Our Story

A Passion Project

Chris Gray’s interest in photography was sparked back when he was just a kid and his dad gave him a single lens Minolta that he brought home from the Vietnam War. His passion grew as he begin taking photography classes at Niagara Falls High School. He then continued his studies at the renowned New York Institute of Photography. Chris now has upgraded to the finest equipment, fascinated by his field, he continues to regularly hone his skills.

Now living in Encinitas, CA, he regularly photographs highly visible events for the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)—(including the How-to-Live Summer Program, The world renowned Ravi Shankars Memorial service, the SRF Annual Halloween Soirée, and many galas. The Self-Realization Fellowship is a “church of all religions” founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1924 to teach meditation techniques. His work has also been featured in SRF magazines, calendars, and Voluntary League Newsletters.

While he spends much of his time photographing nature, his specialty of photographing children’s activities and portraits for parents continues to grow. From Easter egg hunts and soccer games to skateboarding competitions and music recitals, the opportunities to document your kids at their best are endless. Chris also sponsors many educational activities for children. In addition, Chris is a staff photographer for Backstage360 Magazine where he is known for stand-out live shots of bands including Styx, Three Dog Night, KoRn Alice in Chains, Train, Godsmack and Halestorm.

Brenda Starr Umbrell, met Chris through working together at Backstage360 Magazine, where Brenda is a staff writer and reporter. She interviews artists and reports on concerts and music events including The NAMM Show. She is a mother of a teenager daughter who is a college student studying art and she has fostered 9 children including two teenagers. She has earned a degree in Child Development from MSJC college and she owned and operated a large licensed daycare for 10 years where she served children ages 0 to 12. Brenda has worked as an independent contractor in the music industry doing publicity and promotions for many bands, events and charities including Bridging the Gap and Rock to Recovery.

Brenda and Chris have joined together to build a location photography business with a focus on photographing children and their families. Live action shots and portraits are what they specialize in. Sessions can be held just about anywhere in San Diego and Riverside counties, they can come to your home, event or location of your choice. They are committed to capturing high quality memories that you’ll love and cherish for life. You can’t stop time, but you can capture beautiful long lasting memories that will stand the test of time. Book a session today, you’ll be glad you did.