Growing up in Sacramento has been a blessing for creatives, due to its central location to sources of inspiration, such as Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and Big Sur, among many others. Alec Channing is one such creative who has found his place in Sacramento as a photographer.
As the capital of California, Sacramento is a city full of budding creative hubs and thriving local businesses, but it has a much smaller creative community than the bigger cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles. It, therefore, can feel like there is less opportunity for local creatives to branch out. Through his love for photography, though, Channing has found a way to break the mold and created a platform by shooting friends and reaching out.
Channing has a studio in Sacramento where he enjoys collaborating with local artists and producing his own photo shoots. We caught up with Alec to find out more about his story.
First off, how would you describe yourself?
I like to consider myself a creative. I love taking pictures, but I find myself so expressive and sometimes a camera limits that. I love to write. I have friends involved in making music and it’d be really cool to mess around and learn some new stuff. Overall, I consider myself a photographer.
What’s your favorite thing(s) about Sacramento?
I love the variety of things to do here. You’ve always got options. There’s a massive amount of coffee shops, plenty of new restaurants to try, and dozens of nearby micro breweries for the beer lovers. Not to mention how close we are to everything. Camping is just an hour away. plenty of good hiking trails even closer. Theres a massive bike trail that will take you straight into downtown and it follows the river. All those are really cool, but I think what sets Sacramento apart from other cities the most, is the people that live here. There are so many dreamers here. Everyone has a goal. The art community here is so vast and supportive.
Where are some of your favorite locations around Sacramento?
I love Clarksburg and all the roads along the delta. It’s so peaceful and it’s right in our backyard. If I’m not at my day job, I’m downtown at my work space or trying to find new places to shoot.
How would you describe what it feels like to be a creative in Sacramento? What are the advantageous/disadvantages?
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a huge artist community here. Specifically, there are a LOT of photographers. Its both a blessing and a curse. You always have new work to inspire you. Some of my favorite local photographers like The_Lost_Coast and Goodthompson… those dudes are savages. It definitely helps me push myself. However, with so many photographers, it can sometimes be even harder to stand out. Everyone goes through that period where they’re trying to find their “style” and a lot of people just conform and shoot what people want to see. If you consider yourself a photographer, its your duty to show people something they haven’t seen before..inspire people. So while you’re taking a picture of your next cup of coffee or a long exposure of the highway… ask yourself, “What am I offering, who am I inspiring?” If you’re just trying to test out some long exposure methods or maybe some product photography, by all means, carry on.
Who or what inspires your creative process?
Music. I can’t have a quiet photoshoot. It drives me crazy. Sometimes I’ll hear a song and my brain will make some weird connection and all of a sudden I have a cool concept for a shoot. Songwriters and producers… those are the real creatives.
What do you enjoy photographing the most?
That’s a hard question. I love shooting concerts and shows, but only cause it’s high energy and really fun. On a creative level, I love shooting people. But often times, I forget about my question “What am I offering?” Sure it could be a neat portrait, composition is good, lighting is perfect, but what am I offering? A studio can sometimes limit my creative flow.
What are some of your creative goals for 2017?
Right now, I just want to LIVE. I want to do cool s*** and show people the cool s*** THEY could/should be doing. Sometimes, I get caught in these pockets of laziness and procrastination where I don’t touch my camera for weeks. I want to help inspire myself and other people to get out of that funk and just live life. Go explore something cool, but bring your camera too. Document. Show your friends something new. Inspire others.
I’m also trying to get as many new people in my studio this year. So if you need/want headshots or portraits or whatever whatever, let’s hang and shoot.
For more information on his work and how to contact him, visit the links below.