Hagop Kalaidjian

Hagop Kalaidjian

Lifestyle, Fashion & Travel Photographer

Santa Monica, CA

Instagram @hagopphoto


What do you do?

I’m a photographer specializing in lifestyle, travel & fashion.

Give us an example of how you do your job like a BOSS. 

I’ve been Conde Nast Traveler’s featured photographer on their Instagram account. My lifestyle / travel editorials have been published by Vanity Fair IT.


For other people in your field, what do they usually lack?

I’m an experienced & skilled artist, but also a reasonable & reliable business person. Successful photographers need to be both.

Studying under / assisting for established photographers also helped accelerate my abilities quickly.


If you have multiple jobs and/or skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?

Shooting for resorts on remote islands is quite fantastic. If that became my niche specialty goodness gracious I’d be a happy camper.


What are you working on right now?

A fashion editorial (hagopphoto.com/BLANCHE). Have a shoot for Honda tomorrow.


What is frustrating you right now? 

Commercial photography is as competitive as it gets. It’s feast or famine and every new month is different. Before setting out on my own as a photographer I was the Creative Director of Bird Street Books, a division of CBS, and to be honest I miss the regular paycheck!

What are you putting off right now, but you know you have to get to, but you haven’t had the time?

Marketing myself and expanding my exposure. My current clients love me but I need to broaden my pool of clientele for more consistent business.

If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?

On shoot days, the general tasks of an assistant (setting up lights, adjusting modifiers, coffee / snack runs, etc). Also would like to start outsourcing basic retouching tasks.

What are all the tools (digital or physical) you use on a regular basis?

  • My Sony A7 system (body + Zeiss lenses)
  • My Canon 5d Mk II system (body + L lenses)
  • My physical studio (colored backdrops, reflectors, boxes, assorted lighting, etc).
  • My Elinchrom studio strobe lighting system (flash heads, soft boxes, beauty dish, light modifiers, etc)
  • Macbook pro (I have two) with Photoshop + Lightroom CC
  • iPhone + iPad with Photoshop, Lightroom, Afterlight, VSCO, etc. for social sharing

If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about? Give us a name so that we can reach out to them! :)

Mario Testino on connecting with Anna Wintour :)

What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?

Fashion, resorts, commercial, lifestyle, food (this just went up: http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/thrillist-three-jerks-jerky-store)

Describe your ideal client/job/collaboration. 

I’ve photographed for NASA, but from Earth. I didn’t have much luck convincing them to launch me off of the planet yet to shoot but, never give up!

What are your deal breakers? 

I suppose this might be common but from time to time I get contacted by people that don’t understand the wide spectrum of specialty in photography and how my experience allows me to charge what I do.

How should someone approach you about working with you?

You know what I’m not too specific on this, anytime someone is reaching out to me to give me a job I’m always grateful for their inquiry and see it as my responsibility to guide them to the information I need. With that said, the more information in the first email the better! Budget and scope of course always cuts out some back and forth negotiating time as well.

This member profile was originally published on July 2015.