California native Chris Olness was born in San Francisco and now lives in Venice Beach. He’s a film director and fine art documentary photographer with a passion for strong images and voyeuristic adventure. His camera has taken him to the shores of Indonesia, rooftops of Paris and deserts of Mexico. His modern eye is drawn to the poetic harmony of natural and man-made design, people with stories and solitude.

Olness captures the stark beauty and natural wonder of the world he roams. His is a personal journey in photography, documenting his subjects with the compassion one has for an old friend. In Olness’ photography there is an implied narrative, open and mysterious, engaging viewers to bring their own stories, memories, and fantasies to each moment. Drawn to Eastern philosophy, wabi-sabi flows through his work like the tide over sea glass. Olness believes photography provides us with a unique opportunity to reflect on the world within and around us.

Olness’ exploration with the still image is complimented by his work as a director of cinema. He developed his love for photography and storytelling while working in visual effects editorial for George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic (ILM).   With his production company Venice Air, Olness collaborates with a diverse pool of writers, actors and designers to direct thrilling feature and short form stories.

If words were photos, Olness would  shoot like John Steinbeck.  In The Log from the Sea of Cortez, Steinbeck and his best friend marine biologist Ed Ricketts journey on the Western Flyer from the dripping fog of Cannery Row, Monterey to the sun drenched Gulf of California to discover and document life -- and along the way gather insight into nature, beauty and humanity.



Olness photography is represented by
Voila! - Los Angeles, CA
Battersea - San Francisco, CA

2014 to date, Olness has been commissioned by eco-luxury brand Las Rosadas to shoot and creative direct marketing materials for this exclusive Mexico real estate development just south of the Tropic of Cancer.

American Film Institute (AFI)
Directing Fellow 2003

U.C. Berkeley
B.A. Mass Communications 1995

San Francisco Art InstitutE