Kristine Di Grigoli – Owner ArtChick LLC
I always strive to create inspiring, well-crafted images that have meaning and purpose. Images that don’t just illustrate but also express. As a professional photographer/videographer my role is to communicate my client’s message.
In our world of expanding social media and increasing on-line presence, content is everything. The first thing people view and look at on-line are images especially images of people.
Professional quality photos and video are a essential part of a good business strategy.
Specialties: Fine Art, Model Portfolio,Business Portraits, Head shots, Fashion Catalog and video for the web.
Commercial studio located: 1238 Callowhill Street, Unit 208, Philadelphia PA 19123
Clients: Free People, Adobe, Forman Mills, Movie Tavern, Middlesex Water Company, Pinot Boutique, Chorus Communications, Philadelphia Weekly, etc.
What My Customers Are Saying
Don’t just take it from me, let my customers do the talking!
Kristine took photos of me about a year ago to be used for social media. I spent a delightful afternoon with her – she’s responsive, careful, and easy to work with. Among quite a few good photos, I selected a small number of bests and used them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and several online dating sites. I’m 71, so I felt I needed a professional to make me look my best for connecting with interesting dates — I saw sooo many bad selfies online already. It worked – after about a month, I met just the right charming man on OkCupid, and we’re now a happy, committed couple.
I worked with Kristine in 2014 for professional photographs for my non-profit consulting business. Working in the arts industry, I wanted to have some official ‘head shots’ but also something that was more welcoming and creative as well. She was great at scouting locations and environments that provided those kinds of backdrops. The shoot was enjoyable (especially for someone who doesn’t like being photographed all that much), efficient, and the results were just great. It was a great investment of time and money and have had a lot of positive feedback on the photos. I would recommend Kristine for this kind of work to anyone who needs fresh, engaging photos.
We did a photo shoot for my business website as an artist. Kristine made me feel incredibly comfortable and relaxed. We had a great time shooting in the studio and around Old City in Philadelphia. Her engaging demeanor encourages the sitter to be part of the creative process. Her package deals are affordable for a small business. I recommend Kristine to anyone looking for a fantastic experience with photos which will grab attention everywhere!
Kristine really takes time to make sure she has the right lighting and the right look. She made me very at ease, and after I loosened up we got some great shots. Extremely professional and really nice. Good experience.
Kristine is a very talented photographer with a keen eye and a wonderful sense of style. I first worked with Kristine on a photo shoot for Inside Edition and have been a fan of her work for many years since. Kristine is friendly and very professional, and I would recommend her for any photographic assignment.
- Overgrown Trolley Photograph, Kitchen’s Lane, Philadelphia, PA, 2019
- Panorama Mural Designer, Panorama Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA, 2016
- Body Painting for Fiesta Caliente 2nd Annual Fashion show, Jersey City, NJ, 2007
- Designed Saws for Interior Decoration, Mc Swiggans, Hoboken, N.J., 2005
- Guinness Ads, Mc Swiggans, Hoboken, NJ, 2003
- Front Cover, Denise Barbarita’s Album Chaos & Congeniality, New York, NY, 2003
- Motivational Speaker, Photographic Society of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, July 201
- Motivational Speaker, Adobe Creative Jam- Penn State University, State College, PA, March 2017
- Java Ink Cafe, Philadelphia, PA, 2011 – 2012
- La Citadelle, Philadelphia, PA, 2011 – 2012
- The Stable Gallery-Life of an Artist, Ridgewood, NJ, 2008
- C. Magor Gallery, Ridgewood, NJ, 2006
- Hudson County Art Supply, Jersey City, NJ, 2005
- Rodeo Ristra, Hoboken, NJ, 2003
- Luna Stage, Montclair, NJ, 2003
- Basic Elements Cafe, New Brunswick, NJ, 2002
Selected Group Exhibitions
- Salon du Solei, Bristol, PA, 2016
- Front Street Cafe, Philadelphia, PA, 2016
- Sales Gaspillee- 1st Friday Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA, 2013
- G Lounge- Menagerie Raw Natural Born Artist, Philadelphia, PA, 2012
- Arthouse, New Brunswick, NJ, 2006
- Modesto Art Museum- Mail Art, Modesto, CA, 2006
- University of Iowa Libraries- cARTalog, Iowa City, IA, 2006
- Foritude Valley- Food Labels, Queensland, Australia, 2006
- Psychedelic Mail Art, Elassona, Greece, 2006
- Castel S. Pietro Terme- Mona Lisa’s 500th Anniversary, Italy, 2006
- The Midnight Cow- Mail Art, Flostoy, Belgium, 2006
- Lemon Art- Mail Art, Massa Lubrense, Italy, 2006
- Kisses- Mail Art, Madrid, Espana, 2006
- Municipal Cultural Centre- Psychedelic Mail
- Art-“Melina,” Athens, Greece, 2006
