Dusty Kessler, ’11



Photo from Kessler

Dusty Kessler, Class of 2011, is now a successful photographer.

“Wednesday I fly to Atlanta for the Superbowl, I’m shooting some stuff for Bud Light. They’re doing a three-day music festival before the actual Superbowl on Sunday, so I’m gonna be shooting all of that. It’ll be people like Post Malone, Cardi B, Migos, a bunch of people will be performing,” said Dusty Kessler, CHS alum and photographer.

Kessler’s career in photography started at FK Studio, a photography studio based in St. Louis, before he even graduated high school.

After having his work published in Rolling Stone in college, he gained exposure to the industry, and the candid style of his work has attracted attention from many celebrities. However, his true passion is in discovering and assisting up-and-coming artists.

“My whole thing has kind of, for a long time, been working with people who maybe aren’t celebrities yet or aren’t known to the general public,” Kessler said. “So a lot of my work, especially with G-Eazy, has been just following his career path for a long time and that’s what I love doing the most. I really started touring more and being on the road in 2013, so that’s when I was starting to have more access to the artists. One of the biggest tours that I’ve done was in 2016 in Europe, and that was one of the first times that I took photos of Justin Bieber. In 2016 I was also taking pictures of people like Drake and stuff. But I really could care less about big names and stuff like that. I’m more interested in the smaller guys who could turn into something really big.”

Though Kessler emphasized the importance of independence and determination on his experience in the music and photography industries, he also attributed much of his early success to his education at CHS.

“You never can say really, but I wouldn’t be where I’m at without coming to Clayton and going to high school there,” Kessler said. “The standout person who pretty much helped me through everything was Chris Vodicka in the art department. Back then I still didn’t know that I could make a career out of photography. She’s really the best, in my mind. She’s the main reason that I was able to succeed.”