A B O U T T H E A R T I S T
Welcome! Thank you for taking some of your precious time to view my website. I'm so happy you are here.
^ Instagram: @chrystalcienfuegos
About me? Well, hmm. My name is Chrystal Cienfuegos and I'm an artist on a mission. I am also on a rotation of coffee and wine. :) For trade, I am a San Diego Family, Newborn, & Commercial Photographer who believes family photography is in need of a serious makeover.
People are always asking about my name so I'll start there. Cienfuegos (See-EN-fuegos) is my married name (a far cry from the simplicity of Chrystal Walker - ha!). I love it because it translates to "100 fires/flames" which I happen to think is pretty fun! I guess it's just one of the many cool things I should thank my husband for. Speaking of my husband, like I mentioned above, I'm a married mama of 3 littles - 2 awesome "big" girls ages 5 & 3, and the cutest little boy ever who is just turning one. So I'm probably a lot like you - surviving the meltdowns, loving the kisses, and wondering where the time goes.
I began my photography journey as a self-taught hobbyist and started photographing others seriously as a profession when the universe pushed me into it. I received a call that I was let go from a corporate financial position of nearly 15 years while I was in the middle of a nursing session with my (then) 5 week old. It was very frightening but exciting time and something I would have never had the guts to do on my own. Never ever. After years of mistakes, seemingly endless investments, and time spent holed up in my office studying and planning, my business and my camera finally know who's boss. I started out thinking weddings would be my calling because I loved the candid nature of them but soon found that incredible, real moments are also found in our every day and quickly became fascinated with capturing that magic for families.
My favorite photography quote is by Ansel Adams. He said, "You don't take a photograph, you make it" and that is what guides me daily in my artistic vision. Mastering my camera, editing tools, and how to use light, is just part of the equation. Making images that display obvious connection and wonder is what I love to do. I also really enjoy teaching and sharing what I have learned, to both new professional photographers and hobbyist parents, alike.
Aside from the heart warming notes I receive from my clients, my proudest accomplishments in business to date are being recognized in the NAPCP International Image Competition, featured in print by Lemonade & Lenses and Ceremony Magazine, and also having the pleasure to be a writer/contributor on top photography sites The Fount Collective, Cole’s Classroom, & SLR Lounge. I am also humbled to be a Clickin Moms "CM Pro" as well as a volunteer affiliate photographer for the Tiny Sparrow Foundation, a highly selective non-profit photography group for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. I am also a proud member of the National Association of Professional Childrens Photographers (NAPCP).