Student Melds Photography and Automotive Management Fields

Lamberton Also Works As Professional Photographer

By: Taylor Sarrafian

Kurtis Lamberton

If the average picture is worth a thousand words, then a photo from Kurtis Lamberton speaks volumes.

Lamberton is fairly new to photography — he's been shooting for less than three years. While taking photography classes at Walla Walla University, Lamberton realized that he had an eye for composition, and enrolled in the Hallmark Institute of Photography. After becoming a top graduate of the school in 2012, he has returned to complete his automotive management degree at WWU. Lamberton believes business knowledge is valuable and that a bachelor of science degree would be a great complement to his work in the arts.

"A lot of people don't realize the work required to make a work of art," says Lamberton as he recounts a particular studio setup. "I spent nine hours doing that shot, getting the drip perfect. I'm standing there on a ladder with a baby eyedropper‚ dropping from the very top and trying to catch the perfect timing."

In a special photography session with ferrofluids, Lamberton managed to make a pretty big mess of things. "After a completely unsuccessful and frustrating 6-plus hour shoot I decided the magnets I had weren’t strong enough, so I ordered some [stronger] ones. I have a few images of the whole process, including the aftermath of somebody scaring me, causing me to drop the magnet with a dish full of ferrofluid onto the table which then attracted the second magnet, which shot across the table, only to release the magnetic pole on the fluid which then went all over me and ruined my clothes."

Though taking photos can be an arduous process, Lamberton is not going to give up his talents any time soon. If fact, he has recently expanded into videography, where he hopes to address problems in aviation sales. Lamberton’s father, a pilot, has had poor experiences purchasing planes due to lack of perspective in photos. Photos often miss many of the features that make an airplane important, resulting in faulty expectations and wasted trips. Lamberton dreams of using videos to convey a more complete view of airplanes, so individuals buying them can be well-informed without the hassles of traveling. He believes that his studies of business and automobiles at WWU are directly contributing to his understanding of vehicle sales.

"The reason I love [photography] is because it combines technical skill with artistic freedom and a way to express yourself in a way that's easily shared. It's my best way, besides music, to share something I'm interested in and passionate about."

For Lamberton, photography is also a ministry. He believes using stills can help people gain a more beautiful perspective of themselves and the world.

"My goal is now is to produce images that not only have a creative and cool and positive look about them, but ones that actually have a message or a story behind them, instead of just a picture. A picture is cool, but if you can put a story behind it, it becomes more than a picture. If I can use that in a way to promote God or to lift somebody else up‚ it's really a service."

Though he is studying automotive management, he will continue to work as a professional photographer. Lamberton has worked for Hallmark, New Balance, and other clients. Currently, Lamberton’s professional work can be seen in New Balance's Spring 2013 Catalog.

To see Lamberton’s portfolio, visit his website at

Published March 6, 2013.

<- Back to: News

Bookmark and Share