Allowing her inner artist child to run wild, Krista possesses the creative freedom to breathe life into her extraordinary artistic visions. Check out this talented artist below.
Say hello to Krista:
Where are you from? Where have you been?
I was raised in Wichita, Kansas which basically means all of my nicknames today are Wizard of Oz related. My passion is travel, so it is hard to pinpoint everywhere I have been on a worldly scale. In the past two years alone, I have visited 21 states and seven countries.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
My most favorite place in the world is Houston, Texas, where I live now. I always knew I belonged in a big city. When it was time for my sister and I to select a college, we put all of the big cities in a hat, shook it up, and drew out Houston. I moved that winter and haven’t left! It is a melting pot of cultures, inspiration, art, big city scenes, rural scenes, and just about everything else in between. I am never bored and I have grown to respect and cherish my time and relationships here. As many places as I have been, I am still always happy to come back home.
How would you describe your visual style?
One word: BIPOLAR! My visual style changes when the wind blows. I am always trying to go above and beyond with landscape and composition, especially with my travel/commercial photography. I am focused on shadows, highlights, lines, and leading the eye around the image. In my fine art photography, I still incorporate these things, however, I typically aim more towards achieving successful photo manipulations with high contrast. Don’t quote me on that, it could change again tomorrow.
Do you get photographer’s block? If so, how do you overcome that?
I have gotten photographer’s block several times throughout my career. I have learned that it is a natural process and these blocks should not discourage you as a creative being, but instead, reset you and encourage you to start fresh. I have a notebook that I am constantly scribbling ridiculous ideas into. Whenever I feel like I need a reset or I am stuck, I use that book to get me going again. I recently started a new photo project that I had written in that book nearly three years ago. An idea that I probably would have forgotten all about if I hadn’t written it down. So, it’s nice to have some sort of archive for creative ideas.
Tell us about your career. How did you get into it?
One day, I took this little maroon Samsung camera to the club and decided I was going to be the next best club photographer. I found a guy there who was shooting and started asking him how to work my own camera. I still can’t believe he helped me (also, he is one of my best friends today…hilarious)! Anyway, that camera didn’t last a week. I was off to the camera store to purchase a Canon Rebel and the rest is history. Today, over 8 years later, and even though I have far left the club scene, I have been honored to be voted Houston’s RAW Photographer of the Year in 2015. I was then published in Elements Magazine for a high-fashion editorial and locally invited to exhibit my work in several museums and galleries around the Houston area for my long-lasting study in documenting the five stages of grief through photography. Earlier this year, my work was even exhibited in Mumbai, India. All of these accomplishments make me giggle, because in my head, I am still just the girl with the maroon Samsung asking a stranger how to make my camera flash in the dark.
What types of photography do you do?
I have made it a point to keep myself undefined and out of a specific photographic category. Most “professionals” would argue that honing in on one avenue and mastering it is the best way to find success in this business. However, I tend to go against the grain in that belief and have truly made all the effort to become a well-rounded photographer and master several different types of imagery. My degree, from the University of Houston, is in Fine Art Photography and Digital Media. After graduation, I began making my living off of Commercial photography (weddings, events, maternity, fashion, etc.). Now that my husband and I are traveling more, I have begun a travel photography blog, as well photographing real estate everywhere we go. I have really taken the time to expand my knowledge in all aspects of my art. My favorite would still be Fine Art (or what people may call, my dark art). I am very passionate about this style because it’s what sets my soul on fire in the creative world. I have recently begun printing my photographs and painting on top of them (yes, I paint too)! This helps to create more abstract work with texture and layering. I am proud of my progress and plan on continuing the unknown adventure in this “untitled” journey.
What’s your philosophy when it comes to being a great photographer?
Photography does not have to be pretty, but it does have to be meaningful. Anyone can go out and take a pretty picture or throw a popular face into the image. Make the kind of art that rips at your insides, the kind of art that takes you into another world or leaves you wondering or lusting or missing or needing or craving. That is the kind of photography (in my opinion) that leaves a lasting impression on others and makes for a great photographer. I am pretty passionate about this subject and feel my blood pressure rising, so let me leave this one here.
How do you express yourself through your photography?
Naturally my work has documented my life, and life (as we all know) is in no way perfect. I have come to respect that fact and I tend to use it to my advantage during my adventures as a business owner and photographer. In other words, I very rarely leave people on a serious note. Instead, I try to incorporate the crazy, weird, goofballish things about myself or my experiences because they are just as important as the work itself. Hell, life just shouldn’t be that serious. I want my audience to know how silly or sarcastic I am, or that I just like to dress up as a different character sometimes, and I make sure it is generously expressed throughout my work.
What photography advice do you wish you had when you were first starting out?
I wish I would have known about my artist child. All of us have an artist child living inside of us. A child that wants to play and experiment and think outside of the box, and just have fun in general! The real world and even ourselves (without us knowing it) beats this child up constantly. We tell our artist child to sit down, be quiet, and act like an adult. Our artist child is always second to our loved ones, finances, and everyday responsibilities. I wish I would have known about my child sooner. I would have let her play more, do more, and love her the way she needed to be loved, which in turn would have made me a better artist, faster. I spent so much time putting my artist child off to my adult life that I wasted a lot of time. So my advice is, let your artist child play, let it take you to all of the wonderful places that the real world can’t, and for once…tell your adult self to sit down and be quiet.
Do you have any projects you’d like to show off?
Always! My favorite one at the time happened just about a month ago. I did the iPhone update and stumbled upon the color invert setting. When I was in the setting, I started taking pictures with it. I know, boring story so far, stay with me and my artist child. I decided to print two really big canvas prints (and about 150 little ones) that were inverted in natural color. Now when you walk into my art room, you literally have to invert your phone and hold the camera up to the image to see it in its original format! It cracks me up to watch people interact with them. Here is one for you to try yourself. Invert your Iphone (settings, general, accessibility, display accommodations, invert) and then look at the picture. FUN HUH? Yes, I am aware that inverting images is in no way a new invention. However, finding ways to make people interact with your work is a great way for you to stand out. Remember kids, we don’t want to be just another frame on the wall.
What has photography done for you as a person? How has it changed you?
Photography has made me a very strong person emotionally, physically, and even as an entrepreneur. This is not one of those careers where you go to school for it and you come out making guaranteed big bucks. Because it is such a competitive/oversaturated business, you really have to fight for your place in this field and stand out as much as you can. For many years, I have studied and worked (pretty much lived and breathed and even at times almost died) for my art. I have learned what it takes to be successful and STAY successful in a forever evolving creative world. Climbing mountains or swimming for hours or hiking for miles to get that perfect shot has kept me physically strong, while I have also learned about how important relationships are in my life and who is really behind my success. It is crucial to have positive, creative, inspiring people around at all times. All of these components have made me the strong person I am today.
What will you be doing five years from now?
Now that I am in a place in my photography career where I am financially stable and independent, I would like to start giving back to the artist community either with my photography or through my knowledge of art. I have no intentions of teaching at this time, but I feel like there are several other ways I could (and plan to) contribute in the next few years. Since I was young, I have always loved helping others (especially children), so I feel like this movement will be an easy one for me to achieve. I have been planning an organization that helps traumatic grief victims cope with their struggles through a photographic medium. Maybe just every Wednesday night, we head out somewhere and make art and forget about all of that hard stuff.
For anyone that wants to get in touch with Krista, here’s some contact information:
Krista, thank you so much for taking the time to interview with us! 🙂
If any artists out there want to collaborate with FStop, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.