Featured Photographer: CAC Photography

CAC Photography • Part One12674972_822543261204701_6500774_o

Photographer / Ringmaster / Instigator

Chris shoots more in a month than most full time photographers do in a year he is relentless.

Austin, Texas

Find him on

CAC Photography




When did you decide to become a photographer?

I started shooting when I was in high school when it occurred to me that I might want to preserve some memories. I used my dad’s old Minolta 35mm and a telephoto lens to shoot my friends and events around school.

I got a little more serious about it years later when my daughter was born, but I didn’t get too technical with it until I owned a toy company and had to teach myself Macro photography to shoot the samples and images for the website.

I did a short stint in the fashion business where I found myself on set coordinating shoots. I had so much fun with it that I sent and bought an entry-level DSLR and started learning as much as I could from working with the staff photographers. That’s really where my obsession was born.

What was your photography education?

Besides my earliest mentors, I was mostly self-taught through books, videos and a ton or trial and error. When I reached a level that I considered semi-competent, I began seeking new mentors and have been lucky and honored to get to learn things form several of the established photographers that I admired when I first started out.

Did you come up thru the ranks doing lots of assisting or just start out on your own?

I started on my own. I was already directing and coordinating shoots for a fashion company. So it felt natural to just slide in behind the camera. This honestly probably stunted my technical development for a while, but at the time I didn’t have the opportunity to do it any other way.

What do you consider yourself, pro,  working, amateur ?

I’m semi-pro. I’m not dependent on photography for income, but I am able to work when I want.  Consequently, I shoot what I want 90% of the time, whether it’s a job I wanted or it’s for personal projects. So photography rarely feels like work or becomes drudgery.

What is it you are passionate about shooting?

I shoot people. Women are my primary focus, but I have recently started shooting men too and it’s been good for me to stretch.

Why that? and not babies or pets or landscapes?

Every girl I date asks me that question.

The short answer is, women inspire me. Not just the female form, which I obviously admire, but I also draw much inspiration from the female perspective, mentality and personality tropes. Yes, much of my photography comes with risqué themes, but I strive to always show the women in a light that makes them feel empowered.

What do you think sets your work apart from others in your genre?

From a technical perspective, I definitely have a look that comes through in any style I am shooting. However, my distinguishing factor for better or worse is in the images I chose from my sets during post. My tastes in framing and composition and poses is unconventional.

What do you think sets your work apart from others in your genre?

I’d like to think that my work has a unique element to it through the use of light and capturing the personality of my subject, rather than just recording a photograph of what they look like.

Do you remember your first few shoots and the fear, nerves, and trepidation of working with models? How was that ? and what did you do to get past it?

Yes. I was working with models I had worked with previously when directing shoots. It struck me that this time it was me they were going to be posing for and trusting with capturing images of them in various stages of dress. The answer was whiskey. The first image that came out of that shoot is still in my portfolio and the model went on to become a successful model and makeup artist in LA.

When your shooting do you like working with a team and everyone collaborating or are you clearly the captain and its your look, idea etc?

I’m 50/50 on the pre-shoot process. Sometimes it’s my idea; sometimes it’s an idea I’m approached with, and sometimes it’s a collaboration with a team of artists. However, once the camera comes out, it’s my shoot. I will always take requests and suggestions from stylists and makeup artists on lighting and final look of a set, but I definitely take ownership of the process once I start shooting.

What do you consider your greatest strength in photography?

My ability to capture a character in an image. I spent as least as much time studying people and methods of bringing them out through photos as I did learning my camera and software.

Do you create any other art?

I sing, and I used to paint, but I no longer have time to do both painting and photography outside the occasional composite image.

What is your creative process? how does an idea grow and mature into your final image?

I get inspired by all sorts of things, but in general, I start with a look/style or subject. On larger sets I diagram out the lighting and plan through what to include in the piece, but the majority of my work much more heavily influenced by the subject or character and letting that speak to me. I adjust as I go to capture that.

Are you an “in camera person” or a “post production person” ? how much time in post do you spend on any particular image?

I started as a heavily post person. I learned Photoshop tricks before I had lighting and lenses that let me capture what I envisioned. It was a slow process, but now the majority of my shoots are 75-90% in camera and I use Photoshop to color correct, clean up, or add flourish (unless I am going for an artificial/heavily retouched look)

Wine, beer, spirits or other?

My whiskey glass is always within reach when I am shooting and editing.

Generally do you create for you? for a client? for a commercial purpose?

I create for me, but my primary goal and greatest satisfaction comes from the subject loving the outcome. I work with clients who chose me because they like what i do. I turn down things that aren’t me. For example I received two commercial inquiries today that I sent to other photographers because they wanted a style that didn’t suit or challenge me. In these cases, I always refer to another working photographer.

How do you feel when a client chooses an image or images and loves them wants to show them off worldwide?

Ugh. This is my most common issue with clients/subjects. In the end, I give them the images they want and the images I want and let it go.

What was your single worst mistake you have made in your photographer journey?

Not charging or not charging enough.Probably followed closely by holding back on photos or sets that I should have taken further, or did, but never showed the results.

We can go back and forth all day about my dubious taste and odd choices of photos, but giving too much away hurt me as much as showing unpopular photos.

Describe your work in 10 words or less

Not as tacky as my mom thinks it is.

Make sure to catch the second half of this interview and more stunning images in two weeks.


Model: Eva Strangelove


Model: Ally Hilton


Models: Jessa Peters and Lace Neugebauer


Model: Lindsey Webber


Model: April Steinmetz


Model: Caiti McSwain


Model: Maranda Rose

Ten Questions for Chris Clark

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?


What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Her eyes

What turns you off?


What is your favorite curse word?

What The Actual Fuck

What sound or noise do you love?


What sound or noise do you hate?

Beeping heart monitor

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Yacht captain

What profession would you not like to do?

The job of anyone who was ever my boss.

If God exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Looks like you enjoyed yourself.

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