Top 10 Interview with a Photographer Series #7: Christine Zona

5

We are happy to introduce you to our Top 10 Interview with a Photographer series! Meet Photographer #7- Christine Zona, as interviewed by Maliha. Her photography experience is enviable - she was the first in-house staff photographer for the Discovery Channel!

Please say a few words about yourself.
I am a professional freelance photographer based out of San Francisco.

In my work as photographer, I enter each shoot with a plan. But when time comes to photograph, I watch for the happy mistakes — those unexpected moments that bring out the mood and beauty of the location and capture the true personality of my subjects. The results are energetic portraits of a stylized real life — that somehow feels bigger than life. I achieve this by balancing the spontaneity and daring style of my Fine Art work with my years of professional experience.

As the first in-house staff photographer for the Discovery Channel, I planned shoots and photographed everything from products and corporate headshots, to destination imagery and full editorial campaigns.

For my Fine Art work — done with plastic cameras — I was named Grand Champion in Urban Outfitters’ “Urban Nomad” Photography Contest. The winning photograph was sold in Urban Outfitters stores nationwide. My work has been featured in two solo shows and exhibited in three international juried competitions. It also won First Place in Lomography’s “Wanderlust” Photo Competition.

I love making the mundane seem otherworldly. My best photographs are full of emotions, textures, and surprises.

What is it that you love about analog photography?
I love the process. And I don’t just mean processing film, which I also love doing, but the overall process of photographing and handling film. There is this simple joy I get out of preparing for a shoot. Walking along side my army of plastic cameras to select the perfect one for the job, then thinking about my subjects, the location, the look I want to achieve, and rummaging through my giant bin of film to find one that best fits my goals. I also love loading my cameras, and feeling the film advance. From the gentle clicks of my Lomo LC-A to the smooth glide of my Holga to the quick pull of my SuperSampler ripcord. And when a roll is done, I have a little cylinder of history in my hands. Every roll is like Christmas to me. I just can’t wait to pick it up from the lab and see what treasures I created. All the resulting images are something that can’t be compared to digital in my opinion. The colors, grain, and textures are immaculate in film, and I will never give up shooting it.

What kind of achievement in photography do you strive for?
Everyone loves to win contests and be recognized for their work, but for me, I just want to continue to be able to do what I love. All that other stuff is just a bonus. I made so many sacrifices to follow my dream to become a professional photographer, and I will do whatever it takes to continue to do so. Photography is my life and I would be lost without it. One day I hope to photograph an area of the rain forest that is going to be destroyed. I want to create a series that is so powerful, they decide to save it and put it under preservation.

What kind of film camera do you usually use?
All of my film cameras are plastic. My collection more than doubled after winning the Urban Outfitters’ “Urban Nomad” contest, which makes choosing a ‘go-to’ camera rather difficult for me. Even though I have so many different ones, I know all my cameras very well, because they are like family to me. Each one has a different personality and reacts uniquely in certain situations. If I had to pick I would say I use my Holga (square format), Diana with the 35mm Back (panoramic/sprocket holes), and my Horizon Perfekt quite frequently. Right now I am trying to procure a used Bronica medium format 645 with 80mm lens – it would be my first non plastic film camera.

Male nudes or female nudes?
Both. I think the human form is beautiful in both sexes. We are all so different. But I never photograph nudes. I like fashion way too much to ever sacrifice removing it from my photographs.

If you could take a picture of just about anything RIGHT NOW, what would it be?
Conan O’Brien. I absolutely adore this man. I think he is the cat’s pajamas. I have loved him since he first started on Late Night with his drab set and crazy hairdo. Whenever his name is mentioned I smile – he is hysterical! I think his fiery red hair, playful personality, and great sense of humor would make for amazing portraits and one heck of a shoot. Maybe if I tweet this interview to him he will let me photograph him. A girl can dream. sigh

If you could be anything else other than a photographer, what would you be?
I don’t think I would want to be anything else. However, I always wanted to be able to sing, draw/paint, and be a master of mix martial arts. Not saying I want to do these things as my career, I am just jealous of people who have these talents and would love to have them.

