Interview with Christy from Chriddy Anne Photography


Meet Christy – or “Chriddy” as some call her – a creative, colorful, candid, bilingual, tech savvy, homeschool high school student and photographer. I contacted Chriddy asking her if she would be willing to do an interview with me about photography. She said that she would love to. So without further ado, here is the interview.

Christy

ME: What is your story/background in photography? How did you get started? When did your love for photography begin?

CHRISTY: Hi there! I find it hard to know exactly where my photography story started, but here is what I remember…

Somehow, for the last eight or so years, I’ve been the family photographer. As soon as I knew how to download files from the SD card – I was, it seems, automatically given that job in the family. I remember numerous times where we would be going on an outing, and the familiar phrase of “Christy, did you pack the camera?” would pass along in the van. “Yes!” was the answer, because I hardly ever forgot. As I got older, it seemed that nobody ever did the picture taking but me – except in the few that I was in. I knew where all the pictures were saved – and many a time I was called up upon to please put someone out of their misery trying to find a certain picture.

Rewind to about four years ago. I started taking out our point and shoot little camera and spending hours taking close ups of anything you can think of. Flowers, and plants were my main subjects, but spider webs, and water droplets also held their place. Beaches and landscapes were also my favorites {we lived in New Zealand at the time}. I so enjoyed it, and really captured some amazing photos. At this point, the name DSLR had never entered my ears. The names Nikon and Canon were also strangers to me. I had no idea there were better cameras out there really. I kind of knew there were – but my knowledge of them was very, very limited.

Three years ago, and a move across the pacific later, I held my grandmother’s Nikon D3200 in my hands and was so awed. Wow – now this was a really cool camera… but how to use it?! I read the manual – somewhat fast, and I didn’t get all the different settings. All I did was leave it in Auto or Auto no flash. I went straight outside and was so fascinated with the two kit zoom lenses that came with it. You definitely did not see me without it every time I went outside on her land, and I got some pretty amazing pictures for not knowing anything. After not staying with my grandparents anymore, I started to want one of these “cool cameras” of my own. That’s when the research started, and I signed up for 4-H. Being in a 4-H Photography Project without a camera wasn’t easy. The project leader introduced me to competitions, and from then on I’ve competed with my photos in five competitions all over Texas. I won so many awards – and still am – and didn’t expect a thing. I thought my photography was “okay” although family and friends, and even my teacher said my photography was absolutely great! I worked several small jobs with my sister the whole of 2014, and after that year of researching and working hard saving up – I knew that I wanted a Nikon too! I bought myself one last Christmas as a personal present, and have since taken over 20,000 pictures with it. I have since started shooting manual sometimes, though my favorite is still Aperture Priority. This year, I have noticed that I should really open a business once I have graduated/in my spare time. I have over the year started up my website and have been perfecting and researching as I am apt to do any chance I get. Right now, I am just practicing my portrait taking skills on friends and family for free or by donation. I am completely self taught and I love it!

Leaf

ME: What technology/software/camera gear do you use?

CHRISTY: The camera I bought myself after months of hard work is a Nikon D5200. I love my baby! I also have the two kit lenses that came with it, and recently invested in a prime lens – the Nikon 50mm 1.4 – I LOVE IT! I highly recommend anyone to get a prime lens, and the 50mm is a good place to start. I’m dreaming of a Nikon D610 or D750 now… I can’t wait to save up and go full frame!

I got Photoshop Elements for my birthday in April this year, because that’s what my 4-H teacher uses, and I “kinda” had memorized some of the things she did to edit just watching her. I wanted to be able to do that on my laptop too! A few more months of research, and after getting a little bored with P Elements, I concluded that I really needed a new toy – and so got myself Adobe Lightroom 5 this summer. That was a game changer! I now pretty much only design labeling and graphics for fun in PE and edit in Lightroom exclusively. I’d say it’s a must have! I find it way easier and more efficient – not that Photoshop in itself isn’t – but Lightroom is made for us digital photographers who need to edit a whole lot of pictures, quickly and efficiently. I’m a tech savvy person, so I figured it out really quickly – after watching one or two videos on youtube. Research, again was the key.

I have a 2TB external hard drive to keep my photos on, and it’s half full. Already! I also am looking at getting something for backing things up more.

Feather

ME: Why did you choose Nikon over Canon?

