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Meet Cinnamon Gray of Bad Kitty Photography in La Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cinnamon Gray.

Cinnamon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Founded in 1997. I was working as a bookkeeper and struggling to make ends meet as a single mom in San Diego. I always loved Boudoir photography, so I decided I would make it a side job to help make ends meet as well as have an outlet for my creative energy. I had been taking these kinds of photos since I was a teenager, but I never saw this as a profession I could do well in, just a hobby or side gig.

I ran an ad in a local paper and the response was overwhelming! Within 2 months I was making more money than my regular job, so I decided to quit and do only Bad Kitty full time. That was 20 years ago! Along the way, I was able to take the studio out of my spare bedroom, to my garage to a small commercial space to the full production studio that we have today.

As of now, we have studios in San Diego, New York City, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Phoenix with even more expansion plans in the near future.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As with all things, there is no straight line to success.

Most of the struggles I faced were early on. This mostly consisted of my neighbors wanting to have the studio closed down for being, in their minds, a porn company. (which is why we moved into a commercial space a quickly as we could).

In addition, there was odd aggression from the men in the boudoir profession who literally found it unacceptable for a woman to do this kind of work. It was BIZARRE. We would get weird phone calls, letters from attorneys saying that we are infringing on their territories, etc. Just absolutely insane shit. We more or less ignored that BS and did what we do best, taking bomb ass pics of women being stunning.

Other than that, we have been strongly embraced by San Diego! We have a very simple motto – Bad Kitty Photography: A place where good kitties can be bad; and bad kitties can be themselves!

We embrace you as you are and respect the space you reserve for your own kind of sexuality and sensuality. We don’t pigeon hole our shoots, we try our best to create something special for you. And we are extremely woman positive since the day we opened the doors 🙂

Bad Kitty Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a leader in the Boudoir Photography Industry. We don’t do anything else – none of the photographers (7 strong) do weddings or children or anything else – we only do Boudoir. We stay focused on what we are best at, and it’s why we are so good at what we do.

I am most proud of the way we are able to transform a woman. Give her insight to herself and allow her to see her true self in a way that may not be traditional, but it is powerful. We live in a world where it seems that every other image you see is of something or someone who is perfect – has it all together – is hot and sexy and flawless. and fake, let’s face it – none of the images you see are real.

We want to show women that they too can empower themselves to feel amazing IN THE SKIN THEY ARE IN. When a woman who comes in and is feeling insecure and feeling bad about themselves walks out empowered and sassy and full of confidence – this is what we are most proud of.

What sets us apart from everyone else is simple – we actually care about you. We don’t just put on a show while you are here – we want you to know that we are genuine and we want you to feel amazing 10 years from now not just in the moment!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My definition of success is multi-faceted. Of course, I want to be able to make a living, take an annual vacation and maybe make enough money to splurge on dinner out once a week.

But actual success is being able to make a difference in people’s lives.

Can you look at your sister next to you and help her? Can you give her advice, can you be her real friend? Can you help support her emotionally? Can you take a moment to understand? Can you impart wisdom to the younger generation coming up?

Can you be the woman you look up to?

If you can – that’s success.


  • Photo Session $100
  • Make-up / Hair Styling $30
  • Average Package cost, $250-$350

Contact Info:

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