- Art Gotham Gallery- Square Foot Show, New York, NY, 2005
- Prisma Productions-Detour, Newark, NJ, 2005
- 5 Fifth Stone Studios- Philly Stir Fry Live, Philadelphia, PA, 2005
- Ave. A Japanese Ballery Restaurant, New York, NY, 2005
- A.W.O.L Gallery- Square Foot IV, Toronto, ON, 2005
- Current Pinky, France The Mondial Day Against AIDS- Mail Art, 2005
- Maxwells- Open Studio Tour, Hoboken, NJ, 2003
- George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, NJ, 1997
THE WAY I SEE THINGS
Clients ask me how I got started with photography and how long I’ve been doing it for. It all started when I was four years old, sitting on the countertop in a darkroom at Middlesex Community College, munching on a snicker bar (my favorite to this day!) , and watching my mother dip photo paper into a tray of developer and twirl it round and round. Then suddenly, like magic, an image of me would appear in black and white. I knew from that day forward photography would always fascinate me. My mother use to store her photographs in my closet and I would venture through her boxes to seek treasures of images. I remember this one of my Uncle Wally. At first you would look at it and see patterns of different shades of grey and white. Then suddenly, out would pop an over the shoulder shot of me as a little girl resting her head on his shoulder. I loved this photograph and wish my mother had not lost the negative. It’s okay. I have it on my mind forever. I have learned to accept loss and continue to push forward in life, capturing moments in time and watching them change rapidly. Life moves fast and before you know it you’ll find yourself sitting on a bench feeding pigeons with people watching, and suddenly you realize everyone under 50 are children to you. “The older the wiser” as they say.
My first job was running a photo lab in Highland Park. I was in high school at the time and had turned my bedroom into a working painting studio. I needed money to feed my creative endeavors, so I learned how to do color corrections, print slide film, run a cash register, and sell products. I ran this photo lab for two years and even managed to save enough money to travel to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. My mother found a deal in the sunday paper and planned the entire trip
My first portrait session was of my friend Charity when I was fifteen years old with a Pentax 35MM and black and white 400 ISO film (perfect for indoor and outdoor shots). Charity had just returned from Hawaii after living on the beach and working on a farm, only to find her return to reality in New Jersey included being part of her sister’s wedding. She wanted to show off her connection with nature, so she climbed up a tree and did a cartwheel. I caught it just right on film.
This image is incredible. Everyone that looks at it turns it upside down in disbelief. I still have the film negative for this image and recently digitized it for my archives. Everytime I look back at this image I realize the true nature of a good portrait. If you are able to capture a moment that exhibits the true nature of a person, you nailed it. This photo for me is my masterpiece. I continue to hold it dearly as my career develops. For an artist a “masterpiece” is a landmark of personal accomplishment throughout one’s developing career.
I was attending The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and noticed an exhibition from the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. The photographs were the same shots I had recently taken. It was then I realized that I had a good eye and ultimately I would find myself as a photographer. At the time I was pursuing a degree in filmmaking and longed to be an editor and script writer.
2005 – 2009
I worked as a research analyst for a marketing firm, and when they folded and I found myself collecting unemployment. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life so I rummaged through Craig’s List and discovered a goofy ad. The ad said “Are you 21 or over? Like to party? Have a digital camera? We want you. Send a photograph of yourself.” I was still shooting film at the time and using a digital Nikon CoolPix 2mp camera to document my paintings and to make slides for gallery submissions. I received a response from the ad. I thought it was a joke and merely curious to see what would happen. It was a company called NJVenues. They were nightclub promoters and searched up on the google engines in first position. They received a million hits a day too. After a month of shooting for their website the owner contacted me and requested I buy another camera with more megapixels. He said it would only take a month for me to make enough money, and that it would be a good investment for my future. He thought I would buy another point and shoot camera but to his surprise I purchased a Canon Rebel. To the world of nightlife this was a huge camera and people wondered how I knew how to use it. Nightlife was easy for me to capture because I understood the technical aspects. I would shoot everything manually with an external flash.
