London-based photographer, Christina Smith is becoming considerably better known for her delicate, yet striking work within both portraiture and fashion. Working predominantly without colour, with an approach that is full of classicism and visual depth, BITE profiles her to discover more.
1) Full name? Christina Smith.
2) What do you get from a square photo that you don’t get from other formats? I like to use the square format for shooting people for the simple reason that, to me, I can compose the frame much easier when a person is standing vertically compared to the standard rectangular shape -particularly as shooting portraiture (rather than landscape) doesn’t come naturally to me. When it comes to shooting landscapes though, I prefer using a more landscape shape.
3) What is your earliest memory of photography? My earliest memory of photography is borrowing my dad’s cameras to take photographs at car meets with him. He has kept the first photograph I ever took so that is also a reminder.
4) Within your fashion work, I get a strong feeling of “waiting”; your subjects seem to be waiting for something. Is that deliberate? That isn’t deliberate, I haven’t noticed it before.
5) What inspires you the most (and or least)? I am inspired most by other photographers’ work, films and the subject on the day, as well as the vision of the stylist and other contributors to the shoot.
6) What is the last photo you took? Yesterday I took photos of the band Bo Ningen for i-D. They put on their ‘stage clothes’ and stood in the freezing cold with the wind blowing their knee-length hair while doing yoga type poses. They were really inspiring!
7) You’re know mainly for your fashion and portrait work, but you have also shot a large amount of landscape work; how do the two areas compare (from the point of view of the photographer)? With landscapes I often look for low light, whereas with fashion and portraits I usually want as much light as I can get. For landscape I like to create something to make it more interesting, whereas fashion and portraits are more about capturing a moment rather than trying to create it. But with both subjects it’s about getting something which cannot fully be seen at the time of the shot.
8) What’s more important; darkness or light? Light.