interview with christina greve

hello again! so, as i told you in the last post, i have no internet connection, which i think will last for the whole week (just great!) and as this started last thursday i had no chance of publishing the last interview about {portrait photography}, with the fabulous and elegant {christina greve}. you can also read the previous interviews, with {arlyne vanhook} & {christine pobke} and i bet that you will learn something from them too! i love creating these series of interviews, because other than allowing me to learn with them, it feels good to know that i am going almost behind the scenes with these great photographers, allowing you to sneak-peek into their thoughts, opinions and choices! so, the final interview is with christina greve from the {divas and dreams} website & blog. i love christina’s work so much… i would love to have my place on her workshop, because i know it would be definitely a whole new world for me, concerning portrait photography. i love the way she goes into all those details, that remind you that being a good photographer, mainly a portrait one, is about being really demanding on the details, so that your client feels good about your work, and above all… it must be really good to make some women feel good about themselves, after the shooting. i think it is about self-confidence.

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hello, how are you christina? thank you so much for being here today… it is such an honor for me! so, i asked you to be a guest because you are quite a reference in portrait photography, can you describe your path until now?
it started when i was a teenager (i guess everything does..smile). i got my own analog camera at 13 after saving for month. i learned everything about developing my own pictures in the darkroom and was very excited, but i really dreamed about being a fashion designer, and at the age of only 15 i hosted my own fashion show (!!) i was so ambitious… but my parents always told me that it was {impossible} to make a living by being an artist and only a few “made it” to the top. i know they meant it in a good way and just wanted me to get a good secure education, so after a few years in art school i gave in and gave up believing in myself. i took a good education, i got married and got 3 lovely kids… everything creative seemed far away and i started my own psychology clinic and had many great years work with coaching, mindfulness, cognitive therapy and meditation. but then a few years ago i lost a loved one and during the grieving process i picked up a digital camera. it gave me so much comfort and support during that very hard time in my life and it helped me rediscover how much being creative meant to me. today i’m a full time portrait and boudoir photographer.

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why do you chose to be a photographer and what made you focus on portraits?
basically i chose to be a photographer because it makes me {jump} out of bed every morning with a big smile on my face. i feel like a child again – playing and having fun. it gives me so much energy to be able to work with people and be creative at the same time. i photograph women who wish a unique and personal portrait. i call the style diva portraiture and boudoir. the first is full of glamour and girl power – often with a twist of humour or romance. boudoir is sensual pictures, where you see the woman wearing only something small, or maybe even in the nude. it’s a peek into her bedroom, where she seems vulnerable, but definitely also sensual and full of power. i love people and i’m very curious about what they are all about, so it just came naturally to me to photograph women. my style is very feminine, sensual and dreamy so it does not really go well with male portraits (!!) therefore i only focus on women.

what do you consider to be the secrets for a beautiful photo session?
being so well prepared that i can relax and just concentrate about having fun, laugh and play.

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what inspires you to make your work, what drives you to create the images you create?
working with people and photography means, that i manage my own time, and for that i am deeply grateful. it’s a feeling of constant movement or flow. i learn something new every day, whether it’s about people, myself or my creative processes. the gratitude and joy that i feel for my job, gives me a sense of purpose with my life. if i can make a difference for just one woman, whose self hatred turns into self love, then everything is worthwhile. my message for women is, that they need to embrace themselves with lots of love. i want women to see all their possibilities. each and every woman is unique and has her own personal strength, charm and dreams. i want women to discover that and praise it. we only have this one life, and if we want to make the most of it, we have to love ourselves and realize, that we are already perfect exactly as we are.

the most beautiful place to host a photo session is…
ohh there are so many places, but it guess i would say a pretty field or the beach in the golden hours (just before the sun goes down).

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now, talking about a more technical point of view, tell me… what equipment do you use?
i shoot with canon eos 7d and often have either a canon 550d or a analog camera as a second one – just to create different perspectives. i’m very close to invest in a canon 5d but i’m not sure my husband agrees (ah!)

what do you carry in your bag for photo sessions?
two cameras, a 50 mm 1.4f, a 85 mm 1.2f, a tripod, a reflector, extra memory cards, lots of accessories, props and clothes.

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what do you consider to be a challenge on a photo session and how do you face that challenge?
working in small rooms, which i do a lot…sigh… i try to get large hotel suites for boudoir. small rooms are okay for just portraits.

what editing program do you use?
i {love} to edit and retouch, it’s my meditation, so i got almost all programs: photoshop elements, lightroom, capture one, apple apature and i just ordered photoshop cs5. i look at my photo and ask myself which program would be best to work in depending on what result i want to create. i started my post processing journey in picnic.com though – an online program i still think is great – i will recommend it for beginners who are a bit insecure about photoshop.

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can you describe your services and what do they include?
besides photographing women, shooting portraits, boudoir and nude i also run online photography workshops and at the moment i’m working on a portrait retouch video series/workbook which will be release later this year. oh and then i have my beloved blog as well (!).

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so tell me, what do you think about christina’s work? did you know this lady already? i love the elegance in all her photo shoots, the romance, the flowing dresses, the huge hats… the delicate movements… i have so much to learn from her! well, though i do not own a canon 7d, i was pleased to know that she also carries the canon 550d, which is the same as i have. and of course, a 50mm is always a fabulous lens. though i bought the 1.8, instead of the so famous 1.4, i am so happy with the results! you can explore more of her work on her {website} and also read her {blog} where she shares some tutorials, inspirational boards, sets theme based photo challenges and also gives information about her workshops!

images: christina greve via divas and dreams blog (click on each image for further details)

4 comments

  1. I didn’t know her works myself and now I’m a fan!!! Love her portraits, thank you for sharing this Dear Twiggs :)

  2. Also I love the elegance in her photo shoots, are just amazing.
    I really like her blog, but I have too much to learn from her!

    This is a really beautiful interview :)

  3. Lovely interview. I first found Christina’s blog while taking the Blogging your way course run by Holly Becker , and fell in love with her photography right there and then, and I’ll be taking her photography course in August which I am really looking forwards to. .

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