I think that’s why I love photography so much, it’s my way to sing about adventures I have been on and paint moments in time through my lens. Not sure how to connect mix martial arts, it’s just something I find fascinating. :)

Tell us about a unique moment with your camera.
I went to Six Flags one summer with my dearest friend and his two daughters. I decided to take my Holga, since I was dying to take it with me on a ride. The first attempt I was told I wasn’t allowed to bring anything loose on the coaster. I really wanted to do this so I had to call upon my amateur ninja skills (hey, I tied it in!). I shoved my bulky Holga under my sweatshirt until I was seated. When the operator wasn’t looking I took it out, slipped the strap around my ankle and hid the camera under my pant leg. They never noticed – success!

Photographing on roller-coaster was much harder than I thought, it was so jerky! I couldn’t quite see through the viewfinder or tell how far I was advancing the film. I just had to guess, but it was such a rush! Snapping, winding, and twirling, flying around upside down. Somehow I managed to shoot a whole roll during the very short ride. One photo of the coaster going around the loop came out so well I put it into my portfolio. I have to say, it doesn’t get any more in the moment than that.

Color or black and white photography?
Both. Some situations call for color and some black and white. With color I usually cross-process my film. With black and white I try to shoot 400 or faster when lighting allows. I just love having film grain in my black and white photos.

Do you think photography has somehow shaped your life? If so, then how?
Most Definitely. I owe everything to photography. I have trouble expressing myself with words. Writing doesn’t come naturally to me like it does for most people. I’m kinda struggling to answer the questions for this interview. Photography has helped me express my thoughts, my dreams, and my views of the world. I think if I had the time I would have answered each of these questions with a series of images.

Photographer Info:
Christine Zona
732.547.7620
visit Christine's website
visit Christine's blog
follow Christine in twitter

Mahila’s LomoHome: http://lomography.com/homes/mahila

written by maliha on 2010-07-14 in #lifestyle #christine-zona #usa #news #interview #photographer #california

5 Comments

  1. maliha
    maliha ·

    Thanks Christine for the great interview, and thanks Lomography for publishing the interview :)

  2. pona311
    pona311 ·

    Thank you Maliha and Lomography! Such an honor!

  3. maliha
    maliha ·

    Lomography staff, the link to the blog is not working!
    Anyone trying to access Christine's blog, it can be found here:: blog.czona.com/

  4. pona311
    pona311 ·

    Thanks Maliha. Also, here is the rollercoaster image incase anyone is interested in seeing it.

    www.lomography.com/homes/pona311/photos/11559800

  5. grubkat
    grubkat ·

    Great, great interview.

More Interesting Articles

  • Incredible Works on the Petzval Lens by Emily Soto

    written by givesmehell on 2015-03-24 in #people #lomoamigos
    Incredible Works on the Petzval Lens by Emily Soto

    Emily Soto is an accomplished fashion photographer based in New York City. Soto is known for her unique style and professional aptitude and she is one of the top names requested by fashion editors. Soto shot a series of photographs with the Petzval Lens. Let’s find out more through this exclusive interview and view her beautiful series!

    5
  • Transient Living: Getting to Know the Neighborhood in Denver, Colorado

    written by maliha on 2014-11-12 in #world #locations
    Transient Living: Getting to Know the Neighborhood in Denver, Colorado

    <i>Editor's Note: The past several years saw <b><a href="http://www.lomography.com/homes/maliha">Maliha</a></b> frequently moving from one place to another, a sort of nomad who likes the thrill of starting anew and finding her place in every city she stays at. In the last decade she has spent in the USA, Maliha has stayed at six different cities in five different states. Currently, Maliha is based in Denver, Colorado, and "Transient Living," a new series in the Lomography magazine, documents her experiences and the ways that she has come to call this city her home.</i>

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Justine Jugnet

    written by mpflawer on 2015-03-25 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Justine Jugnet

    Justine Jugnet is a French photographer based in Lyon who loves fashion photography. She recently took the Petzval lens to shoot with in Paris. Get to know more about her and her wonderful way of shooting the world around her in this exclusive interview.

    6
  • Shop News

    Last Day: Free Camera Deal

    Last Day: Free Camera Deal

    Last day of the free camera deal today! Grab films now worth 99 EUR/USD/GBP and get your free Diana Mini or Diana F+ Love Letters for free!

