Christine Blackburne is a commercial still life photographer based in New York. She works primarily in the fashion, cosmetics, and jewelry sectors, bringing her stylish use of colour and light to her images.
This conversation moves from Christine’s origins as an assistant photographer, to how she sets up her still life shoots, and a bit about working with an agent and managing workflow.
Click through to the full blog post to see a few of Christine’s images, and check out her site, christineblackburne.com, to see even more.
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Show Notes & Links
- Christine’s studio is located in the South Street Seaport area of Manhattan
- Southwark, London
- Christine shoots most things that don’t move like cosmetics, jewelry
- Christine went to Rochester Institute of Technology, spent time with objects
- Most fashion photographers are extroverted
- Many photographers lately have no fixed location. Rented gear, hired location.
- Make-up and jewelry is very reflective. Bright. Shiny. Objects.
- Fashion photography “is more about finding a photograph rather than creating one”
- Editorial is more free than commercial shoots
- Word of Mouth is the best way to get clients
- Make-up doesn’t always cooperate, so it’s nice to have freedom
- Christine’s water-splash series
- Dexter’s roll of knives
- Bill Wadman’s episode on The Busy Creator Podcast
- MacGuyver-ing — mad science involved in still-life work
- “Snot”, the rubbery glue used in commercial printing
- “Word-of-Mouth Nirvana” where clients call you.
- We can’t all be Saul Colt, previous podcast guest
- Merge Left, Christine’s Agents
- Christine’s popsicle images
- The Narcissism of Minor Differences
- Energy management vs. time management, a recurring theme on The Busy Creator Podcast
- Seasons, another recurring theme (as mentioned by Blake Stratton and Todd Henry)
- “There time to reap and a time to plant.” Prescott paraphrasing Todd Henry paraphrasing Ecclesiastes 3:2
- Fuji GX680, nearly extinct (available on eBay)
- Profoto & Broncolor lights
- Underlit soft box
- Knives and Palette Knives
- Stay away from sketches. Lay things out the day before a shoot.
- Do as much in-camera as humanly possible
- Shoot colourful objects against white to get a reference
- Let your agents play “bad cop”
- Aim for a portfolio featuring about 20 final images
- Bring a printed portfolio for your main work, but use your iPad for the case studies and deeper cuts
“Don’t get an agent until you’re so busy you need that extra set of hands.”
- Calibrate your monitor bi-weekly
- Be flexible (No routine! Not really.)
- Keep one day per week for your own personal work, or office housekeeping
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