out in every woman out there. But the little gremlin on their shoulder says, “who do you think you are to want a professional photo session, take another selfie.” So, my favorite client is the lady who finally breaks through her fear and wants a photo shoot that will have her friends seeing the images saying…” omg that is you, you look like a model.” I had one client who was timid to contact me, but she finally did and we did a boudoir session and at the end of the shoot she told me “you will never know how much you boosted my self-image today.” The greatest compliment I have ever accepted.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
Started sooner to break the bounds of the corporate world and go for it. However, I realized that my confidence in myself and my ability to work with women, sometimes in intimate setting only surfaced as I aged.

Pricing:

  • I try to work within clients budgets. My fashion/boudoir/pin-up/swimsuit shoots will range from $250 to $650.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.chriskirkseyphoto.com
  • Phone: 818-270-7426
  • Email: ckphotodoc@gmail.com
  • Instagram: ckphotodoc
  • Facebook: chris kirksey the one in sylmar.

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Image Credit:
images 1, 2, & 3 Setareh. Image 4 in red car, Jade. Images 5 and 6, belly dancer, Mikayla. Image 7, red hat, Jade, and image 8, black and white, Donna.

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