Chris Thomas photo by Levi Sim
Levi Sim ©Levi Sim, SDesigns Photography

Chris Thomas-

I grew up in a mountain community between Bakersfield and Ventura. The small town, small school, and rural lifestyle gave me a unique view on life. The Los Padres National Forest was my backyard growing up. I spent much of my time playing outside and feel most comfortable in the woods. My step-father took me backpacking at an early age. While I didn’t have access to the boy-scouts (not enough kids to get a troop), I learned from various mountain men in this rural California community the essential life skills.

The hermit like nature of many of those men made me a little rough around the edges and I have worked hard to become a better person. Much thanks to my loving wife for helping me do that. I met her in college where I was studying physics and math. At some point, God got a hold of me and I finally graduated with a degree in Religious Studies (because that is closely related to math). I have a very logical mindset, as evident from my college career, which has greatly influenced my photography.

After college, I was looking at entering the priesthood as an Anglican priest. Faith is a big part of my life and I am constantly in conflict with being the person I want to be and the person I am. Seminary and I didn’t mesh and I was shooting some photography at the time. I started shooting 2008, and began shooting professionally in 2010.

I am not one of those photographers who says “I have been taking pictures since I was 4.” Really? Most 4 year old kids I know don’t really take pictures, they push the shutter button. No, I started doing photography in college. Two major things pushed me to get into photography. First was my love of Judo and wanting to capture the action. Second, was the loss of my father to cancer and how bad my wedding photos look. Those photos are some of the only photos I have of my dad.

My faith, my dogs, my son, and my wife have been my support, my reason and my hope.

Philosophy-

I lean towards Platonism. That probably doesn’t matter much here, but I love a good healthy discussion about deep issues. Philosophers sometimes argue over what others call trivialities. Philosophy has a profound impact on how I view the world. I try to create images expressing the nature of reality as I see it. The view shows itself in my photos and service in the following ways:

  • Ubuntu: Our humanity is wrapped up in each others. It doesn’t matter who you are, you were created in the image of God and He finds you beautiful. Chris wants to show that. Sometimes that is hard for him to do, but he still wants to show beauty.
  • Truth: It exists. This means there are right ways and wrong ways. I know that everyone won’t like my way, but I want to find the best way to do something. I don’t want to take shortcuts or deliver poor quality. I enjoy studying great painters and sculptors to get better at posing and lighting.
  • Minutia: Philosophers argue about the silliest things like whether or not we actually exist or if we can know truth. Many of the arguments they have depend on small details in how a word is used or a nuanced meaning. I bring this detail oriented approach to my photography. Sometimes I create images that force people to think about things in a new way.

Mission-

I want to make cool things. I want you to like the cool things I make. Big. Dramatic. Bold. There are lots of people who can take pictures, but I want to create images that are:

  • Photographically Correct
  • Dramatic
  • Telling a story
  • Artistic

Red Silk Photos-

Why did I, Chris Thomas, choose to not use my name for my company? First, there are lots of  people named Chris Thomas. I know two of them in my town. I also get the stupid mailer from a Chris Thomas who works for DirectTV. Sorry, they aren’t me. To make it easier for people to find me, I decided to choose a name which wouldn’t be confused with other people.

Second, I wanted something easy to say, remember, and share. Many of the easy names are already taken in this saturated market. So many use their name (how uncreative?) or have a name that 3 other people are also using. This made it challenging, but also rewarding.

Silk has been considered a luxury item. It is strong, soft, flexible, and sleek. It feels amazing against the skin; cool in the heat and warm in the cold. Red is a strong color. It makes us feel angry, hungry, passionate, sexy, and everything in between. The combination is a passionate, bold, sleek, and luxurious brand.