By Monica Morones

With such an impressive portfolio, it is hard to believe that self-taught photographer Chris Villalta is only 23 years old. Born and raised in Indio, this Coachella Valley native has been working hard to make a name for himself. From art events to photo shoots, he stays busy networking and expanding on his knowledge of the ever evolving art form that is photography. Villalta’s enthusiasm for his art is just one of the many reasons his journey is sure to be a successful one.

MM: How did you get into photography?

CV: I got into it when I was in middle school when I had a project on what I wanted to be when I was older. I had talked to a teacher who also loved photography so he mentored me and since then I wanted to be a photographer. My first camera was a Nikon D40x.


MM: For your age you have a pretty extensive portfolio. Tell me about how you started that…

CV: I was in High School and I starting getting into body art and then taking pictures of the body art, but I was just so much more interested in taking the pictures. I wanted to learn more about the craft of photography so I started looking up photographers and one day I was talking to a friend and she wanted to become a model and I told her ‘let’s do a photo shoot’. That’s how my portfolio got started.

MM: What kind of photography do you do?

CV: I’m mostly known for doing photo shoots, but once in a while I will do weddings, quinceaneras, maternity, and car shows.

MM: When did you make the transition from amateur to professional?

CV: I feel like I’m still learning new things, practicing new techniques, new settings, and ideas. I feel that I still have a lot to learn before entering the professional stage but practice is the only way to make that transition.

MM: Who have you worked with in the valley?

CV: I’ve worked with various models such as Alyhed Morales, Alejandra Santana, Anika Tuico, Emily Alvarez, and Rose Conde. I have also collaborated with various artists such as David Medina (Graffiti Artist), DJ Skyhigh (Noel Ortiz), and Lady Proper (videographer and photographer.) I have worked with very talented artists and people, and was lucky to do so.

MM: Where have you shown your work?

CV: I’ve done a couple shows such as Synergy Fest, Dochella, events for Culturas and various art and music shows.

MM: Who are your favorite photographers? If you could assist any photographer who would it be?

CV: My favorites are: Estevan Oriol, Danny Steezy ,Van Styles, Brandon Jordan, Gregorio Campos. I would assist Van Styles.

MM: What would be your dream job? And if you could photograph anyone who would it be?

CV: To be a published photographer for magazines such as GQ or Tattoo. If I could choose anyone it would be Madelyn Lance.

MM: What do you think of the art scene in the Coachella Valley?

CV: I really admire the art scene in the valley. It has come a long way and I hope to be part of it.

MM: Where do you want your career to be in 5 years?

CV: I want to eventually live in Los Angeles with a Studio taking photographs of some of the best models and the street life out there.

MM: What do you want people to know about you as a photographer?

CV: I want them to know that this is my dream, my passion, and this is what I love. To be great, well known and published would be a great addition to the road I am on with my photography. I am working hard for it and with all the criticism that comes with it, that will not stop me from doing what I love. Everyone who supports me in what I do will always be appreciated.

You can contact Chris Villalta through email

Instagram: chrisvphotography

Photos by Chris Villalta