Meet Christina Emilie Shields, an NYC-based photographer who captured our Series emerging designers in their studios/workspaces for The Style Line X Young & Able: Style A - Z Series. Christina is an established street style, fashion, and portrait photographer.
Where are you from originally? What do you do?
I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA until recently. I moved to NYC 3 months ago and work between both cities! In Pittsburgh I was the lead on-figure fashion photographer at ModCloth. Currently in New York I am a freelance photographer contributing to Homepolish and The Style Line.
How were you first exposed to photography?
It didn't happen right away! I declared my major as Accounting my freshman year of college and found it wasn't truly what I wanted to pursue. I needed a creative outlet. I explored graphic design, writing, interior design, until finally I took a photography course and automatically felt at home. Still uncertain of my career, I took up photography any chance I had. I started a photography internship with a local news station which opened the doors to other possibilities. Friends started asking me to photograph portraits and by the end of my senior year, I had accidentally created my own photography business. I ended up graduating with a degree in Marketing and was faced with the decision of which career route to take. I chose photography.
What subjects do you enjoy shooting the most? Is there a separation between your professional and personal work?
People! The connection between subject and photographer in order to portray a specific emotion is where my passion lies. There is definitely a separation between my professional and personal work. My professional work tends to sway towards lifestyle and my personal work is focused on editorial fashion stories.
In your opinion or from your experience, what makes a portrait or image powerful?
From my experience, it's not just the image but the process behind it. There is more than what meets the eye in photography and I think that is what creates power in an image. From stylists, to makeup artists, to models or objects, the purpose of the image is what makes it powerful.
Who/what are your influences?
My first fashion inspiration was international photographer, Lara Jade. I attended her NYC workshop 3 years ago and I felt connected to her work in the sense of it's style and conception. She's a young female photographer like myself and I admire her successes. My other influences are vintage eras.
What’s your typical work day like?
If I'm not shooting I'm normally on my computer emailing and editing- oh and Instagramming! Whoever said being a photographer is 20% shooting, is right :)
What have you learned about being "young and able" from visiting and shooting our emerging designers' studios?
I've learned New York City is an incredible place. It's a satisfying feeling knowing that these designers, like myself, are following their dreams and creating products they love for a living.
What do you appreciate most about living and working in NYC?
New York has offered me so much within the 3 months I have been here! It's fascinating meeting new people here because most have lived somewhere else. My favorite thing so far is how refreshed I feel!
Favorite NYC café?
Top pick on your Young & Able Series wish list!:
The Voz Tahi Tunic!
Interview by Jennifer Wang