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Rising Stars: Meet Chris Gawat

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Gawat. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I got started in high school where I took a class that had me create short stories every week, and I took portraits for my friends just so I could be really good with my camera. I took this passion with me through college where I would eventually find myself working full time as a videographer on campus; creating content for the whole university to see. During my college career, I won an international film festival award for best screenwriting, created content for the university for over 3 years, won two national marketing campaign competitions (one was awarded a grant of $645k to the university), was featured at the Eric Carle Museum for Picture Book Art and did over 100 portrait sessions. 

I’ve photographed different landscapes across the country of the Rocky Mountains and Utah’s beautiful parks. I also spent 5 months of my life living in Mexico with my girlfriend. Within those 5 months, I questioned everything there is to life, my future, and my art. I’ve met and worked with so many great people like Julius Dein, Деньги Есть from YouTube, more new friends, and artists that all helped my mental process during that time and helped me figure out what I should do with my brain and my camera. 

In what seemed like the closest thing to paradise with little to no money and the last few weeks before returning home, I was offered a job and the future seemed to be looking very bright from that point on. After Mexico, I spent a month at home mentally preparing for my big move to Denver, Colorado where I would find myself pushing the big Start Life button. 

So here I am. As of February 2022, I moved to Denver in pursuit to make connections and relationships with fellow artists and to create art, and offer my services. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As for my business, it definitely has seen some bumps in the road, but the bumps weren’t big enough to stop me. The hardest part of this industry is getting clients and making sure that relationship sticks. I believe it’s important for photographers or videographers to really get connected with their city and community because that is a very reliable place to get a lot of work done for yourself. You just need to be there, that’s it. 

For my artist side, this road has not been smooth at all. I feel like I’ve been on this road for a while but in reality, I just pushed my foot on the pedal. I am always asking myself; What is an artist? What makes an artist great? What is art? How is photography art? How can I make a photo worth it? I believe I am getting closer as to what art is. But at the end of the day, all that matters is what I create and the fact that I created it at all. Creating should be the most important thing for me to focus on and creating can be incredibly difficult. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Coming from a broad background of film production I am a photographer, videographer, and artist. I specialize in video editing and photography. Honestly, I don’t know what I am most known for. I believe it’s my ability to use the camera or most recently, my YouTube channel. I am most proud of my recent series I did with my friend who competed in the 2020 Olympics. He teaches fencing at a small club in St. Louis and I wanted to capture this in a cinematic way. What sets me apart from others is my flexibility and drive. Any idea someone had for me I was able to execute it. I take in a lot of influences and I let the world melt into my brain so having a broad perspective keeps me unique. Being raised in a Filipino household and surrounding myself constantly with new people and new ideas kept me having a fresh mind and perspective throughout my life. 

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My favorite childhood memory was my journey of teaching myself how to skateboard. Skateboarding, I feel, sparks so much creativity and grit in a kid that it forces them to think and act differently, which I find beautiful. A lot of popular artists you see today have or had an interest in skateboarding early in their lives, or at least a lot of artists that I enjoy. It’s not even the skill of skateboarding, it’s the fact that you went out, tried, and fell in love with the culture. I got my first skateboard at Sports Authority when I was maybe 9 years old and have been keeping skateboards around me since. 

Pricing:

  • Portrait/Photo Sessions 1-1.5 hours $200
  • Video (Weddings, Events, etc.) $300-$2,500
  • Video Editor/Animation $50/hr
  • Photo Editor $30/hr
  • Media Consulting $15/hr

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Chris Gawat
Jordan Galkowski
Darryl Burkes
Mohamed Hassan
Cameron Barnes

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