Claes Lilja studied photography at Santa Monica College and is a multi-talented artist who has directed Off- and Off-Off Broadway plays in New York City and acted in both theater and films on both coasts in the United States. He directed the award-winning documentary feature, Beyond Vanilla, which played at film festivals around the world and was released theatrically by Strand Releasing. He has adapted several plays by August Strindberg, including The Stronger, which he turned into a gay-themed short film starring Darryl Stephens (Noah’s Arc, DTLA, Boy Culture) His translation of Creditors was produced as a staged reading at the Write/Act Repertory Company where Claes served as chair of the Artistic Development Committee for the first two years of the company’s existence. His unique experience of both documentary and narrative filmmaking allows him to create complete projects for any type of client, ranging from self-employed professionals to larger corporations and organizations.

Originally from Sweden, he has previously made his home in Paris, France while attending business school at the prestigious E.S.C.P. and in New York, where he studied film and theater with many of the leading teachers in the country, including the legendary Uta Hagen. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he is pursuing his life’s mission of creating a better understanding and tolerance of human nature through filmmaking, photography, art and spiritual inquiry. He is also a well-respected teacher of spirituality and The Enneagram as well as a long-term student of the Diamond Approach with A.H. Almaas.


Outstanding Photographer Nominee, WEHO AWARDS 2008 & 2009


"I needed a new headshot for business marketing. I liked the shots I saw on Claes’s site and I also trust his professional eye. He spent a lot of time with me making sure I was comfortable, relaxed and showing up well. We played music and created an atmosphere of lightness and play that had my true self come forward. He coached me during the shoot which really helped bring my essence alive. It was great! I got a great headshot that I feel good about and other people love. I really appreciate Claes’s years of experience. He is personable, fun and very loving. It makes this process so easy." — Marlena deCarion, Executive Coach