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Hello, my name is Raphael Chookagian. I am a freelance photographer currently based out of Seattle. Originally from Brazil, I moved to the United States as a child and quickly fell in love with it. I joined the U.S. Army while still in high school and left for basic training the day of graduation. I spent the maj… Read More
Hello, my name is Raphael Chookagian. I am a freelance photographer currently based out of Seattle. Originally from Brazil, I moved to the United States as a child and quickly fell in love with it. I joined the U.S. Army while still in high school and left for basic training the day of graduation. I spent the majority of my time in the military training for combat, leadership and stress management; (keeping calm in stressful situations can mean the difference between life and death.) I completed my contract with the U.S. Army as well as the Army National Guard for two honorable discharge(s). Moving back to civilian work I used my knowledge and experience to build a career with a crating and shipping company. I worked my up to Job site Foreman with a crew of up to ten men under my leadership. I also moved down to Oregon to create a secondary location of operations for them. After six wonderful hard working years the economy went downhill and with it my job.
It was then that I decided to pursue my hobby of photography as a career. Working with others in the photography market opened up jobs in multiple markets. I work in Fashion, E-commerce, stock, portraits, lifestyle, advertising, etc.. I split my time between working at Nordstrom’s E-commerce studio, a stock photography company and independent contracts
My path in careers and life has awarded me with a unique outlook on life and work. I love to work hard and play hard. I understand that this is said way to often and more often than not it is merely filler words. In my case, I learned from a young age the stark differences that there are in the world. Something as simple as moving from a third world life to America made sure that I do not take for granted what I have been blessed with.
With that said, I do not work to live nor live to work. I enjoy learning and progressing and working hard keeps me moving forward. I fully understand that leading in combat is quite a stark contrast from leadership in the civilian world. Over the years I have taken lessons learned from both sides to enhance my ability to lead as well as being a team player being lead. My leadership style is one in which I do not ask someone to complete a task that I am not able or willing to do myself. Furthermore I expect everyone to work to their best ability along with giving feedback and/or input on how to change things to be more efficient. In my mind if someone has a good idea it does not matter what their level or title is.
When not working I am usually with my wife and child outdoors. We enjoy everything from surfing to over night backpacking. We love the outdoors, adventures and exploring new areas. This is only a small look into my life, I am more than happy to share more with you. I also have a secondary resume page with my independent contract jobs that I can add if needed.
Thank you for your time and hope to hear from you in the future.

-Raphael Chookagian
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