Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I came to Savannah from Palm Harbor, Florida in 1993 to attend SCAD and then graduated in 1997. I have always loved photographing people, and spent a lot of time in the darkroom in high school. I started photographing people I waited tables with and my business has grown from there. It started with word of mouth since nobody had websites then, and I just kept working on referrals. Many clients I started with, I still photograph today.
What is your first memory of using a camera?
I remember having one when my friend won a trip in a limo to school. I probably was around ten and I was so excited.
When did you know that you wanted to pursue photography as a career?
I decided in high school to go to art school. I originally started out wanting to be a nurse, thinking that maybe I couldn't make a living as an artist, but then I sold a few art pieces to people I didn’t know and I just really loved it and knew I had to go to art school.
You’ve been out of school for a while now so you’ve had many years of experience as a working artist. What would you say is the hardest and, or most important lesson you’ve learned since graduating?
I struggled for many years trying to find my place as an artist/business person. My constant question to myself was whether or not my photos were art or if they were just pretty photos of families. I think I have been able to merge both creativity and what people want to document of their families. I believe I have been able to attract people who love art and want me to show them in an creative way. The business side has been my biggest struggle and also realizing you have to know your numbers and run it like a business and hire the right people. And did I mention know your numbers: very important.
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I enjoy meeting new people and seeing the same families every year. I have seen kids grow up. You become very sentimental and you feel like a part of their family. The relationships I have formed over the years are so special to me. I have been through happy and sad times with families and photography has let me experience things and places I would have never otherwise experienced.
What do you see as the biggest challenge of being a working artist & what are some ways you try to overcome it?
The biggest challenge is balancing three kids, one who has special needs, and a business. I am not sure that there is a true balance, but I know my art helps me express my struggles and happiness, and my family keeps me grounded.
What inspires you?
Other artists inspire me: Katherine Sandoz, Troy Wandzel, Sally Mann (of course, really who doesn’t she inspire), Marcus Kenney. Artists who think outside the box and are always pushing themselves to be better artists.
Check out Christine's website to view more of her amazing work!