Connect
To Top

Meet David Butler of Carma Collective Photography in Point Loma

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Butler.

David, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started photography while I was young, still trying to build my career as a skateboarder in Portland, OR. Traveling all around to different places, with different people and different test teams. That is when I finally realize that I was living a life that gave me access to architectural wonders, and was rich with culture and gave me the opportunity to meet great people. I figured that I would start capturing photos at any means – film, Polaroid, disposable, cell phone, digital – anything I could capture a photo with. Living on the east side of town didn’t provide me a real opportunity to take photography seriously. At the time, there were not as many options to get used gear and new gear was just out of the question because let’s face it – the cost. So, I studied the concept of photography through books, other photographers I met, the internet and any resource I could get my hands on. It’s funny to look back at the progression I have been able to make.

A few of my skateboarding friends have come a long way as well, despite the environment, we grew up in. I have been fortunate to always have so much to photograph no matter where I have been, but being engulfed in the skateboarding lifestyle in the early 2000s, it was difficult to have a passion for both when skateboarding was seen as all or nothing in that time. Regardless, progression is all that counts and I am proud of where I am today. After going to college for a while and working different jobs, there was a yearning inside me to get back to photography. By this time, I had settled down in San Diego, my hometown. Working with my wife to create the concept of a collective for photographers and other artists that can get together, conceptualize, create, shoot, teach and learn from one another.

Information has always been currency in my life. So, by putting together this collective, I hope that people can gain this base knowledge of photography and become rich in this craft, find out if this is for them without having to spend thousands of dollars just to discover its not for them. We do this by asking questions and having confidence in those answers. I hope that people who seek help from us here at Carma Collective Photography, whether it be a photo session or collaboration, they will be able to find our company a resource to tap into and life-changing experience. By providing people the opportunity to help the externalize their vision to reality, whether it be a digital format, a helium worthy album, a simple print for their desk at work – we want to be the ones to make it happen. As a photography collective, our main focus is photography – however, we want to be able to revolutionize the way that all kinds of artists and clients alike are able to work together in order to facilitate greatness.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road looking back from where I was a few years ago. My grandfather uses to say “If you didn’t work for it, then it was free, and there is not a single thing for free in this life and probably not in the next.” I promised myself on the outset of this project that no matter what, I would not let this project turn into a farce. I would put my whole self – heart, and soul – into this collective. I have gone as far as making this a family business. No matter how rough the road becomes I know that this is so much deeper than myself. With that knowledge and backing I have been able to figure out no matter how rough said road is or becomes, it can always be repaved with accomplishments after you have traveled it. I have faced all sorts of struggles in this industry. Trying to balance home life and photography, colleagues or clients not taking me seriously, equipment cost halting progression, and a whole gamut of other challenges. What I have learned is that these struggles and setbacks can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. I’ve learned that if I take it personally, it does not help to push me forward, so I leave it behind; that is the only way to continue making strides in your craft, and I believe that applies to anyone. Struggles and pitfalls are what makes this a true, small – passionate and pure – business. I will say that every challenge and difficulty is worth it when a session or the perfect shot comes to fruition. When our clients, who may have never had a professional shoot done, is ecstatic with the overall project, that is when all the struggles and obstacles are proved to be worth it.

Please tell us about Carma Collective Photography.
Here at Carma Collective photography, we offer photography and makeup service. We also help with curating the sessions – we assist in planning outfits, hairstyles, choosing props, location and really focusing on each individual detail in order to help the client be as comfortable and relaxed as possible during the session. What sets us apart is that Carma Collective is so much more than our name states. We are a company that focuses on and specializes in bringing our clients ideals and visions to life, whether it be simple, or complex – we strive to make it happen. We take their seed of inspiration and grow it into a beautiful, thriving tree of reality. We work closely with our clients in order to ensure that everything is as close to what they are looking for as possible. Every client is special and unique – and each of them is treated as such. We are known for not only this but also for our unique composite editing style. I would have to say that what I’m most proud of is being around like-minded photographers and artists that respect our craft and are able to learn with me and at times, from me. I am proud to be able to still stand out and feel remarkable among my colleagues and friends.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I feel that with every failure, there is a lesson to be learned, a way to improve and a new avenue to travel. With that said, if one is learning from their failures – have you truly failed?

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
David Butler

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in