“A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.” – William Hazlitt


A Southern California native, Karim Saafir is no stranger to the glitz and glam of Hollywood. He has spent more than half a decade honing his craft and developing the skillful eye of a master photographer. Within that time, he has also amassed a following of literally experts, through his published work, while simultaneously building a portfolio of the Who’s Who in film, music, sports and entertainment. 


While he’s consistently tasked with visual storytelling through his lens, Karim’s personal story is one fraught with numerous triumphs and tragedies. 


He started from humble albeit quite unusual beginnings. 


In the early fall of 1976, Karim was born in the back seat of a Volkswagen Beetle, on Central Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, just a crosswalk away from the iconic Coca Cola building. 


A decade later his parents relocated to San Bernardino, California where he spent a great portion of his formative years, attending school, playing sports and developing his skills as a bona fide artist.   His life was steeped in visual arts and drawing became his medium of choice.  Soon he would find himself in front of a canvas but not with the same conviction as drawing. 

“I just felt more freedom with my pencils than with brushes and paint,” he says. “I think that’s why I gravitated towards photography. I found that I could use my camera to “paint” using light. Ultimately Karim obtained a BA degree in Fine Arts from Fresno State University.  


After the tragic passing of his young wife, a photography major herself at a cross-county college, Karim’s life had changed forever. Using her camera, he began to search for solace and inner peace using one frame at a time in her memory. 


Karim immersed himself fully into graphic arts and web development.  A brief stint as an LAPD officer, however, would prove to be the turning point in his career. 


Witnessing firsthand the gritty, inequities of life and people on the street, many of them homeless and with mental illness, Karim dedicated his first published photographic essay entitled “Shelter” to the disenfranchised men and women living in the streets of Los Angeles. 


“I see beauty every day. Shooting models and celebrities is a joy for me, but I believe I also have a social responsibility to use my gift to effect change wherever I can. And I believe that my purpose in life, whether it’s beautiful or what some people might consider ugly, is to “capture life beyond the moment.“


In his off-time Karim enjoys spending time with his wife and their young son, exploring the world. 

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