Photographer Spotlight Interview with Christie-Lee Johnston Photography
What is your background and how did you get into photography?
I actually fell in love with photography in high school. I was lucky that my high school had a great Media department.
We shot black and white film and developed the photos ourselves in the school’s dark room.
I spent 8 years in finance before finally taking the plunge and running my business as my main source of income in January 2014. The rest is history and Christie-Lee Photography was born!
What type of photography do you shoot?
I specialise in maternity, newborn and babies up to two years old.
What is your favourite type of photography?
Portraiture, specifically babies of course! My favourite ages are newborn and when they’ve just learned to sit.
What is your photographic style? How did you develop this style?
I love capturing babies’ unique personalities and using props and pops of colour in my images.
I used to try to stick to neutrals only but found myself buying coloured props, layers and textures that would sneak their way into my photos. I’ve since embraced it and love using colour in my work.
What is in your photography kit?
I use my 5D Mk3, Canon 50mm 1.4, Sigma 35mm 1.4, 100mm 1.8L macro and Expo Disk in my newborn sessions. I also have a 70-200 f2.8L for when I venture outside my studio and a 5D Mk2 as my back up. I primarily use natural light but do have Jinbei continuous lighting for those dark days.
What is one piece of photography kit you just couldn’t live without?
I’m a photographer, so I NEED everything haha. I do love how my Mk3 handles high ISO which is important since I’m primarily a natural light photographer.
What post processing tools/software do you use?
ACR and Photoshop.
What is your best photography tip and post processing tip?
Do the hard work in camera. Learn how to nail the photo in camera and use processing to polish. Don’t rely on Photoshop to “fix” a bad photo.
What was your greatest challenge so far as a professional photographer?
My most challenging session so far would have to be when I was lucky enough to photograph newborn triplet girls.
I had two assistants and was very prepared for the session, but getting 3 babies asleep and comfortable and getting them all posed perfectly definitely pushed my skills.
They’re gorgeous girls and I’m looking forward to documenting their growth, I’m sure their 6 month session and cake smash will present their own unique set of challenges!
What is your favourite InkFX medium to have your work printed on & why?
I love InkFX canvases. The texture is so fine, you can see every detail. I love knowing I’m providing my clients with a gorgeous product that will last them a lifetime.
If you were able to give any advice or recommendations to someone starting out in their Photography career what would it be?
Learn the business of photography. Work out your costs, hourly rate, marketing etc. Being a great photographer isn’t enough to be successful as a professional, you need to be a business owner first and foremost. It’s something I’ll always be working on improving.
Any last words of wisdom or advice?
Find what you love to shoot! Since specialising in maternity, newborn and baby photography I haven’t looked back and it’s really allowed me to hone my skills in these specific areas.
Christie-Lee Johnston Photography
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