After a month of shooting, my images looked better than every other competitor. NJVenues was proud to have me on board. As time continued my reputation grew and I found myself working for Fiesta Caliente, and became the house photographer for Bliss Lounge and Joey Harrison Surf Club, and contributing photographer for DJ Times Magazine. I also had the opportunity to photograph over a 100 celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Grandmaster Flash, LMFAO, The Wailers to name a few. To the world of nightlife and any outsider looking in, I was a celebrity photographer…an expert with an exciting lifestyle.
By 2010 I wanted out of nightclub photography and decided to pursue wedding
photography. I apprenticed under Umberto Esposito Photography. Umberto studied wedding photography from a master photographer, and was happy to pass along his knowledge to me. I built my portfolio and learned classic style wedding photography. Umberto pressed to me not to lose my vision. He said I was a fantastic photo-journalist and that was something you can’t teach or learn. Either you have it or you don’t. I decided back then to mix the two worlds of classic and photojournalistic styles. It worked, and have been doing it ever since. I also formed “ArtChick LLC” , hired an accountant, and opened my first business banking account. Finally, I was an official
I moved to Philadelphia to live with a Drexel Professor. We would run around the city together and take photographs of the architecture, flowers, and anything that caught our attention. Through his eyes and my own I fell in love with the city of Philadelphia. For the first time in my life I felt I belonged somewhere. The professor insisted that I was too talented to be wedding photographer and pushed for me to look into the area commercial photography. That is how I discovered Joe Chielli. Joe Chielli’s website looked very dated to me but I could see his style was very much like my own. I reached out to Joe for a consultation and we connected instantly. Joe claimed he had never interviewed a prospective assistant with work as good as mine. He could also see where my weaknesses were.
I knew very little at the time about studio lighting. Joe, since 2011 to this day, has taught me the in and outs of the commercial photography business from studio lighting, natural lighting, proposal writing, and even meditation. I like to refer to Joe as “My Guru”. He is a mentor, a friend, and a business partner. I am blessed to be part of “Church Street Studios” and to continue to grow my own business “ArtChick LLC” . I also helped Joe’s business by revamping his website by transforming it into a modern contemporary style that adapts in a user friendly way to all technology such as smartphones, tablets, and desktops. I also spend over a year studying SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to help keep our websites high in the natural listings on google search engines. Running a successful photography business is more than just taking pretty pictures and capturing precious moments. Of course I would rather be out shooting all the time because that’s what I love, but in order to keep doing what I love, I know I have to do a lot of marketing to reach my audience. I take great pride in my marketing strategy and find it to be a constant creative challenge. In the process of it all, I try my best not to lose track of my creative passion for capturing moments of life in moments of time.
I tried everything I could to save Church Street Studios in Old City, Philadelphia. I even went as far as to make a lease to purchase agreement to buy the property from the landlord. In October 2016 catastrophe struck ,the ceiling collapsed. I managed to save and recover some equipment but was forced to find a new location.
In December 2016 I moved my company to 1844 N Front Street, 1st Floor, Philadelphia PA 19122. It’s gorgeous space and larger than what we had before. It was just the place Joe Chielli and I imagined for me, when it came time for him to retire.
Joe Chielli, my associate at Church Street Studios, passed away fighting cancer. He wanted nothing more than to see me continue his legacy. I studied under Joe for 7 years. He was a great mentor and friend.
2018 – 2019
My father passed away after 38 years battling MS. I then moved the studio from Fishtown, Kennington back to Old City to the original location. I was under the impression the space was newly reonovated and everything was resolved. I was very wrong. Faced a lot of leaks, mold, break ins, no heat in half the unit and pressure from landlord to purchase it. I then plotted my way to a new and better location.
Moved studio in March 2020 to Center City for more parking options and no leaks! Then the Covid-19 Virus hit the world. Four months later Philadelphia moved into the green phase and I was able to re-opened my studio doors.
I Love Working With Creative Minds
If you are interested in working together, send me an inquiry and I will get back to you as soon as I can!