CHRISTY: Since the first DSLR I held in my hands was a Nikon, I was comfortable with Nikon, and knew that I’d get a Nikon. To me it was a question of familiarity. I hadn’t really researched Canons very much when I bought my Nikon. Later on, I asked my photography teacher what she thought {she shoots with Nikon}. She told me that she really liked the Canon lenses, but found that Nikon was more reliable as far as wear went. She is a school sports photographer, and that takes a rather robust camera. So, I’m Nikon because they don’t really break easy. :)

ME: What website/book/resource has helped you the most in photography? What resources do you recommend?

CHRISTY: Perfect question! I have a ton of places I try to visit regularly for inspiration, or – you guessed it, more tips and research.

A book I highly recommend is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It’s really a must to have on hand when you’re learning, and in the beginning, mind boggling stages of learning manual and all the settings and their effects on your photos. Highly recommend. I go back to it now and then for refreshment!

Websites? Oh I’ve got many, but here are my top few:

Click It Up A Notch – There are hundreds of tutorials on that amazing website! I’ve learned a lot from there! Tips and tricks to the basics of settings, your camera and your skills.

Through Click It Up A Notch I found Bethadilly Photography – Beth has been my biggest inspiration for about half a year, I can’t tell you how much she inspires me! Her Photography itself gives me a ton of inspiration and because of her bethadilly challenge prompts, I am doing a 365 Project in 2016!

Photography Concentrate – Really learned a lot around here, lots of tutorials, and I’m eyeing their ebooks frequently… They have so much knowledge they share!

Hope Engaged is also a site I’ve gone to for her amazing travel and simple life photography! She now also has a business – www.hopephotographie.com – and I really love her style.

Cole’s Classroom is a GREAT resource. Tons of tips there for Lightroom, editing, and photography in general. Awesome stuff!

Other Photographers I go to for inspiration are:

Allix Ruby Photography – She’s so amazing. I could look at her pictures for hours on end…

Rachel Leigh Photography – Also, really love her style.

Hannah Elise Photography – She’s amazing!

Fountain

ME: How do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of your lens onto your camera card in just the way you want?

CHRISTY: One word: Prayer. Seriously – I ask God to continue to guide my hands to know what settings to use, etc. – to take pictures of his beautiful creation. I get so amazed downloading images off the SD card. I really truly am astonished every single time how beautiful the images are that come off, and I actually don’t really know how they get to be so beautiful…

Also – I move my feet. Try different perspectives. It can help tons!

I’m a pretty creative kind of person everyday, so I guess that helps!

The main thing is though, that I’m more of a natural-feel, candid photographer, and so – I try my best to capture things the way they truly are, not how I want them.

Motto :: If at first you don’t succeed, try – TRY again! :)

Baby

ME: What is the single most important piece of advice you have for an aspiring photographer?

CHRISTY: I don’t really have ONE — so here are my most important ones:

1 – Start learning about light – especially if you’re learning portrait photography.

2 – MOVE YOUR FEET. Get different angles. You’ll end up with more variety to edit or choose from.

3 – Practice!!! {makes perfect! you can never get enough!!!}

4 – RESEARCH. My biggest one as you have probably noticed. I really research and try to learn from the mistakes and trial & error of others. It helps me not to make the same simple mistakes and move on faster with my learning to be a better photographer. Learn from people who’ve been there, done that. Hearing/reading their real life experiences is inspirational, and a lot of photographers actually give a ton of advice, if only you know where to look for it. If you’re unsure about something – just look it up, research it! You’re bound to find SOMETHING out there on it, and I promise you, it’ll make you a better photographer.

5 – Try new things often. After a while of not much “people photography” I had decided, I better practice more of that. And now?! I’m pretty much the strongest in people and nature photography. Ask my 4-H photographer teacher, SHE knows all too well! I’m thinking of more night photography as my next area to specialize in a bit more. Having a well rounded skill of several aspects to the art of photography helps all your single aspects. I know, because doing lots of nature photography helped me learn that composition is a huge key – and that’s really beneficial to my portraits!

Lydia

ME: Check out Christy’s website at chriddyannephotography.weebly.com.

P.S. If you are a photographer, I would love to interview you, too! Just send me a note and I’ll get back with you.


About Grace

I love the word “down home”... Of, relating to, or reminiscent of a simple, wholesome, unpretentious lifestyle, especially that associated with the rural southern United States. That's me in a nutshell. I live way out in the country in Texas and enjoy my busy life living in a large family. I love photography, piano, sewing, and, most of all, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. If you died tonight would you go to Heaven of Hell? www.downhome.me/salvation


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