Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Meet This Week's Judge: Kristina Dominianni

This week, Kristina of Hello Olivia Photography is looking for sun flare! Enjoy her beautiful photos, and have a great Memorial Day weekend!

1. Tell us about yourself

Hi! My name is Kristina and I live in Long Island NY with my husband John and almost 5 year old Olivia. We also have two awesome cats that are terribly camera shy.  I work full time in the super exciting world of automobile insurance litigation, so I’m generally stressed out, frazzled and a hot mess.   Photography has given me the creative outlet I didn’t know I needed and fuels an artistic passion I didn’t know I had.  

After a stressful day, there is nothing I want more that to get as far away from work - spend time with my family and take photos of it. 

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now? 

My father was the family photographer. He always had a disposable camera at the ready to take photos of all our special moments. As I got older, his love of photography passed down to me. After the birth of my daughter though, I felt this need to document everything. I worked all the time, so the times we did spend together in those early days was precious. I wanted to make sure I was documenting all those little moments. I started scrapbooking as a way of saving mementos and journaling my memories. My photos however never really conveyed what I wanted them too, so I started researching on the internet how to take better photos. Little did I know that it would lead me down this amazing, frustrating and rewarding road.

What fuels me know?  Essentially it’s the same thing.   I want to document my daughters big little life, catch all those funny moments, emotions and the craziness of her very large personality. 

3. What’s in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

I realized the other day that I own 11 lenses.  Thats a lot. 75% I don’t use.  I typically keep a 24mm with me at all times. It’s either the Sigma 24mm Art or the Canon 24mm TS-E.  I also carry the 200 F2 with me too - because I’m a glutton for punishment and love lugging heavy things around.  As much as I hate the weight of that beast, it makes for some magical photos. 

My least used lenses - 50mm 1.4, 24-70mm and the 70-200mm.  The 50 and I have never been friends.  I’ve tried and tried, but we’re just not BFF and we’re both ok with that.   My two zooms are wonderful, amazing, yada yada yada, but I’ve come to realize I am and always will be a prime girl. 

4. What’s your dream project or shoot? 

Dream project? I’m working on it right now. Just taking a photo every day of my kid. Trying to keep it real. Eventually making one epic coffee table book about it.

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

My biggest challenge is myself.  I seem to get in my own way.  I very truthfully take my best photos when I don’t try.  It seems like pure luck almost.  I get an idea and wait for the moment. I patiently wait until the scene unfolds and I shoot an amazing, magical moment.  

However, that isn’t typically what happens.  

There are times when I’m not inspired, or I’m too busy lusting over someone else's work and feel down about my own.  From there,  I try to force things to happen.  I get frustrated, I get angry and my daughter gets annoyed. Each time it happens, I know I need to put the camera down and walk away, but sometimes I keep going.  I make myself and my kid miserable in the process.  I don’t want to be like that and I’m trying to not allow myself to do that anymore. 

Since I’ve had that mindset, my work has improved in leaps and bounds.  My daughter is happier, I’m happier. 

6. If you had $500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it?

Hahaha… I should spend it on paying back my husband for all the things I’ve begged him to buy me.  Like the 200L (which I swore I needed to “start my business”).  Eventually I’ll start it, but you know - things happen!

How do you wish you could spend it? 

I keep hearing the Mark IV is coming out eventually - I supposed I could use a new body!

How would you really spend it? 

I’d spend it 100% on classes and education. Next on the list for me is The Magic of Light Workshop (If I can get In!) and Mel Karlberg's  class at B&C - The Reflective Artist. 

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

My biggest issue FOREVER was shooting with the mindset that I could fix it in photoshop later.  That was a pretty dumb idea. Terrible white balance, clutter everywhere.  I would spend HOURS trying to fix stuff.  Eventually, I realized that that was not a good idea and started to work on getting it right in camera.  My SOOC’s look just about the same as my finished edits. Two preset clicks and boom.  Saved and done. 

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