Denni Christopherson is a talented photographer from Los Angeles, renowned for his unique style and ability to capture the essence of the City of Dreams. Denni’s passion for photography was fueled by the incredible cultural diversity and landscapes that the city has to offer.
From a young age, Denni demonstrated an innate talent for visual art and developed a keen eye for capturing authentic emotions and moments. His career began as an assistant to some of the city’s most established photographers, where he learned advanced techniques and honed his personal style. Thanks to his dedication and talent, it didn’t take long for Denni to start making a name for himself in the industry.
With a strong online presence, he shares his creative journey on social media platforms and a personal blog, inspiring young photographers and art enthusiasts worldwide.
The pursuit of new perspectives, attention to detail, and dedication to his art are the distinguishing features of Denni Christopherson. His passion and talent continue to establish him as one of the most promising and influential photographers in Los Angeles, taking his audience on a visual journey through the soul of the city he loves so deeply.
How did you first become interested in photography, and what inspired you to pursue it as a career?
Most likely it was my uncle who inspired me because he was THE photographer in the family who took pictures of all of us and me growing up. I was never allowed to touch the camera when I was little (one time I took it and lost a part) so I assume that also aded to the curiosity towards cameras and what they do. In my late teens I started using point and shoot film cameras and then digital and captured images of friends and that circle began to expand. About ten years ago I met my frist mentor, Migel Starchevich, a fascinating artist, who let me assist and somewhat copy what I was seeing on his fashion and lifestyle shoots. Then I got an opportunity to help out at David LaChappele’s studio on a few ocassions (the top G of commercial imagery of the past 40 years!). After that a film director Michelle Danner invited me to take pictures and videos on two or three feature films which gave me a whole other pallete to explore and work with. This led to doing headshots tests for newer actors from the set and we concluded that I am ready to do actor’s headshots… that led to expanding my experience and increasing the quality of my work as headshots photographer.
Los Angeles is known for its vibrant arts and entertainment scene. How has the city influenced your work as a photographer?
I enjoy taking images of people. I have also taken abstruct and industrial type of images over the years around Los Angeles. LA’s arcitecture happens to be the background. Not sure if it dramatically inspires me but certainly guides some choices and peaks my interest. Any structure I encounter may end up being my location or background. Even though you may not see the whole structure in the final image, even a simplest wall can provide vibration of the structure that inspire us while we are there capturing images.
Can you describe your photography style and what sets it apart from others?
I am mostly interested in people, faces and energy that human’s share in their interactions. My style is mostly inspired by (even though it may not necesarily be recognised in my output), Herb Rhitts, Richard Avedon, Peter Lindberg and the creator of the Hollywood glamour portrait, George Hurrell. My actor headshots work is simple and minimal (due to its requirments). Portraits are more playful and dynamic.
What subjects or themes do you find most captivating to photograph in Los Angeles, and why?
People! Lately I’ve been taking images of homeless people while sleeping. In general, I don’t show their faces for privacy reson. There is a fascinating juxtaposition of someone in blissful slumber while the elements and enviornment may not be that pleasing or adequate for rest. Some of the images that I captured are hounting and hearbreaking while some are peaceful and there is that feeling of being suspended in time. These ended up being a series captured on an iPhone using the Darkr app. Love that app! Love the simplicity of the phone, too.
Could you share any memorable or challenging experiences you’ve had?
One memorable experience was getting lost at David LaChapelle’s stuio while wondering from one set to the next. His studio is a wast and magical place! Another one that comes to mind is seeing coyotees for the forst time while shooting around Griffith Observatory.
Are there any particular photographers or artists who have influenced your work? If so, how have they shaped your creative vision?
De Lepmicka’s portraits are simply divine. Movement, textures and colors of her portraiture has captured my eye since I was probably 3rd or 4th grade. She recorded the era and her patrons in such an engaging way that one simply cannot but get lost looking at them. André Kertész’ dreamy imagery of the early 20th century made me wish I was part of that world. My first photographer that I was obsessed with was and still is David La Chappelle. His colors, playfulness and humor made me fall in love with his world. Once I began studying photography I was introduced to some notable photographers of the past whose work I recognised from images I’ve seen growing up or whose influence I recognised in other photgraphers’ work of our times. I like elegance, beauty and simplicity in people phorgraphy.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers who want to capture the essence of Los Angeles in their work?
Get out and start shooting!!! The phone is one’s faithful companion these days and even the simplest model will capture decent images. Start on your doorsteps or backyard and go from there onwards. Observe how the light changes thoughout the day on same locations that you like and shoot at diferent times. LA sunlight is bountiful and available all year long. Its quality and intensity changes with seasons so some images you may plan months ahead if you lknow what kind of light you want for that particular location. I love alleys in Los Angeles because in most areas they are unkempt and one can find all kind of curiosities while exploring them. Trash, “free to take” items, animals, etc. Walls from one house to another on the alley side may have different textures, materials, random wear and tear. All these can provide a plethora of options when planning a project.
What impressed you about Walter Nicoletti for choosing him for your shots in Los Angeles?
Walter and I met at a friend’s house who was hosting him and a couple other artists from Italy. Walter had his camera and my friend Laura mentioned that I am a photographer. Walter let me use his camera and we started shooting some test images. Next day we all went to Frank Lloyd Wright’s historical Ennis house because I thought Walter may enjoy seeing the location used in many movies and tv series, most notably Blade Runner. He wore a cool outfit that reminded me of fashion from 1920s. I though: “what better idea than to take Walter to a location that was designed in 1923 and take a few images!”
FOLLOW DENNI CHRISTOPHERSON