Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fresh Face: Christine Chapman

I did a little interview with up and coming photographer Christine Chapman. Curious as to what brings people to their work in the first place, especially students, I asked her some questions to uncover the artistic direction she sees herself going in the future.

Christine Chapman is a Santa Barbara, CA area native with a love for fashion photography and a spunk for life. She is currently attending Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara where she builds her portfolio and paves her path to her professional photography career.

What got you into photography?

"I've always loved and been involved in art whether it was painting, drawing, music, or dance. My parent's made me get a "real" degree at UC Santa Cruz in Psychology where I realized after changing my major 5 times that I was not going to be satisfied working in a lab or as a therapist. My senior year in psychology I decided that I was going to pursue my dream of being a professional photographer after I graduated. I worked in a graduate lab studying how photographs affect emotion and memory, and all of my classes were focused on social influence, the power of the media, and anything else that involved photography in psychology.

What do you wish to accomplish after your time at Brooks?

I want to be famous! It may sound dumb, but I'm serious! haha! I truly hope to be a greatly influential photographer such as Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino or Ansel Adams. I hope to shoot for large editorial magazines and high end designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Armani. It's very, very hard to make it in the business, much less become a well known name, but knowing this [isn't] stopping me from working my butt off to get there :) Although the ocean is my #1 love, I will most likely leave California for New York or even Europe to pursue my dream once [I'm] done with Brooks.

Name 3 of your most influential photographers:

Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, and Elliot Erwitt

What are your favorite subject matters and types of photography?

I am more focused on fashion and character portraits, things you will see in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Marie Clare. I like to bring out a very natural, glamorous feel with my models, as well as use a lot of design and movement in my photographs. I want to keep the viewer entertained as well as bring a sort of majestic feel from looking at my images.

What type of camera(s) do you use?

I use a Nikon D700 and my favorite lenses are the 24-70mm (for photos that incorporate more of the models surroundings or numerous models) and the 105mm for single model portraits and beauty shots. In the studio I use a hasselblad h2 with a digital back. I'm all digital! It's faster :)

Do you partake in any other types of creative work (ie; painting, writing etc)?

I wish I could write better, haha! But I do paint (that's how we met; in painting class my freshman year of HS) although I don't really have time to do it as much anymore with photography taking up my time. I did dance for 12 years and I try to surf as often as I can. I know it sounds silly, but I believe surfing is an awesome art form, as you'll see many professional surfers also play music, paint, draw, etc. You're free to move and almost dance about the wave any way you like. Surfing is definitely my down time activity and I get a lot of great ideas when I'm in the water because all the stress and pressure of work and school disappear and I can think freely"

Christine Chapman's portfolio and contact information can be seen on her website

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