Christina Ebenezer discusses the rise of the generation of D.I.Y. Photographers

(Featured image by Christina Ebenezer for MODELS.COM x LEOMIE ANDERSON)

In the world of photography, so much emphasis is often placed on the final image! The work and preparation that goes into creating some of the most recognised and beautiful images shot by renowned photographers, is often overlooked. This can sometimes come as a shock to those entering the industry, with social media’s culture of instant gratification fuelling this misconception that ‘success comes easy’.

We caught up with Christina Ebenezer, a Photographer who has shot for the likes of Neu Neu Magazine, Daily Paper and Notion, about the creative process and the role production plays in her work.

PESA PRODUCTIONS: What were your motivations for becoming a Photographer and how did you end up producing your own shoots?

CHRISTINA: My main motivation was the fact that from age 13/14, I was always immersed in graphics and playing with editing software which eventually led into me shooting my own images. So already having post productions skills allowed me to elevate my photography work.

Producing my own shoots fell hand-in-hand, because you have this idea in your head, now it’s like, how do I get this model? How do I get this location? How do I get the right team to execute the idea I have in my head?

Producing my own shoots fell hand-in-hand, because you have this idea in your head, now it’s like, how do I get this model? How do I get this location? How do I get the right team to execute the idea I have in my head?

You also have to create a moodboard which everyone can understand. When the team fully understands the vision, what will work logistically so the images will come out the way I want it?

Through the process, people will understand “Oh so that’s how she works…”.So, I feel like you have to be able to produce your own work to a certain standard so future teams that may come on board understand your vision and how to help you produce.

PESA PRODUCTIONS: What are your favourite shoots to produce?

CHRISTINA: I think my favourite shoots to produce would probably be the client projects.

Because it’s all well and good producing things for yourself and for your own personal projects; but again it’s easier for you to be like ‘I’ll drop this’, ‘I don’t want to do this‘, ‘Let me try this or let me try that‘… But being able to put a client’s idea into practice and you know they are happy with it, that is more gratifying for me, because they’ve trusted you to bring your own style to help their vision come to life.

Not all clients know what they want in terms of location, models, lighting and all these other little details. That’s when they put their trust in you to create their vision. So with a lot of the work I do to have a satisfied client, that says “yes this is perfect this is exactly what I wanted”, and you’ve elevated it – that to me is most gratifying.

Image by Christina Ebenezer for CLIENT MAGAZINE

PESA PRODUCTIONS: How much of your time do you spend on creating concepts versus the practical production of your shoots?

I would say it’s almost 70:30!

70% goes to actually putting the shoot together, you spend a week, or two… or sometimes even the month before prepping the moodboard, organising a team, finding locations and making sure you can get this shoot done. Also aligning everyone’s schedules. The whole communication process stretches out a lot more than the shoot itself. After everything has been prepped and done, my shoots are typically 6-12 hours – unless it’s film; stills typically only take a day shooting with weeks of prep.

PESA PRODUCTIONS: What did you wish you knew when starting out as a Photographer?

Ooooh! This is a hard one…

I guess the practical side of shooting, understanding different lighting concepts, that’s always important!

I also wish I knew more about social media! It wasn’t very prominent when I started out. Being able to use that tool better, obviously it’s a lot bigger now then it was a few years back. But all the groundwork we’ve done years ago, most people won’t even see it. All they see is what we’re posting now and what we’re doing now. That would’ve been a great tool to know how to use back then, especially around marketing yourself better.

That’s my best answer!

You can follow Christina Ebenezer on her Instagram or visit her website: www.christinaebenezer.com/

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