Hey everybody. Christina Stuart here with Christina Stuart Photography. I'm so happy to be here and wanted to introduce myself.
I have been shooting for 20 years. My background is photojournalism. I went to the University of Florida and started out as a writer, actually. I quickly realized I was not happy with the journalistic style of writing.
My mother, who's always been a really big supporter and cheerleader of mine and my dreams, noticed how unhappy I was. She said, “You shouldn’t be this unhappy doing what you're going to be doing for the rest of your life. Do what you love and the money will follow.” That was fantastic advice that I've been following it ever since.
I took a semester and just took what I wanted to take. I took an intro to photojournalism class just for fun thinking I liked taking pictures, I might as well learn how to do it well. Oh my goodness! It combined everything I loved about journalism.
I was not going to be stuck in an office in one of those little cubicles. Which just the thought of makes me itch. I was going to be out and about meeting new people, photographing new things and events. More importantly, I was going to be traveling the world which is one of my other passions.
So, I jumped into that photojournalism track. I bounced around the country with different internships at different daily newspapers. I built up experience that eventually led me to get a full-time job at Florida Today in Central Florida.
At the time, Florida Today was a 110,000 circulation newspaper. As a first “real” job going to that circulation level was pretty much unheard of. All my instructors and classmates who graduated ahead of me said you've got to pay your dues at some little podunk ten and twenty thousand circulation paper, work there for six months, go to the next one on the next level, work there for six months or a year etc. I just was not willing to do that. Who likes to move that many times? No thank you.
Instead, I did the internships and had a lot of fun shooting at a lot of different daily papers across the country. With those experiences, it allowed me to get the job at that larger circulation paper.
I have had some of the most amazing experiences in the photojournalism field. It really is my core and my heart. I loved photojournalism and having watched the industry really crash and burn has not been fun.
I've seen so many friends who've been laid off like I was. I was laid off in 2011. I'm okay with it because it propelled me into this entrepreneurial world which I totally love!
I have photographed celebrities. I photographed the NBA. I've shot NASCAR & the Daytona 500 numerous times. I photographed what used to be the Pepsi 400.
I have met celebrities. I met Christopher Reeve before he died. I photographed Mikhail Gorbachev when he came to speak at UF. I almost hit Sting with a door and he was totally cool. I apologized for the near miss and he said, “It's okay love.” I thought to myself, “Oh my God! Sting just called me Love!”
Gene Simmons was the coolest, most laid-back guy when he spoke at UF. I was photographing the event. He stayed after to sign autographs. He was there longer than a lot of the employees. He wanted to sign every single person's whatever they wanted him to sign for hours after his speech. So cool.
Simmons actually gave me his cell phone number to send him pictures later when they were developed because it was film. (I'm letting you know how old I am J.) I was too chicken to use the number! I was still a student and thought, “oh, he doesn't want my pictures.” Well, now I have much more confidence & much more experience. Now, I would definitely call and say, “Hey! Here are your pictures, dude!”
I photographed Jack Canfield, who is the author of The Success Principles and cofounder of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He was the keynote speaker at an event that I was photographing. I sent CDs of images to his office. Two different staff members of his from two different offices called me within the same week and said, “I have seen so many pictures of Jack Canfield throughout his whole career and no one has captured his essence as well as you have.”
Whoa! What a big compliment, right?
I am so grateful for the experiences that I've had. I love what I do. I dream in pictures. I see the world in pictures.
Now, I am teaching photography. I've been teaching at the local community college since 2011 in addition to my own workshops that began in 2007. I love it! I love sharing my information.
I love seeing better pictures in the world. Photography is fun! Anybody can do it at any age. I've taught four-year-olds up to 84-year-olds and everybody in between. Everyone can enjoy it. We can just document our lives, be creative, have some fun. It gives people a hobby.
If you want your teenager to stay healthy and make good choices, introduce them to photography because it's so expensive they're not gonna have any money to buy anything else!
It is a fantastic field to be in. I'm honored to be able to share my information, my experience and my knowledge with all of you.
You all can benefit from this and tap into my brain and my visual information. I'm goint to be doing Photo Tips Tuesday every week. I'm posting them on Instagram IG TV and sharing that to my Facebook page. I’ll share the YouTube link here.
If you're interested in learning, if you have a burning question, if you're curious how something is created or how to set up a picture, ask me! Direct message me on social media or comment here. I'm happy to share information that you all want. I want you to benefit from this. I love sharing information. I love teaching.
I love seeing those light bulb moments when something finally clicks. No pun intended!
Message me with any questions. I'm looking for content that you want to learn. I've got tons of information to share but I want to share information that you want to learn.
Let’s have some fun!
Photography, at its base, is light so go SEE THE LIGHT.
I'm looking forward to helping you make better pictures.
Thanks so much for hanging out! Have a fantastic week and I’ll talk to you soon!