My Come Up: Kayla Surico, Girl Boss + Music Photographer

About 5 years ago, I saw Kayla Surico at a local show, photographing and interviewing bands. I chatted with her a little bit and we exchanged info. Since then, Kayla has had one of the most amazing, well-deserved come up’s I’ve seen in the photo industry. She’s a kind soul, with a badass, girl boss ambiance.

Being a girl working in the music industry can be rough. People can deny that sexism exists among the industry all they want, but I can promise you it exists. Kayla has not let this slow her down at all. At 21 years old, she’s already shot for major labels such as Equal Vision Records, Epitaph Records, & Interscope, and she just went out with the band Flor for Paramore’s Fall 2017 tour.

Kayla’s work has it’s own unique color grading and she’s also well known for her cinemagraphs. You can view those here.

“Thinking about how I got to where I am now is a little bit overwhelming since so many things have happened since I made the choice to pursue my dream of being a photographer. Ever since I was a kid, I always had an interest in anything art related. Whether it was doodling random things, creating stuff in photoshop, or snapping photos with my cell phone or old point and shoot fujifilm camera. Not too long after turning 16, my grandma gifted me my first DSLR, a canon rebel t3i. Then just a few months after that, I started shooting local shows and shooting shows for online blogs. Fast forward to now, I’m 21 and I’ve been published, I’ve been on tour, and I’ve worked with some of my favorite bands and record labels. I got to where I am now because no matter how many times I’ve felt discouraged or stuck, I still continue to try to make this whole freelance photography thing work and I’m so thankful for all of the people who have continued to hire me, support me, and believe in me.”

“It always feels SO good to accomplish huge goals. The first one that comes to mind is when I was contacted by The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. One of their now ex-members saw a photo that I posted on tumblr and immediately reached out to me and said that it would fit perfectly with the album art for Harmlessness. When that album was released, it felt incredible holding a physical copy and opening it up and seeing my photo as the insert artwork. Another accomplishment was when I went on tour doing photography for Artifex Pereo last year. Those guys and the rest of the bands on that tour package felt like a huge family, and I have so many great memories from that tour even though I was only on it for 2 weeks. During and after that tour, I was also working on creating cinemagraphs for OWEL’s record ‘dear me’. At the beginning of last year, one of my main goals was to create cinemagraph music videos for artists and when I was asked to create some for a whole album, that was like such a huge accomplishment. Back in June, Picturesque (they were one of the bands on that tour with Artifex Pereo) flew me out to Kentucky to shoot their promos. Before they flew me out, I was in such a slump and felt super discouraged and uninspired. But once I arrived in Louisville and met up with everyone, I had such a good time hanging out and shooting. One of the photos from that shoot got published in Rock Sound, which is pretty sick!”

“Hopefully five years from now I’ll be working with much bigger artists and record labels. I’d love to work for artists like Halsey, Melanie Martinez, Paramore, and Lorde. I’d also love to do more work for artists outside of live shots like lifestyle photos, tour documentation, album artwork, cinemagraphs, etc.”

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