July 18, 2022
Bouncing between El Paso and Austin, Texas, this University of Texas at Austin student began his photography career with just an iPhone in a highschool journalism class. After enrolling in UT Austin, he did a stint photographing his school’s basketball events for UT Austin’s Athletics. Now, he has been photographing events like Neon Music Desert Festival and featured on Billboard Argentina and People en Español magazine.
Christopher Baca is originally from El Paso, but has been taking photos back and forth between Austin and El Paso for five years. He said, what inspired him to become a photographer in the first place was seeing photographers on basketball courts take photos of professional basketball games as well as inspiring words from his highschool yearbook teacher who told Baca that he had an eye for photography. So eventually, he found himself taking photos at basketball games at UT Austin but at the same time, taking portraits in between school and basketball.
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But, he said, there was not a single moment that he could say made him fall in love with the profession – it was gradual.
Baca shared with Minero his inspirations, his thoughts on photography today and how he began to take photos of up and coming artists and influencers.
Brandy: How would you describe your photography style? Was it inspired by anything?
Chris: I guess my photography is inspired by a lot of things. I’m very interested in the rock genre. They have like a very specific image. My older brother was a skater. So I got into skating videos and that’s why I use a fisheye lens. It’s very alternative and, like, grungy.
Brandy: How has your clientele, the type of clients you get, changed? Is it usually just everyday people that tend to reach out to you or is it influencers? Is it celebrities, or is it just kind of like a mix of people?
Chris: Mainly the people I work with now, it’s like people that want to build an image for themselves. So it could be anyone that’s like a local up and coming artist or huge artists that’s, like, producing for Drake.
I guess people are seeing my work and they would like to associate with it now. Rather than just doing any, like, “hey, come take a picture of me and my family at a picnic” or something like that.
I guess it’s a lot more artistic. People that want to build an image for themselves (are the people) that I’m working with now.
Brandy: Now that you’ve felt like you’ve become more creative, have you kind of ventured off into different kinds of photography or just different kinds of mediums? Have you changed the way you work with clients?
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Chris: I try to explore different lenses, different lighting. Every single thing I have control over during my photography, I like to learn how to manipulate and master (my photography). So I guess that’s what I’m venturing into, like just having a deeper knowledge.
The more I learn about how to manipulate lighting, what every lens does, and what it can achieve, the more knowledge you have about how to portray whatever you want. You know what to use to create a certain feeling, a certain theme. It helps a lot having that knowledge.
So, whenever we’re doing a consultation, I ask for them to send me references like more or less what they like, and then that’s when I fully take over. So it can be a collaborative work, but it’s mainly just me taking creative control. Because every time there’s gonna be something that’s different, whether it’s the weather, the lighting, or you show up and the spot isn’t what you thought it was. So you have to improvise. So that’s when I take like full creative control.
Brandy: Is there any advice that you could give to any up and coming photographers about how to stand out in El Paso’s photography scene?
Chris: I would say this takes years. So you have to be patient to develop your style. Like at first, you don’t have a style because it’s hard, you don’t know how to manipulate everything, but you have to get knowledge and that’s how you learn to actually do what you want and that’s how you eventually spread out.
You can find Chris on instagram @chriscanonn or book through his website chriscannon.myportfolio.com