It has now been twenty years since my friends and acquaintances first insisted on paying me to photograph their weddings and festive events, and even to take their portraits.
I had always enjoyed sharing as gifts “people photos” which I had taken spontaneously. I never considered becoming a professional photographer until I suddenly found myself with real clients and contractual commitments for photographic work.
In the beginning, I shared a studio near Union Square with an established photographer. His mentorship, as well as his state-of-the-art darkroom and printing equipment, proved critical in my becoming established as a professional portrait, wedding, and special events photographer catering to San Francisco’s burgeoning hospitality industry.
Within three years, my business was flourishing financially, and I had become a member of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, and most of the local hospitality industry association chapters. I relocated to a studio of my own, still staying close to Union Square with its access to parking and public transportation, business locations, and event venues.
While continuing to serve my clients in the hospitality industry by documenting events, I developed a reputation as a wedding and portrait photographer. Along the way, I garnered the nickname the “Friendly Flasher” because of my ability to make even the most camera-shy person feel comfortable in front of a lens.
As a hopeful — rather than a hopeless — romantic, I take great pleasure in listening to a prospective bride and groom describe their dream wedding, and then in capturing all the natural joy of their day both in formal portraiture and in candid photos.
My interactions with diverse ethnicities and cultures and my experiences as a multilingual world traveler have been great assets in my work with the diverse business and social communities of San Francisco. Happy to travel anywhere, I have been invited to photograph an association meeting in Sydney, Australia, and a wedding in Bali, Indonesia.
A native of Colorado, I earned a B.S. in Zoology (pre-med) at Duke University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Psychology at the United States International University. I moved to San Francisco in 1978, built a small international business consulting firm, and launched my photography business nine years later.
After an exceptionally successful business as a professional special events photographer for twenty-five years, I have fully retired from the meetings and events industry, and am continuing only my privately contracted portrait work on location and/or in my Union Square studio.
I am always happy to refer clients to other photographers for their meeting and event needs.
— M. Christine Torrington