Starting as a secretary with a camera, Christee quickly found passion and rode with it. Now a full-time photographer, she shares her story.
How long have you been a photographer? 7.5 years
Where do you live? Southern California
How did you get started? I had a co-worker ask me to photograph his wedding with my new camera I had gotten for Christmas. He said if I didn’t do it, he was just going to hand his point and shoot to a family member sitting in the front row. I told him no at first, but he talked me into it. The pictures actually turned out good, and a couple months later I had another co-worker ask me to do their son’s wedding. It spiraled up from there.
What type of photos do you capture? How would you describe your style? I photograph Weddings, Engagements, Families, Seniors, pretty much anything but landscape and commercial. I’d say my style is photo-journalistic. I love candid shots the most.
How many photo shoots would you say you average a year? About 20-30.
What is your weapon of choice? Canon 5D Mark II
Favorite lens? Why? It depends on the situation. So, it’s not just one. I probably use my 35mm & 85mm the most. These two lenses are very sharp, they give a nice crisp outline of my subjects.
What is your preference in editing software? Lightroom & Photoshop. I couldn’t do without either.
Mac or PC? Definitely Mac.
Where do you find your inspiration? WHO inspires you? I have a few photographers that inspire me. Drew B Photography, Jasmine Star, and then a friend of mine at DelaLane Photography, who lives in my area. She keeps me on my toes and inspires me to be a better photographer.
What’s your favorite image and/or series? I have a lot of favorites, but my favorite series of images is probably from a recent senior session I did in the Joshua Tree National Monument.
When capturing weddings, how many photos do you average and how many do you present to your client? I average 2500, and present about 900. I wish I could narrow it down to about 500-600, but I just can’t get myself to delete!
How do you get your clients relaxed in front of the camera? I ask them questions and try to get to know them a little bit. I also let them know how cute their pictures are turning out. I recently did a wedding for a couple that traveled from out of California, so their engagement session was done with another photographer. I kept saying, “Oh my gosh, so cute!” and then would show them some of the pictures. She actually said that she liked how I was giving them feedback, cause the photographer that did their engagement session wasn’t saying anything and she didn’t know how they were doing. It relaxed them to know the photos were turning out good.
What equipment do you want to buy in the near future? I’m pretty set with what I have. But, my next purchase will probably be a 24mm lens.
How do you utilize social media to promote your photography? Definitely Facebook. That’s been the best social media promotion for me.
Where is your dream location to travel to and photograph? Probably Paris
Blogging and Social Media: The benefits and the struggles: Well, although I think that blogging is very beneficial, I always dread that last step. It seems to take me a while to narrow down the pictures I want, upload them, and then putting into words what I want to convey on the post. For me, it’s about one good days worth of work. With Social Media, I really don’t have any struggles. The benefit with it (Facebook) is that you can tag people and then all of their friends see your work. It’s been very good advertising
Favorite Food The Calzones from a local restaurant called Pie For The People. Absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!
Favorite thing to do…other than photography? Shopping. Doesn’t matter what it is, I just like to buy stuff, ha ha!
What is your favorite type of photography? (weddings, seniors, fine art, etc.) Definitely Seniors.
Prime lenses or Zoom, why? Prime. Because you can open up the aperture more than a zoom, and the end result with primes are a little sharper in my opinion. I have become quite a stickler on sharpness.
What invaluable lesson have you learned through your photography that helped you reach your current style? When I started out, I would shoot a certain way at weddings that I already knew, but then I would change the setting on my camera for a few shots (during a time that was not critical) to get a different feel, then switch back to what I knew. Then, I would go home and review the differences. If I liked the one I was “trying out” then I would shoot that way the next time.
Where’s your favorite place to be? At home. I love being home. I love that I work from home most days too. It’s my relaxing place.
What’s one tip you can give to aspiring photographer’s that are just getting started or that have already decided to jump into the awesome world of photography? As they say “Practice makes perfect”. You can read all the books in the world, but hands on experience, trial and error will get you the furthest. I did a lot of stuff for free at first just to get the experience. Not charging took a lot of the pressure off, and gave me ample opportunity to practice. Also, during weddings, try to be “stealthy”. Seriously, the ceremony is not about you, it’s about the bride and the groom. I have gotten many compliments from guests at weddings who have told me that they appreciated not seeing me during the ceremony. I put my 70-200mm lens on, and I try to stay as far away from the front as possible. There are moments were you need to get certain shots, so I will go in closer, but once I get it, I go back to the side or the back.
Meet the Photographer