The Fashion and Fine Art Photographer who uses a Sprinkle of Stardust

“I use magical scenes in my photos because it reflects my imagination and who I am as a creative,” Los Angeles-based photographer Chris Rivera tells us. He bought his first camera just four years ago, and within 12 months only, he had already thrown himself head first into a career in photography, from fashion shoots to conceptual art. “I’ve never turned back,” he remarks enthusiastically.

Chris’s work really stands out as it blurs the lines between the real and the imaginary. “When I was young, I was that kid who would day dream about being a wizard or being able to fly, so creating a scene where I can do things like that really makes the surreal experience of my photos,” he says. Despite the fantastical nature of the images they actually have a very tangible quality, allowing you to suspend your disbelief, even if just for a moment.

That inherently creative quality of photography seems to really stir Chris’s inner child: “I love how I can create a whole different world without needing to know how to draw or illustrate”.

We stepped into Chris’s world to explore.

The Plus: What’s unique about your style?
Chris Rivera:
I would say that my style is unique because it’s not your average portrait or fashion portrait. Even though there are plenty of conceptual and fine artists out there, we each have our own way that we approach concepts. I feel that my stories are balanced between dark and light; whereas some photographers just mostly cling to one area or the other. I’m just a melting pot of different ideas!

TP: Favourite type of shoot?
My favourite type of shoot is a fashion shoot, with hints of surrealism! Take Annie Leibovitz for example, she’s my biggest idol. How she can brilliantly tell a fantastical story while highlighting the subject/outfit she’s shooting is an inspiration in itself! In other words, grand shoots with models, outfits, and amazing places are really exciting!

TP: Do you work a lot for different clients?
Yes, I actually have shot for quite a lot of clients: from shooting high school senior portraits and quinceñeras, to second shooting weddings and shooting for Instagram campaigns, I like to get around the photo world. I don’t necessarily like to limit myself, I’m always open to anything!

TP: If you couldn’t be a photographer, what would you be?
Well, if I had to say something, I would probably be in culinary arts (I’m totally interested in cooking) or work in the fashion world. I don’t think I would be able to live with myself if I couldn’t work in some sort of creative occupation!

TP: What are your long-term dreams?
My long term goal is to be a fashion photographer or a commercial photographer for a popular magazine like Vogue or Elle. Taking photos for the rest of my life is what I strive for. Another route I wouldn’t mind taking is graphic design or retouching.