Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Christine Szeredy, a professional photographer who specializes in capturing portrait and fashion photos for editorial and advertising.
How would you describe your photographic style?
My favorite thing is to work in various locations, with the goal of creating a connection between the model and the surroundings. I tend to switch between dramatic and being over the top to simplicity depending on location, clothing and intent of the picture.
How did you get into fashion photography?
I had an interesting start from studying engineering and architecture to suddenly changing my focus to fashion photography. I never really planned it out, it just sort of happened. I think the reason I ended up in fashion is that I love every aspect of it from the clothing to modeling and makeup.
What are the most difficult aspects of professional fashion photography?
I think the biggest challenge is finding the perfect team and building a name for yourself. The team for a fashion photographer usually involves a hair and makeup artist and a stylist. There has to be absolute harmony in this group in order to benefit from each others’ creativity. The better the team works together the better the outcome.
Having a solid portfolio is an ongoing process, as your skills improve you end up constantly updating your marketing materials.
Where do you get your creative inspiration?
My inspiration stems from my daily life, movies and friends.
What is typically in your camera bag?
I like to use Profoto – it is a very reliable light source that has given me very good results. Luckily they have a great student program that makes it affordable. I also use some alien bees. My camera of choice is a Canon 5D Mark ll. My favorite lens is the 70-200mm and a 100mm. A Rosco Color Effects Kit that has had the most imported filters and a ColorChecker Classic by x-rite photo. I also carry a emergency back with gaffer tape, flash light, Dust off, a 100 feet extension cord, latex gloves, user manuals for all the equipment I am using, bobby pins, safety needles, rubber bands, stockings, and so on.
What are you looking forward to purchasing next?
Hmm…difficult question, there are a couple of things I would like to have. I am currently looking into buying some light enhancer products from Sunbounce, they work very well and are easy to use on location – would make my life much easier.
Did you have any formal training in photography?
I am actually currently enrolled in the Academy of Art University for a Masters in Fine Art – Photography.
Do you post-process your photos?
I like to use Adobe Lightroom to organizing my files and Adobe Photoshop for retouching. Occasionally, I use some software from Canon that seems to give me better results with my raw files.
What has been your favorite photo location or session?
My favorite location was inside an old mill close to Boone, NC, mainly because it involved one off my favorite models and one of my best friends – Jennifer Kenner. It was a perfect shoot and we have a ton of fun memories from that day. Jen is partly native American (mainly Cherokee), which gives her a very unique look. For the shoot, I used a quantum flash and a 6 foot reflector, my Canon 5D and a 24-105mm lens.
What lies ahead for you?
Right now I am working on a couple things. One is a blog I started for fashion photographers that has interviews with stylist etc. The goal of the blog is to help other photographers get started or find information about people in this business. I just finished an interview with Selina Maitreya a photography consultant about how to be success in commercial photography.
The other big project I am working on has nothing to do with fashion it is a personal Project in conjunction with Helping Portraits.
What advice do you have for other aspiring fashion photographers?
The best advice a photographer gave me was this: If you think you are the best you will start becoming worse because art is a constant development. He also told me to Shoot, shoot, shoot, and shoot as much you possibly can. The more you shoot, the more experienced you become. If you don’t have a job or assignment – create one! I am always experimenting with light – trying to refine my techniques and find new ways of using light creatively. It keeps your mind fresh. Collect pictures and look for techniques you like and dislike. It helped me to improve and find my own style.
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