Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

Who's in the Crew? - Spotlight on Chris Noakes

NAME: Chris Noakes

Website: https://ChrisNoakes.com
Crew Profile: https://headshotcrew.com/noakes.photo
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/noakes.photo/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noakes.photo
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noakes-photo/

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?

I’m Canadian, but don’t have a hometown per se. My father was Canadian Armed Forces so I grew up moving all around the country. I must have loved the lifestyle because I continued the tradition myself.

Most recently I am in Kingston, Ontario - a few hours east of Toronto and south of Ottawa. (Peter, if / when you come to Kingston for sailing let me know!)

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING HEADSHOTS?

I don’t even know. Taking it seriously, probably eight-ish years? Maybe longer… I’m absolutely horrible at tracking time. Seriously, it’s a real problem, if someone asks me how old I am I usually have to do the math (good thing I stopped aging 20 years ago).

WHAT IS YOUR LIGHTING SETUP FOR HEADSHOTS?

I’ve tried a few different setups over the years but my go-to is a sort of parallel setup using two Profoto D2s with medium Softlighters. I saw Kevin Zehnder doing it way back in the early HSC days and I loved the look. I reached out, he walked me through what he does, and I’ve been using that setup since. It’s my safe, works well for everyone, setup.

But I’ve also used everything from a more butterfly light setup to traditional Rembrandt lighting.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIO. DO YOU OWN IT? RENT IT? OR LIVE IN IT?

My studio is my living room - sort of. Because I move a lot I’ve always just used a corner of my home as my studio. It’s a dedicated studio space, however.

My wife and I both have passions that require a lot of space. For me, it's photography, for my wife its sewing, quilting, and embroidery. If you think photography is expensive… try marrying a sewing enthusiast. I use the living room space, she uses the master bedroom, and we sort of squeeze our living space into whatever room is left.

Kids moved out recently (!!!freedom!!!) so that helped.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT?

I always say that people are my passion, photography is just the tool.
I love to empower people and photography is my way of doing that.

Aside from headshots, I shoot a lot of fine-art portraiture. I also enjoy shooting what is best described as creative headshots. Headshots with dramatic lighting, bold colors, crazy make-up, or wardrobe.

Not shooting exactly, but I love the retouching process. I’ve spent just as much time learning to retouch as I think I have photography. All my work is retouched by myself... it definitely slows the process down a bit, but I love having end-to-end quality control.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PH AND THE HSC?

Well, it was PH2PRO when I discovered it, but I wasn’t really taking things seriously back then. I just checked and my first post listed on the HSC was 3 Nov 2013.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO JOIN THE CREW ONCE YOU FOUND IT?

Gah; all these questions about time… I have no idea but it wasn’t long.

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU?

I am an avid martial artist. Have been since I was a child. Everywhere I moved I tried something different, so no black belts, but I have belts in Karate, Aikido, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, and Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu. Now though I’m mostly a spectator, and while I may have used to look the part, now I look more like a potato.

Oh, something else. I successfully survived raising two kids, on my own, into adulthood… and we’re all still sane! Well, subjectively.

Oh oh oh another one! I have been married for just over a year, which actually breaks my record from my first marriage... and this one still tolerates me!

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU?

Two things:

First; I feel my best when I’m helping other people reach their best. I love to empower and I love to teach.

The second; you know that voice most people have in their heads that tells them “I shouldn’t say this out loud”... I think mine is broken.
An addition.
If I may add something. So straight up, I’m not as active a HSC member as I wish I could be. Unfortunately, my job often gets in the way of my being able to take part in events. But I wanted to say, regardless of how active I am, that being an associate member of the Headshot Crew remains one of my proudest moments.

Peter has created, what is in my personal opinion, the most welcoming photographic community that I’m aware of. Aside from the amount that you can learn here (which can’t be understated) I have seen virtually no drama or angst among the Crew in my long membership here. I have made many good friends. And everyone seems sincerely interested in helping others grow.

It’s wonderful to witness and to be a part of.

So thank you to Peter, and to everyone that keeps this group amazing.

21 Comments

Egis Jurgaitis's picture
Associate

Good stuff ;)

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Thanks!

Peter Istvan's picture
Protégé

Awesome Chris, hope we can meet up some day!

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Absolutely dude. Depending on how things in the next little bit go I suspect we'll be more free to travel soon.

John Rumball's picture
Protégé

Great write up! Nice to learn more about another fellow Canuck! Cheers from Sudbury, Chris! Nice work!!

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Thanks man.

Greg Hamill's picture
Protégé

Love your images!

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

I appreciate that!

Erik Daems's picture
Protégé

Thanks for sharing the story Chris!

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

My pleasure.

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Thanks for the spotlight Kim Dalton! Wicked appreciated!

Jim McAndrew's picture
Associate

Great work.

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Thank you. :)

Menno Klaasse's picture
Associate

Nice work Chris love those backdrops in the portraits used as well.

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Thanks! They're Lastolite pop-open style, well except the Pink and the Red which are background replacements in PS.

Danh Nguyen's picture
Mentor

Awesome to get to know you and love the work, Chris!

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Appreciated Danh!

Pete Coco's picture
Associate

Awesome work dude!

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Thanks dude!

Rainer Mueller's picture
Associate

Cool stuff, Chris!

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

Thanks Rainer!