Photographer & Digital Artist, Nature and Landscape Photographer, Cookeville, Tennessee, USA.
EWW: I am curious to know if someone were asked to make a comment about your work, what do you think they would say?
Christopher: Someone recently gave me a great compliment on one of my photos, she said “I was raised in the country just outside Ringgold, Georgia and when I saw your photos I began to cry. You have truly captured the essence of Southern country life. Much thanks for bringing back childhood memories.”
My goal, when taking a photograph, is to try to capture the “essence” of that place and not merely snap a “photo”. That, through my photo, the viewer is taken there in their mind, and even though they may have never been there, by seeing my image, they have a better sense of what that place is like and what I experienced while photographing it.
EWW: How did you get started as a digital artist / photographer?
Christopher: I’ve always been fascinated by photos. As a child growing up, I would usually skip over the text and just focus on the pictures. I was finally able to convince (some might say begged) my mom to buy me a camera when I was a teenager and from there I began “taking pictures”. Through a process of trial and error, reading books and studying other photographers, my photography began to improve, and it has been gradually evolving from there. There’s nothing quite like being out in nature, experiencing the beauty of this world and then can capture a small glimpse of it for others to enjoy. I love it!
EWW: You sometimes use black & white instead of color. Why is this and how do you choose whether an image should be black and white or color?
Christopher: For me, some images are just more appealing and give a better sense of the location or subject when done in monochrome. There are times I will look at a subject or landscape and my mind just says black and white looks better. Other times I will discover in post processing, that the image “tells a better story” or conveys a mood better, in B&W.
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EWW: Excluding subject matter, are there themes that consistently run from one work to the other such as colors, perspective, lighting, movement, style, etc.?
Christopher: That’s something, I realize now, I haven’t really thought a lot about. Of course, my photos are mainly wildlife and landscape but as far as my style, I’m not sure. I try to make use of early morning or late afternoon light as best I can and use leading lines and perspective also. My colors tend to be deep and saturated and my landscapes generally have a “moody” feeling to them and typically are during sunrise or sunset.
EWW: What do you see, or have experienced, as the most effective way for you to market and promote you and your work?
Christopher: The internet, by far, (for me anyway) is the best way. How else can the average photographer get their work out there to hundreds, even thousands of viewers without it? There are so many options with the internet…personal websites, social media, blogs, etc. Most photographers especially amateurs or those just beginning their career, do not have access to galleries or publishers willing to print their work. Social media allows you instant “publication” so to speak. People who would not normally get to see anything you’ve done can see it virtually right after you take the picture if you so choose. Even international viewers. I’m not saying you will immediately gain widespread attention, make money or even get published, just by putting your images on the internet, that may never happen, but considering the alternative, you can see why this is an attractive and inexpensive way to do it.
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EWW: What is your philosophy about social Media. Do you use social media platforms to market and promote your work? If you do use social media platform seems, which one(s) work the best for you?
Christopher: Social media is a great way to promote yourself and your work. As I am employed full-time in the medical field and frequently work long hours, social media is what I count on the most to promote and market my work. I use most all the popular social media platforms…Facebook, Google +, Instagram and twitter. I also have my work on Fine Art America, 500px, and Flicker. Each has its unique qualities, but Facebook probably works for me the best. Through, social media I have been able to show my images to thousands of viewers, both domestic and Internationally, I have sold many prints of my work, received invitations for interviews on blogs like this one, and one of my images will soon be published in a children’s nature book. All with the help of social media.
EWW: Just to wrap up this interview, do you have any final thoughts about you and your work that you think would be important for others to know about?
Christopher: When I was younger my family and I did not have much money to travel, and so we rarely did. When I was a teenager I was inspired by the works of Ansel Adams, Art Wolf John Shaw, and Tom Mangleson. Their artwork took me to the places they had captured in their photos, places I never even dreamed of going. Like those photographers, I want to take people to the places in my photos. I want to inspire them and show them the world without even moving a foot.