Q&A: Kris Shimabukuro, Photographer & Owner of Sapphire Shimabukuro

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A way with colors and an eye for detail is what my dear friend, Kris Shimabukuro has along with incredible talent and a spitfire of a personality. We met through a friend while attending Academy of Art University and we bonded over stalking people on Facebook in my apartment and talking about all things being gay — since then, nothing has changed. To be able to feature Krissy’s work on Sociva Studios’s blog and as a part of our official launch, feels like an absolute honor. Not just because she’s a best friend but because she is damn good.

From the islands of Hawaii to the city of San Francisco, Krissy fell in love with the dark room at a young age igniting her passion for photography. She holds a BFA in Commercial Photography from Academy of Art University and specializes in color photography. Keep reading to get to know what inspires her creativity and to be taken on a colorful journey through her work.


Who and what inspires you to create?

What inspires me to create is having a vision that I need to bring to life. This could be a color, person, or something that I seen that gave me the idea of needing and wanting to execute.

If you could photograph anyone, any place or anything, who/where/what would it be?

I don’t often wish to photograph too many people. But after seeing Melanie Martinez’s film K-12 I WISHED I photographed her, I really wish I was on set for that film, it was amazing. Also Marina Diamandis...the first shoot I ever did was inspired by Primadonna. And BOTH music videos were shot in HUNGARY. So there’s something there! I really need to go to Hungary!

Describe your photography style in three words.

Playful, Vibrant, Feminine

What is your favorite part about being a photographer?

The ability to create and work with other creatives!

What advice do you find you give yourself often?

There’s always things in the world that you will not like, especially at work and you just have to get through it. Also the song by Bleachers — “Don’t Take the Money” it’s about relationships and stuff...but the meaning/advice of the song can really be applied to many things.

What advice would you give to young, aspiring, fashion photographers?

BE KIND. You’ll get farther in life if you know how to treat people well. Treat people how you want to be treated, always be the bigger person. (Even if someone doesn’t treat you the best) At the end of the day, if you have a sh** personality it will be in time that you run out of jobs. No one wants to work with an a**hole.

Thank you so much, Krissy for giving us a glimpse inside of your colorful mind. I am manifesting in the day we put together Sociva’s dream “all-things-pink” shoot!

To see more of Krissy’s incredible work, check out her website here, Sapphire Shimabukuro.

Alyssa Camille