Dunsmuir teen turns photography hobby into budding business

Shareen Strauss
Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers
Loki Boone, age 13, is a self taught photographer. He's taking pictures of local businesses in Dunsmuir.  "I want to show Dunsmuir to the world and make Dunsmuir more popular," Loki said.

A career-minded eighth grader in Dunsmuir found is passion during the pandemic and is now marketing himself to the world.

Loki Boone, age 13, moved to Dunsmuir with his family from the Paradise area after the Camp Fire. He has an eye for photography and editing. 

Bored during the COVID-19 pandemic, Loki mastered using a 2013 Canon EOS 100D camera that was given to him about four months ago. Recently, he has marketed himself to the Dunsmuir business community.

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It started with Dylan Lennon in the Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce, who offered him an internship with the Chamber and gave Loki an assignment to photograph business signs in Dunsmuir. The Chamber posted his work. But Loki took it one step further and offered local businesses photo shoots.  

Laurie Stranberg, owner of  Sten's Burger Stand in Dunsmuir, saw Loki's work on Facebook.

"He has a good eye," Stranberg said. "I can always tell his style of pictures."

His first gig , he got paid in "Sten's Bucks," which allowed him to purchase food in exchange for taking pictures for Sten's Burger Stand to use in advertising.  

Loki said it was a win/win since he loves Sten's Burgers.

Stranberg said she's impressed with Loki's work and his ethics.

"Loki was in the kitchen with us during the photoshoot and got some really good pictures as we worked. He stayed out of our way and worked around us. He made them just sparkle in (Adobe) Photoshop. I have a lot of uses for his pictures."

Strandberg said that if she is going to do a billboard, she will use his pictures. And that he will barter with businesses is a plus.

"He loves what he is doing. Other businesses should be excited to work with him," said Stranberg. 

Loki takes about 5,000 pictures each week. With no formal training, he said he learned photography from watching people take pictures on YouTube out of boredom.   

He likes taking portraits, landscapes and macros, but lately he has focused on taking pictures of the streets of Dunsmuir – and of his cats.

"I have the basics but I need to practice to excel," said Loki. "Editing is the biggest part of my photography. It is where it all comes together. I like the moody look but I keep it vibrant but a little grungy –m an industrial look."

Loki is planning on taking filmmaking classes in college because he said it seems more challenging. He is hoping to work with the school to take pictures for the yearbook. 

"I want to show Dunsmuir to the world and make Dunsmuir more popular," Loki said.

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation, lifelong Siskiyou County resident.