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In search of a brand's visual "Why"

4 years ago

Chrissylynn is a lifestyle, fashion and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She says of her work: "I shoot photos because I thrive on the journey to capture the abstract of a brand with its most defining moments. I love igniting enthusiasm in people, working with brilliant creative teams to produce compelling, passionate images that illustrate the root of a brand's 'why'." 

She is a member of PhotoShelter, the leader in portfolio websites, photo sales, marketing and archiving tools for photographers.

Hi Chrissylynn, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your photography 

I’m a lifestyle, fashion and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. My photography is intimate and free-spirited. The majority of the work I do is creating lifestyle narratives for various technology, fashion, wellness and education companies, as well as catalog work for fashion brands. When commissioned, I focus on highlighting the quality and beauty of the people and brands in front of me, working with brilliant creative teams to produce the elevated images they want. Living in San Francisco, I often find myself capturing the impact of technology on today's world as well as exploring-through-images, the abundance of amazing natural light that Northern California has to offer. My personal work illustrates young women exploring freedom and power, igniting enthusiasm in beautiful landscapes with patriotic feels. I love to take liberties with symbolism and gesture, and enjoy finding my images as the shoot unfolds when collaborating with other artists.


Why photography? What does the medium mean to you? 

I’ve asked myself “why photography” a LOT. I thrive on the journey to capture the abstract of a brand with its most defining moments. Illustrating the root of a brand's "why" ignites my collaborative spirit. Being charged to conceptualize, create, think critically and be a photo nerd is a full workout for the soul. And for these reasons, I feel fulfilled. I love knowing there is never going to be a stopping point, always room to learn and evolve my work. That excites me! 


Do you have a photographic philosophy? 

Work hard, have fun, be nice and make it meaningful. I have long-lasting relationships with my clients and collaborators, and that’s likely because we have a great time-solving problems and working together. I ignite positivity within my creative teams which always results in a great job well done. I believe my collaborative spirit and strong human intuition is biologically ingrained in me-  I have an identical twin sister and I just can’t help it.

What is your was most memorable shoot and why? 

That’s a tricky one, each shoot is memorable! -well except for the few I’ve forgotten about ;) 

Midway in my career, I was asked to drive the creative direction for a fashion catalog. I conceptualized and produced the narrative for the line which is such a rare opportunity, so I used it to build on my ‘voice’ as a photographer. To satisfy my obsession of golden sunshine and wild horses, I booked a horse ranch in Northern California in the winter (if you follow the sun, you’ll know that the low golden sun in the winter months near the CA coast is... thumbs up). I also grew up with horses and am always inspired being around them. I got a ton of photography that I was excited about from this shoot and leveraged it as much as possible. My compensation for this job was not memorable at all, but the images I gained for my book certainly were! I was motivated to build on this ‘look’ to my photography and reached out to fellow creatives that year to collaborate on different themes. The next year was my most profitable year in business then, as I was finally getting hired for my ‘photographic look’ over my just my abilities. -and isn’t that the point? Fast forward a few years after that- I was contacted by an ad agency to make some images for a global campaign for a higher ed company and long-story-short, knew the Creative Director from undergrad from Virginia circa 1999! Needless to say that job was the most fun for the most money and the images were dreamy.

What's next for you? 

I was approached recently by an agency in LA about representation, which i’m exploring. It’s a dream to work with a professional partner combining our strengths to produce great work with awesome clients. I’m looking forward to seeing where this new relationship takes us! Also— I’m a new mom! I’m increasingly inspired by the abundance of strength and love that I possess, and I’m excited to bring my new super powers to set. I also have a new personal project on the horizon that I’m anxious to get off the ground. So, we’ll see how it all goes!