We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Straley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chris, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I honestly never really thought about being a photographer when I was young. I grew up surfing, skateboarding and playing music and taking photos become my outlet that allowed me to do this with my best friends. When I was about 20 years old I really dove into the world of photography to allow me to travel the world and document surf culture I had grown up in. Photography was just my outlet to help later pursue an actual career in art.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a commercial advertising photographer that specializes in shooting people in authentic and organic ways. There is so much content out in the world these days whether it be on IG, TikTok or You Tube and it can be quit overwhelming sometimes. The viewer can easily see through the quintessential stock photoshoots with models that used to be the norm. I like to document real people, activity and authentically doing or using products to tell my clients stories. No fakes or frauds. Sure sometimes things are posed but for the most part I like to have a “fly on the wall” mentality. I adopted this technique through years of documenting athletes while trying to not disrupt their normal behavior. Really give the viewer of the photograph and first person perspective of whom they are. Reading and looking through photography books of Annie Leibowitz and Jim Marshall and how they documented rock n roll groups in the 70’s really honked in these skills. I think organically telling stories of people and documenting them in the environment is so essential to telling real stories. I never really like to direct talent just watch them.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Man hard question. I am totally out of the nightlife scene with three kids:). I hav some great restaurants and places that I like to get drinks at though. Rarely go to downtown or even south of Encinitas anymore but here are some of my recommendations. Would definitely take them to Craft Tacos in Oceanside. They have killer tacos and a great light cerveza called Agua Baja that are absolutely delicious. Really dig the pizzas from The Privateer in Oceanside. A friend of mine owns the joint and love there pizzas and the crew that hangs out there is all time. Would probably hit a Padre game. I went there a couple weeks back and at some delicious food. I think I just heard the Pet Co park was rated best baseball stadium in the nation too. Besides that, Fish 101 in Leucadia for some killer tacos and a Robertos for a Cali burrito. Sounds like a pretty good week to me!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Really wouldn’t be here without the support of a couple people. First of all my wife. Photography is a very hard career with a ton of highs and lows. Total emotional rollercoaster to say the least. One day your bidding a six figure job and later that week finding out the client is going with another artist is a very difficult to swallow sometimes. My wife has played such an important roll in in my success. She is the word of reason, my cheerleader and my drill sergeant. She keeps me grounded and on track. Next is a my agent, Paige at Fox Creative. She is one behind the scenes finding working, promoting me and helping guide me in the crazy career I have. Couldn’t do it without them!

Website: www.chrisstraley.com

Instagram: @chrisstraley

Twitter: @chrisstraley

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.