About Chris

I photograph feeling.

I believe in passion, direction, and illumination. I know others practice detachment, I know others believe a picture tells a story. I think there is much more to it than that. I think that making a photograph is a deeply personal and intimately engaging process for both parties. A good photograph captures a conditioned moment, a moment that arises from the emotional states, thoughts, and desires of subject and artist. It does not encapsulate an entire narrative or even a fragment of one. The viewer gets to project their narrative onto the photograph. My job is to crystallize that moment to the extent that I can. To invest it with the passion and attention it deserves. To illuminate.

I also write and perform solo theater. I bring the skills I learned in the theater; embodiment, improvisation, a focus on character and motivation, to my subjects. I do more than put them at ease. I direct them to be in touch with themselves in ways they perhaps were not aware they were capable of. To invest in and deepen their engagement with the identity they project.

I work in a variety of spaces, studio, the (digital) darkroom and in nature. In all these places I am trying to connect to something I cannot really define, much less control. A sense of what is there. All I really know is that when I stop thinking and let the camera and whatever it is that works through me, do its work, amazing things happen.

Then I get to write about it and attempt to explain it. 

As much as anything, that process of being in a moment, in a state of 'flow' is what concerns me. It might even be the subject of my work.

My studio work often takes place in the same small white room. There is something about working in a white room. Like the inside of a soft box. Only it has as much personality as my favorite lens. I continue to make discoveries, even now, after hundreds of shoots. The process of continually engaging and re-engaging with something familiar. A deepening and continual source of surprise.

I live and work in California, bouncing between San Francisco (where I got my MFA), LA, New York, and the Sierra Nevada. One day I may settle somewhere, but for now, I go where I feel I need to be.

And yes, available for commission. t/916 715 9663 e/christopher@spurrell.com

Professional, fun and reliable.

Please be in touch. It will be our pleasure.