Chris was born on September 2, 1982 in New Brunswick, NJ. He lived with his parents and brother in South River, NJ until moving to North Brunswick, NJ around the Kindergarten year. After moving to the new house, the family would have another brother added in to the mix. Chris has always been extremely close with his family... especially his parents. Having 2 best friends by your side all your life is something special. For those 2 best friends to be your parents is a huge plus. After high school, Chris moved around most of NJ and worked in several different industries.
Music, Entertainment, Construction, Landscaping, Painting and Wallpapering; those are a few of the fields part of his Renaissance Man type resume. He would soon find an interest and passion in the Fitness Industry. He spent almost 2 decades working for LA Fitness as a Senior Manager and Vice President until leaving the industry in late 2014. From that time forward, Chris got himself back into the Entertainment Industry where he would eventually cross paths with Matt Kirchhof. Their relationship would soon grow both personally and career wise.
Chris is a Freelance Photographer - who has worked and trained with the best. Growing up with a professional photographer in the family, Chris quickly caught the passion of looking through a lens, just like his father. Holiday’s, birthdays, a snowy day or a bright sunny summer day… his father always had a camera in hand or one ready to capture any moment. His father, Steven, literally has been a photographer and worked in the industry since the late 60’s. He started working at Fotomat in 1972 where he would meet his future wife (Chris’ mother) Joanne. The close relationship and bond between Chris and his father would eventually lead Chris to making Photography his life.
Chris loves shooting a wide range of photography; Sunsets, Landscapes, Night Photography (Lunar and Galaxy), just to name a few. Being a musician and lover of music, shooting concerts has become a huge passion of his. After shooting a show, he would come home and share his work with his father… asking his thoughts and for advance on what could be done better for the next concert. Shooting side by side with his father… that was something that is special to the both of them. There was nothing specific to what they shot together... it was simply the fact of them both doing something they loved... together.
Several years ago, after Chris and Matt met through a mutual friend, Chris would start working for Matt as an assistant. After learning the ways of how Matt operated his business and how amazing his work ethic is with his clients, Chris expressed his interest in working with Matt for the long run and bringing Kirchhof Photography to the next level. Matt would spend not only the time during an event, but personal time as well sharing his knowledge and expertise in shooting with Chris. Shortly after, Chris started shooting events for Matt as well as becoming a Second Photographer for Kirchhof Photography. Both of their professional attitudes and styles would make the 2 a perfect match with working not only together, but side by side. On a personal level, their friendship would soon become more than just a friendship... best described as brothers.
Chris’ father had his own studio and professional photography company. Steven shot weddings from the late 70’s until the mid 90’s. As Chris started shooting weddings on his own, and then eventually becoming Matt's Second Photographer - Shooter... this would become a special bond shared between him and his father... one that isn't easily explained, but best seen through Chris' work. Having the passion within, as well as being proud to be following in his father’s footsteps... his love for photography truly shows as he works with clients and once the final product is seen.
Life, as we all know, takes some unexpected turns completely out of nowhere. This past October 2021, Chris’ father passed due to complications of COVID-19. With Matt losing his mother a few months earlier, and Chris’s tragic loss of his father, the bond between the 2 would become even more cemented then before. This would lead both of them to put the pedal to the floor and come together to help bring this company to the top of its game and beyond.
Knowing how much Chris’ father absolutely loved his family and photography, Chris has never been more driven to pursue his career in Photography and carry on the legacy of his father.
“The objection is to capture all of these special moments... and create a visual memory that lasts a lifetime and beyond. My father did that… and I want to continue that and make him proud.”
You can view some of Chris' work by viewing his Instagram account - @chrismichaelphotography.
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