Chris Lake is a portrait and lifestyle photographer who captures honest, emotional moments for advertising and editorial clients.
I’ve made a living in photography for my entire adult life, and there’s still nothing I’d rather be doing. The satisfaction of capturing a truly unique and sincere moment is the magic I keep chasing. Finding the light, connecting with a subject, framing a shot - I love it.
I moved to Chicago in the late 90’s with the idea of becoming a professional photographer. While I had just earned a degree in English from Indiana University, photography was where my heart was, so I went after it. Soon, I found work as a photo assistant and began to learn the ropes of production, lighting, lunch runs, gripping, polaroid pulling, diva-wrangling, film labeling, and a little bit of everything else. I loved working on big advertising productions and watching the way different photographers worked. For several years I spent my days in bustling studios working on everything from food to fashion shoots. It was an incredible education that has served me well ever since.
Eventually, I got my portfolio together and started out on my own. My first big assignment was from Inc. Magazine. Then Fast Company called. Then Newsweek. I was on my way and was soon scooped up by an agent and shooting for big agencies in Chicago like Leo Burnett and DDB. Now, family has brought me to Florida but I still travel far and wide for assignments.
I discovered early on that I have a knack for capturing people in a natural and authentic way. I love the connection that happens in a one-on-one photo session or in an intimate group. I think managing that, and making the process fun and enjoyable is a big part of why I’ve been successful. We’re all just people, and being a bit vulnerable and accepting goes a long way toward revealing our true faces for the camera.
When I’m not on assignment for my commercial clients, I’m shooting for Southeastern Guide Dogs, a non-profit here in Florida that breeds, raises, and trains guide and service dogs. I believe it’s important that we include “good work” in our professional lives, and photographing dogs and people with special needs has been extremely fulfilling.
So, that’s my story. What’s yours?
American Layer Media
Art Institute of Chicago
Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Federal Reserve of the United States
Humane Society of the United Sates
Johnson & Johnson
Neathawk, Dubuque and Packett
Southeastern Guide Dogs
St. Francis Hospitals
The Johnson Group
University of Chicago