About Me

Chris Keeney is a third generation San Diego California native who has been living and working for over 25 years as a creative professional graphic designer and photographer. During that time he has done design and photography work for local and national fortune 500 companies and organizations. He has authored two photography books that have sold worldwide and his graphic design and photographs work has been published in multiple printed publications.  His goal in life is to have a happy family that is surrounded with good friends and co-workers while furthering his career as a creative professional.  He hopes his artistic path will somehow inspire other people to do great things with their lives.

Being a portrait photographer I am tasked with working with lots of different people and personalities. Often times I find that people just plain out don’t like having their picture taken. Therefore I feel it is my job to make people feel comfortable with the whole photo making process. I say “making” instead of “taking” because I feel in order to get a portrait that someone feels good about you have to make them feel as if they were part of that creative process. When people ask me “what they should do”, I simply say, “be yourself”… smile or don’t smile, that’s you’re own decision. Of course I give direction on how to sit, etc, but I never tell people how they should “be”.

Now that we live in the age of social media people know more about people than they ever did. Maybe that’s a good thing and maybe it’s not. But I feel as a person that has to work closely with people, it’s important for people to know who they’re going to be working with before they even utter the word “hello”. Obvious people can tell you whatever they want about themselves and it’s up to you to decide if it’s true or not. Sure pictures are worth a 1,000 words but in the end you really don’t know how someone is going to be until you meet them in person. If time permits, I urge new clients to meet with me in person to discuss the details of their shoot. It is in these meetings that people can get a better idea of my personality and work ethic.

Artist Statement

If the essence of life is change, then I imagine its opposite–immutability–must be a form of death. I see my photography as both an affirmation of and reaction to the inexorable process of growth and decay, the wheel of life: my images try to play with the mystery and absurdity of the permanent state of impermanence facing us in this world, and the kinds of images that catch my eye are themselves always changing, as is my technique as I experiment with the ever-evolving technologies and media available today. To me, a good photograph is a small triumph over time, perhaps not on the same scale as a great poem, but no less thrilling in its own way. To quote Henri Cartier-Bresson: We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.

There’s something that feels noble about that. I also like what Cartier-Bresson said about his personal experience of what it is to do photography: Photography is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s own originality. It’s a way of life. This seems right to me: the best photography comes from the inner compulsion to capture images, as opposed to stroke one’s ego, and I know that because there is an authenticity I feel in my best moments. And photography does free me, albeit temporarily, from the hamster wheel existence that is a part of life, and as such, it is my own form of shout – that I am alive, that i am open to creation in all its forms, that i know we all pass out of the frame in the end but that only fires my determination to record that we were here and lived and loved…