Kensington: As Two Friends Grow Up, One Does So In Front Of The Camera And One Behind It

Chris Riebow is an 18-year-old recent high school graduate, born and raised in Kensington. He has been a freelance photographer since the age of 14. Now, four years later, he has turned his hobby into a job he enjoys: working as a personal photographer for one of his closest friends, professional boxer Branden Pizarro.

The duo’s 15-year long friendship began when they were just 3 years old. From kindergarten to 12th grade, they remained classmates as well as neighbors, living only a few doors down from each other. Throughout the years, they’ve watched each other develop their passions. Now as the pair begins to embark on the next chapter of adulthood, Riebow reflects on the how he and Pizarro are starting to make their dreams a reality together.

How has Branden’s success impacted you?
Him being so young and the youngest to turn pro, it motivated me and showed me that no matter what age we are, we can do what we want to do and accomplish anything no matter what.

How have you and Branden worked together? Has that been emotionally rewarding for you?
I started photography during his amateur career, then I became his personal photographer, taking pictures of all of his fights. It captures the moments that not many people get to see and we always go back and look at pictures to remember special moments. Like I remember when he knocked out this person, or even a time during one of his entrances when he came out with fire.

Has working with Branden pushed you to become a better photographer?
Yes in sense. In the boxing scene there aren’t many still moments. So that pushes me to be a better photographer so I can try to shoot every moment possible.

How does it feel to work with one of your closest friends? Where do you see both of you going from here?
It feels good because I’ve known him my whole life. Working with him is natural and nothing is forced. I still see us still being as close as we are. I’ll still be his photographer and hopefully I’ll get to see him become a world champ.

Has being Branden’s photographer given you other opportunities?
Yeah, I shoot for a few upcoming rappers and a lot of clothing lines. Sometimes models will reach out to me and ask for shoots as well.

-Text and image by Zuri Hoffman.

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