Cris will be judging our “Strength and Courage” submissions and will select 15 of her faves for our August 15 on 15 post. This theme is especially close to our hearts while we support our By The Light family member’s strong and courageous breast cancer journey.
WELCOME CRIS – we are so excited to have you here!
Tell us a little about you and when your photography journey began
My name is Cris Stephens. I am from Argentina. My family is Italian. I lived in Texas for the last 14 years. Mom of 2 and married for more than 12 years. I am an accountant and worked in the oil and gas industry for more than 12 years. “retired” 3 years ago, and finally doing full time what I love the most: being a mom and a photographer. Despite photography and design are my passions since I am very young, I was able to get my hands on a camera around 4 years ago. And never stopped since then. I am a self taught photographer that enjoys natural light and dramatic black and whites the most. Love photographers that take risks, love imperfections, and see the art side of this above all. Love seeing people through their work. Being true to myself is my focus. Enjoying and having fun always.
If you could express your vision into words, what would they be?
Freedom, art, unique, free soul. Tell us why as an artist, natural light photography is your favorite. because it brings so much more to the table. The highlights and shades in all the different natural lights tell thousand of stories by themselves. And I love that. Just the same day, the same location, at different times of the day, give you so so so much to be captured. Just looking at the light. It is fantastic. It is a gift from God that I have been learning to appreciate with other eyes.
Photoshop or Lightroom?
PS (and camera raw) 100%. I do not edit in batch. It is all custom made. One by one.
Favourite type of light to shoot in?
My favorite type of light to shoot is dramatic light (low light) for dramatic portraiture. And also, open shade facing the source of light. I love this because you can capture your subjects with beautiful sharp details and also, in close ups, you can see the most beautiful catchlights ever.
Have you ever found yourself in a creative slump, and if so, what did/do you do to recover?
I had foot surgery on December 12. Even wanting to take pictures and being all inspired, I could not. I hurt so much. I was two months in bed and pretty much 4 months not being able to move. Still now, my feet hurt when I try to do certain things. So, it arrived a point, that the pain really went for my inspirational side. I have never, in 3 years, put my camera down. This made me put it down and arrived a point that I did not want to take pictures. It was emotional devastating. It was a really hard time. I was off FB for a couple of months, and suddenly I felt like I did not exist anymore. Like nobody remember me, nor my work. I was sad and very hard. Little by little I push myself to pick the camera up again. But the main thing that pushed me was that I joined a group of photographer friends to do a personal photography project called “100 days of summer”. To take one picture per day since May 23 2014. That really changed it all for me. I pushed myself to always grab my camera (besides clients). Every day. And not only I am preparing a beautiful book to be printed at the end of the summer but also, I am taking pictures again. I am feeling inspired with the work of other photographer friends. I am feeling inspired with my own when I see the moments captured. I want more. So joining a project could be a good idea to push yourself.