While you might have a vision in mind, it could be hard to imagine where exactly your future might lead. Sometimes you just have to jump right in without any hesitation and follow your gut to create a life you are destined to have. When you feel it in your soul that you are meant for something greater, then you know you have to risk failure to pursue your dreams. Today’s Boss Babe is no stranger to risking it all and starting over. Not only was it refreshing to meet her because she is truly one of a kind, but her photography is a beautiful visual journey that you have to explore. While her New York adventure just started this past year, there is no doubt that she is going to take over the fashion photography world one photograph at a time.
Christina Emilie has a personality that is sweeter than candy. Her electrifying spirit bounces off of you like a beam of light and makes you feel like you have known her for years. An invite to her home will blossom into hours of talking and laughing and slowly but surely, she starts to become the friend you never thought you were missing. After discovering that photography was the career path for her, she took full charge of her dream and explored the trenches of perseverance and creativity by connecting with the world through her craft. Her photographs are enchanting by bringing a whole new life into the fashion photography realm. With a hint of fantasy and storytelling, each collection of photographs makes you want to jump into the world that she has created with her own vision. By realizing that her dreams are what she makes of them, Christina is sculpting her own path with each click she takes.
We met up with Christina in her LIC apartment where we were completely swooned by her makeshift studio and home decor. We got to chat all things photography, moving to the Big Apple, and got a peek on her future goals. Meet the coolest chick you will ever meet, Christina Emilie.
Long Island City, NY
What lens can’t you live without:
Canon 1.2 85mm
Tell us your photography aesthetic in threes words:
Minimal, Moody, and Monochromatic
Band/artist on repeat:
Odesza & Justin Bieber
Fave Instagram account to get inspo from:
The Haute Pursuit
Go-to NYC coffee shop:
So many! But Blue Stone Lane was my first love 🙂
What’s on your holiday wish list?
A trip to Peru.
Tell us a little bit about how you got into photography?
I loved being creative in school but my family background directed me into the business field. I studied accounting in college up until my sophomore year when I decided I had to get serious about what I really wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. With this curiosity, I took an elective photography class and found my love and passion. This discovery led me to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be pursuing accounting upon graduation. I switched to marketing and received a bachelors degree in business; however, I promised myself I would find ways to still get behind the camera. Having accidentally already started a photography business, the summer I graduated was the start of what would become a long-term, passionate career. After working part time at Nordstrom and learning customer relations for two years, I pursued photography full time working as my own boss. Five years later, I followed my dream to move to New York City and become a full-time fashion photographer.
What is the narrative you like to tell through your photographs?
I’m definitely a huge believer in fantasy when it comes to the narration of my work. There’s reality and there’s fantasy and we’ve all had moments in our lives when it’s hard to tell the difference. Like any photographer, I see the world differently and I try to pronounce the drama seen in simplicity. For me, staying minimal is a challenge I’ve grown fond over keeping consistent.
What was the transition like moving to another state as a photographer?
The transition wasn’t easy, nor hard, it was just… a transition. For me, I’ve never wanted to stay in one place or settle for a career I wasn’t happy with. My options were, to always wonder “what if”, or risk “failure” by moving to a big city. I chose to risk failure and didn’t waste time asking myself the how because I have always been programmed as a do-er. I assisted a photographer the first month being in New York and didn’t feel this was the correct path for me to take for the goals I had for myself. I thought back to how I became a photographer in Pittsburgh and realized it was by photographing for one person leads to the rest of your career. I got behind the camera and reached out to people who interested me. The past year I’ve worked with ModCloth, Sam Edelman, Design History, and collaborated with Halston Heritage, Free People, and Coach. I also work with bloggers Le-Happy, The Grey Layers, Retroflame, and I Hate Blonde.
Not only are you a photographer, but you also model as well. What do you think is more challenging, being in front or behind the camera?
Since my expertise is photographing people, I found that modeling only enhances my senses behind the camera. I’ve become so comfortable directing the subjects I am shooting that being in front of it is definitely more challenging. For this reason, I continue to dip my toes in modeling because I truly believe that they work hand in hand.
Your style is super minimalistic and chic. Where do you normally find yourself shopping at for clothes and accessories?
My favorite ready to wear brands are Zara, Charles & Keith, BNKR, and Club Monaco.
Your Instagram feed is pretty killer. What is your creative process when it comes to photographing for social media?
Light is everything! Whether it’s even light, hard light, or shadow play, it makes or breaks the aesthetic of the image. I’ve also learned that it’s important to show both my personal work and my creative professional work. Letting people in on my life and who I am has helped to match my work with the right people. It’s led me to many opportunities and continues to grow my brand.
Because you tend to travel a lot for your career, can you tell us a favorite memory from one of your excursions?
My favorite travel shoot was with ModCloth for their spring campaign. It was last January right after moving to New York and it felt so good to work with some familiar faces and some of my friends. The shoot took place in Joshua Tree National Park, CA. They rented a house for us in Twentynine Palms and it was one of those trips where the saying, “you never work a day in your life if you’re doing what you love” is true.
With the new year approaching right around the corner, what are some goals you have in mind for the 2016 year?
Continuing to travel! I want to start working internationally and hoping to start photo workshops in the future!
Any advice for future Boss Babes, especially those who want to be in the photography biz?
When I think back to how I manage photography as my full-time career without relying on other incomes it’s because I taught myself the fundamentals of owning a business. Most creatives would probably say to find your style or your aesthetic, but it’s just as important to learn the discipline of working for yourself and being your own boss.
Photography via Vanessa Granda for Taste The Style