  • Brigette Bloom Talks 'Float On,' Film Soaking

    written by chooolss on 2014-08-07 in #lifestyle
    Brigette Bloom Talks 'Float On,' Film Soaking

    Her choice of soak for her photographic series "Float On" may not be everybody's cup of tea, but it can't be denied that something so unique deserves a spot in the limelight. During a recent chat with Brigette Bloom, the outlandishly experimental film photographer eagerly shared her inspiration for the series, process (a tipster!), and what she thought of people's reactions over her work, among other things. Check out the exclusive interview after the cut!

    5
  • Petzval Artist : Black & White Fashion Photos by Basilio Silva

    written by shibuya on 2014-06-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist : Black & White Fashion Photos by Basilio Silva

    Enriched by many years of experience as a professional photographer, Basilio Silva from Buenos Aires has become a fashion photographer who shoots quirky and bold pictures. He tried shooting with the new Petzval lens and finally, here we are, happy to share this beautiful series of black & white bokeh swirling pictures.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Stephen Chin

    written by edwinchau on 2014-12-22 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Singapore's Stephen Chin

    Stephen Chin’s expertise covers architectural, commercial, food, wedding and portrait photography. The duly licensed photographer from Singapore has been shooting for a decade yet continuously strives to up the ante through the continuous discovery and mastery of new techniques. He took a step back and experimented with the new Petzval lens recently, and came up with such striking results.

  • Shop News

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras! Don't miss the 20% discount!

  • An Interview with Brazilian Photographer Letícia Godoy

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2014-04-05 in #people #lomoamigos
    An Interview with  Brazilian Photographer Letícia Godoy

    Letícia Godoy is a photographer based in São Paulo, Brazil. As one of supporters on Kickstarter, she now enjoys using the new Petzval Lens for her work. After sharing some shots that she took with the Petzval lens, she graciously granted our request for an interview, and gladly answered our questions. Read on to learn about Letícia Godoy and her experience with the Lomography x Zenit new Petzval Lens.

  • Petzval Artist: Portraits from Britta Burger

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-06-13 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist: Portraits from Britta Burger

    Meet film photographer, fashion editor, and stylist Britta Burger and see a few of her top-notch portraits taken with the New Lomography Petzval Lens.

  • Top Photo Uploaders of 2014

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-12-27 in #news
    Top Photo Uploaders of 2014

    We'd like to thank everyone for continuously capturing precious moments on photographs and sharing them with all of us. Each of your photographs and albums brought happiness and inspiration to everyone in the community. These lomographers take the spotlight for their ceaseless passion for photography and for their generosity in sharing every step of their analogue adventure. Meet our top photo uploaders of 2014.

    5
  • Shop News

    Summer Inspired Camera at 20% off

    Summer Inspired Camera at 20% off

    The brazilian summer inspired camera is now at 20% off! You can now celebrate life in full color and treasure every culture in a snap! This summer is no exception; make sure you’re prepared to capture all the sporty action with the Fisheye No.2 Brazilian Summer Camera!

  • Lomo'Instant First Impressions: mamablue

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-12-04 in #lifestyle
    Lomo'Instant First Impressions: mamablue

    Mamablue has been shooting with her two Polaroid cameras for years. She's no stranger to instant photography but the Lomo'Instant camera challenged her to get even more creative. Have a look at her first Lomo'Instant snapshots and her quick tip on using the camera's close-up feature.

    2
  • Petzval Amigo: Ellie Smith

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-07 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Amigo: Ellie Smith

    Ellie Smith is a London-based fashion and portrait photographer with a real talent for taking simple and beautiful portraits. Recently, she took the Petzval Art Lens to the streets of East London to capture some urban shots. Read on for the full interview and see her striking photographs.

    1
  • Colorful Berlin: Zoë Noble Captures Sparkling City Lights with the Petzval Lens

    written by zonderbar on 2015-01-23 in #people #lomoamigos
    Colorful Berlin: Zoë Noble Captures Sparkling City Lights with the Petzval Lens

    Self-taught photographer Zoë Noble who also runs überlin, a platform for Berlin’s creative professionals,grabbed the opportunity to test the New Petzval Lens last month. The city was full of colorful and shiny Christmas lights, and Zoë couldn't resist the urge to capture the visual spectacle with the Petzval Lens. She speaks of her experience in this exclusive interview.