Keith Munyan

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Keith Owen Munyan, Jr.
Born Keith Owen Munyan, Jr.
(1961-04-10) April 10, 1961 (age 53)
Leesville, Vernon Parish, Louisiana, USA
Occupation Photographer; former model, based in Los Angeles, California
Religion Methodist
Spouse(s) Single
Parents Keith Munyan, Sr., (1932–1996), and Lucille Carter Munyan (born 1931)

Keith Owen Munyan, Jr. (born April 10, 1961),[1] is a commercial photographer based in North Hollywood, California, whose client list includes, among others, Hilary Duff,[2] Jessica Simpson, and Cindy Crawford. His work has appeared in magazines, album packaging, books, billboards, and calendars. Munyan takes assignments only by referrals and does not advertise.[3]

For fifteen years before he became a photographer, Munyan was a model. He has appeared in the television programs Extra, Hard Copy, and Access Hollywood. He was featured on various calendars and on billboards for Budweiser Light and Diet Coke, acted in commercials, and modeled swimsuits. He also modeled nude for Playgirl.[4]

Early years in Louisiana[edit]

Munyan was born in Leesville, the seat of Vernon Parish in western Louisiana and the home of the United States Army base at nearby Fort Polk.[5] His father, Keith "Moose" Munyan, Sr. (September 6, 1932 - July 8, 1996), a native of Jackson, Ohio,[6] coached in Leesville from 1959–1963. When Keith was two years of age, his family moved to the village of Mangham in Richland Parish in northeastern Louisiana. The senior Munyan coached football, basketball, and baseball at tiny Mangham High School from 1963-1989. Football teams under Coach Munyan compiled an outstanding record of 204 wins, 78 losses, and 6 ties. He led his Mangham Dragons to sixteen district championships and was selected "District Coach of the Year" on eighteen occasions.[7] In 2003, Coach Munyan was named posthumously into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.[8]

Munyan played football for four years (1975–1978 seasons) under his father's tutelage as well as basketball and baseball. His mother, the former Lucille Carter (born December 31, 1931), is a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and a retiree of the federal agency, the Farmers Home Administration, in Mangham.[9] Munyan, who is single, has two sisters, both of whom are veteran educators: Toby M. Butler (born 1955) and husband Michael Kent Butler (born 1954) of Mangham[9] and Debbie M. Price (born 1957) and husband George Allen Price, Jr. (born 1956), of Winnsboro, the seat of nearby Franklin Parish.[9]

After high school, Munyan attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe (then Northeast Louisiana University) but did not graduate. He then became a decorator for a department store in Dallas, Texas, prior to launching his modeling career, which entailed travel, including a trip as far away as Barcelona, Spain.[10]

Self-educated photographer[edit]

Munyan is self-educated as a photographer. His experience as a model helped him to make the transition because while he was being photographed over the years, he "listened a lot regarding lighting and shooting. I found it easier for me because I enjoyed working with people." Munyan described patience as "the key to photography. Don't rush." He indicated that he is innovative and will "try anything, because I'm not always right. . . . "[4]

Munyan once photographed Beth Broderick, who played Aunt Zelda on ABC's Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The program used all of his photographs, and the assignment led to new clients: Jessica Simpson, Cindy Crawford, Hilary Duff, Carmen Electra, Rachel Melvin of NBC's Days of our Lives, and Kelly Clarkson. In photographs of Melvin for Agenda magazine, Munyan used dead yucca trees that he had procured from his own property. Often he finds that various kinds of wood enhance the photographs.[11]

Munyan said that proper lighting is essential to good photographs: "I've learned how to adjust my lighting around my clients. I figure out how to make it hotter, warmer, darker, depending on their skin tones, their hair, their makeup. . . . "[11]

Celebrity clients[edit]

Kelly Clarkson was photographed in 2004 as the first ever winner in the American Idol program on Fox.[12] Another client is Mackenzie Rosman, who played Ruthie Camden on the former 7th Heaven series[11] Munyan has also photographed male models for such publications as Men's Workout magazine.[13]