The Bestest Photographer: Brian Kuhlmann – Santa Barbara Independent

Owner of Santa Barbara’s Porchlight Studio Shot Our Best of Santa Barbara® Issue
The heftiest photography assignment of each year for the Santa Barbara Independent is to shoot this week’s Best of Santa Barbara® issue, a sprawling showcase of which businesses, places, and people our readers voted as the tops in town. Brian Kuhlmann accepted the challenge for 2021, and he spent months capturing the happy winners with their wide, thankful smiles from the car dealers and furniture makers to restaurateurs and bartenders.
Kuhlmann, who owns Porchlight Studio on the Westside, tells us more about himself below. 
I hail from the Midwest (St. Louis) by way of La La Land. I’ve spent a dozen years battling the cold weather in Chicago and another 12 basking in the sun in Los Angeles.
Family and quality of life brought me to the American Riviera. I stumbled across an amazing studio and never looked back.
I don’t remember life without photography. I started my business as a junior in high school after working an internship at a boudoir photography studio. That was 40 years ago. Funny thing is, I never pursued that type of work. I liked the money and fame shooting for advertising clients.
Meeting and photographing the amazing people that won Best Of is a gift that keeps giving. Everyone was gracious, inviting, and open to ideas. After the crazy, isolated year of the pandemic, it was refreshing to meet the movers and shakers of my new town.
‘Mirror Bus’ Man Gets Life Sentence
Two People Die in Car Crash at Garden Street On-Ramp
Santa Barbara Supes Give High Praise to Mental Health Program
COVID Cases Continue Downward Trend in Santa Barbara County
California’s Drought Sparks Innovation in Santa Barbara County
New Restaurant Concept Approved for Goleta Beach
Alisal Fire Update: Freeway 101 Opened and Train Service Restored
Alisal Fire Evacuation Order Changes, Acreage and Containment Unchanged
The News Letter: Another Big Party at Bellosguardo
Alisal Fire Sunday Morning: 78 Percent Contained, 17,253 Acres Burned
Bloodsuckers’ Brunch Blood Drive
Fri, Oct 22 10:00 AM
Santa Barbara
In-Person: 2021 Knox Spooky Hallow-STEAM Night!
Fri, Oct 22 5:30 PM
Santa Barbara
SBVA Fine Arts Closing Reception
Fri, Oct 22 5:30 PM
Santa Barbara
California Seaweed Festival
Sat, Oct 23 10:00 AM
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Lobster Fest
Sat, Oct 23 1:00 PM
Santa Barbara
Wildfires and Climate Change – Fire Experts Panel
Sat, Oct 23 3:30 PM
Santa Barbara
Virtual: Medicine of Yum 3 Week Brain Health Course
Sat, Oct 30 11:00 AM
Santa Barbara
In-Person: The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sat, Oct 30 7:00 PM
Carpinteria
Mischief Masquerade–Outdoor Halloween Dance Party
Sat, Oct 30 8:00 PM
Santa Barbara
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory
Fri, Nov 19 9:00 AM
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