ALM's Interview Series | "Of Light and Lens Photography"

In this interview series "A Little Morocco" thought we would check in with some of our favourite people to see "why they love to do what they love to do" and today's guest is the wonderful Kristina from "Of Light and Lens Photography"

Kristina Interview | Of Light and Lens Photography

At the end of a long day photographing our latest "A Little Morocco" Vintage Moroccan Rug collection, Kristina was kind enough to put her camera down to answer 5 questions to give us a tiny glimpse into understanding what makes her so good at what she does as a photographer... 

ALM: "Welcome Kristina, thanks for taking a moment to let us know a little bit about what you do and why you do it. I thought that it'll be really great to find out what makes you tick, so what is it about photography that you love?"

Kristina: "I like that it makes something so beautiful at the end like an image. It captures a moment or an object and it can just produce something so beautiful but at the same time it's got so much technical stuff behind it. So it satisfies both parts of me. It satisfies my science brain in liking technical stuff and also the artsy side of me.  I like the pretties, but I like pushing buttons to create those pretties."

ALM: "So both your technical and artistic needs are being met, that's so wonderful. So next question, how did you know you wanted to be a photographer?"

Kristina: "I've always liked photography and always had an interest and I got my first digital camera when a one megapixel camera cost over $600 for a Kodak point and shoot.  But I never believed I could do it as a career, so it's always been a hobby until fairly recently.  And even now I sometimes think 'What am I doing? This can't be real!' But yeah I am here now."

ALM: "OK so this question is a doozy: what is your favourite photographic subject?"

Kristina: "Well this is my problem, these days it really pays to be a specialist because then people believe that you're an expert in your field. And people often believe you can't be good at all things, that 'jack of all trades and master of none' thing. But my problem is I like taking photos of so many different things. I like the variety and each of them brings a different challenge. So yeah I have trouble pinning down a favourite subject.  I love taking photos of dancers  because they're beautiful on stage where you can get some fantastic moments of freezing the motion. And then in the studio you can be more creative. Then I love doing things like taking photos of kids to catch those moments in time and love taking photos of pets.  Because these are important in our lives and are ever changing and it's important to capture it. And then I get a buzz out of the technical challenges of a product shoot like this.  So really I don't have a favourite subject. I like too many things and I can't decide what to focus on.

ALM: "That's very diplomatic and that also leads me to my next question which is...is there a place, a thing, or a person that you've always wanted to photograph and has eluded you until now, possibly because they were beautiful or intriguing and yet you couldn't make it happen."

Kristina: "There's so much I haven't done. I suppose I would love to travel more with the camera but I don't have the time. My husband and I travelled when we were younger with cameras, but now, having learnt so much more technique, it would be different, and so yeah, I would like to travel. I've not been to Egypt and Morocco and other similar places yet so that would be good.  Travel is the thing that would say is the subject that eludes me at the moment.  I don't particularly aspire to take any particular famous person's photo.  I like taking photos of all kinds of people because "all" people are interesting to me.  And I already get to do that!"

ALM: "As an aside question, if you had to choose between photographing a stunningly beautiful young woman and an older woman with wrinkles and showing the ravages of time, what would be more appealing to you to photograph?"

Kristina: "Well the beautiful woman is easier because, she's already beautiful and she probably knows it, although we all have our own little hang-ups.  And it's easier to have her relax for the camera.  Whereas the older woman, it's generally harder to overcome her insecurities about how she looks, so I like the challenge of that more, and it also makes me more nervous with shooting the older woman because I know it would mean so much more to her to do a really good job, and that's the beautiful thing."

Vintage Moroccan Decor - Timber Herb Grinder Mortar and Pestle
ALM: "Which is why I love you, because at A Little Morocco, our pieces are "the old intriguing woman" and it's not the beautiful young easy to photograph subject, it's the hard difficult challenging stuff that we ask you to photograph. Because they are vintage and have those ravages of time showing."

Kristina: "But that's precisely what makes it more interesting than that the polished new stuff that is so sterile.  And especially photographing in situ like today's shoot - it brings its own challenges but it keeps everything in character, so its great fun to shoot these vintage pieces."

ALM: "Lovely!  And we especially love how you bring our products to life, which is part of the magic of being a great photographer. But what is it about Moroccan Homewares that you found interesting to shoot, and particularly any difficulties, like possibly the toes thing?"

Kristina: "Haha the toe thing, that was difficult, and yes it's hard trying fit an entire rug into a frame and not get your toes in the shot.  I had to use a wide angle lens to fit the whole rug in, but then I'm getting my toes or something else in the shot, which is challenging.  I did also took some photos of your vintage teapots and the reflections were another huge technical challenge. While I like the fingerprints that showed up in those teapot shots, as it added character,  the reflection of my camera and me did not add the desired character!  So another challenging subject."

ALM: "I think you had another challenge to contend with, I'm a challenge too...I'm extremely vocal about what look and shot style we are aiming for so I hope that doesn't play to hard on your tasks at hand?"

Kristina: "Actually that's not a challenge.  It's good because you know what you like and you've got a vision. For me, if I've got a client who doesn't know what they want or have that vision, it's harder because they're relying on me to bring everything. And yeah I have ideas, but it's not my story. It's your story and so if you have your aims and visions clearly planned out it makes the job so much easier.

I like to also bring the laptop and show the images of the shots live as we are shooting them, that way we can easily see what's happening instead of peering in the back of my camera. That way a client can check and say "yeah this is what I'm after". It's easier in the studio to shoot with all the tools at hand of course, compared to for an on location shoot where it is a bit of extra gear to lug and set up.  But I honestly think it's worth taking the trouble to bring it and have that visibility for the client. It makes it easier and allows for on the spot input and that collaboration that you need for great results"

ALM: "Well that's our 5 questions we had for you and it's been really wonderful to have you take the time to let us into your world.  We know it doesn't stop here today for you, with copious amounts of time now required to edit these wonderful shots you've taken today.  So from our ALM team, a huge thank you and we believe in your talents as a fabulous photographer and look forward to you coming on a journey with us to Morocco in the near future.  Once again shukran Kristina, it's been an exhausting but hugely fun shoot today."
Kristina: "Yes lots more work needs to go into the production of these fabulous shots, but I like to take the time to ensure that the product I'm sending out is wonderful and ready to go.  And it was fun for me today too. And yes, let's plan for Morocco!"
Click here if you'd like to book Kristina or find out more about "Of Light and Lens Photography".  She is located in Brisbane and has a wonderful portfolio of work available to view on her website.