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TRIBEZA's 10 to Watch 2015 | Casey Chapman Ross

Casey Chapman Ross originally landed on our radar as someone we wanted to work with, but digging a little deeper we learned just how impressive this year has been for the mother of two. Though she has a degree in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin, Chapman Ross is building a reputation for capturing intimate moments in politics. Over the past year, this former realtor has been on the campaign trail with presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, and has photographed everyone from the Castro brothers and Barack Obama to Kinky Friedman and Dan Rather.

Why Austin?

I love the entrepreneurial spirit in this city. It’s not nearly as intimidating to go out on your own and try something new when there’s a large community of creatives around you doing the same.

Is there anything that frustrates you about Austin?

Not really. I think the growth of such an awesome city is natural, so I just try and take the bad — like traffic — with the good, and find a place and a schedule that allows for it to be less of an issue.

What has been your biggest challenge or obstacle this past year?

My biggest obstacle has been, and still is, focusing on my passion projects and not necessarily trying to take on everything. Time management is always a work in progress.

Who are your style and creative icons?

Annie Leibovitz, Mary Ellen Matthews, Pete Souza.

What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had given you 5 years ago?

You can raise a family and focus on your dreams too. Don’t settle: do what makes you most excited. The rest will figure itself out, and everyone will be better for it.

Who inspires or drives you?

Above all, setting an example for my kids of strong work ethic, passion, creativity and caring for others.

How do you get it all done?

A lot of help from my husband, my parents, my in-laws and extended family.

How do you relax?

By playing with my kids, Netflix binges, house projects and hosting pot-luck dinners.

What makes you laugh?

My kids, my husband, my childhood girlfriends and Stephen Colbert.

What are you proudest of professionally?

Building a network of so many amazing, loyal, hardworking and inspiring people over a fairly short time. I’m humbled by the efforts of so many in my network that do so much for others.

What helps you get through creative blocks?

Continuing to shoot, pushing through the harder days and delivering my best work. When I suddenly come across an image that I emotionally connect with and of course, when a client is emotionally touched, it suddenly empowers me to do more and continue finding ways to improve.

Tell us what to expect from you in 2016:

Definitely more involvement in the 2016 Democratic presidential race, How or what that looks like? I’ll let you know when I do!

CREDITS

Portraits by Bill Sallans | Styling by Ashley Horsley | Hair by Gabrielle van Der Meer | Make up by Bethany Renfro of Lip Service

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