Photographer Q & A
What is your favorite photography tip to share with other photographers?
Whatever attracted you to a scene is usually what you should focus on. Search every scene and figure out what it is that grabs your attention, then focus on that.
Favorite photography book and why?
Paul Lester's Zen of Photography taught me that this form of art is not about gear, or about competition, or about cut throat business practices. Photography is a magical way of seeing the world with our mind's eye; it is a passport into our inner world and a window into our soul.
Most unusual item you keep in your camera bag?
I have a "mojo bag" that was given to me by Paul Kennedy, my first photography teacher at the Corcoran College for the Arts. It is not the "magical" items and good wishes that Paul put into this "lucky charm", it is the promise I saw in his gift. It was his way of telling me he saw potential in my work and his gift has always made me believe in my skills as a photographer.
What's the best advice you ever received from a fellow photographer?
When I was struggling to create "story-telling" images during a photojournalism course at the Missouri Photo Workshop, my friend and fellow photographer, Essdras Suarez told me "it is all about the little people". The "small" people in the background of an image add layers of contextual information and help fill the frame.
Name a geographical place that you'd love to return to or go to for an assignment.
I would love to visit all the indigenous villages and tribes that have always captured my imagination. Places like the Amazon and the highlands of Papua New Guinea will always summon me back.
What photography project or assignment has been most meaningful for you and why?
Last year I was invited to teach a workshop in Abu Dhabi, in the Middle East. I had expected a small number of people to show up and was truly surprised to see over 100 women, some of whom had traveled from as far as Saudi Arabia and Dubai to attend my class. I realized then that there is a huge hunger for photography instruction in the Middle East, and that as a woman, I have the opportunity to teach other women about this beautiful form of art.
If you could publish a book on any photographic subject, what would it be?
What's in your camera bag right now?
- Sony a900
- Sony CZ 24-70/2.8
- Sony CZ 16-35/2.8
- Sony CZ 20/1.4
- Sony Flash
- Sony G 70-200/4-5.6
- Sony NEX-5N
- Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 35
What do you love about your Lowepro bags?
As a woman photographer I need to be mindful of how much I carry in my backpack. I need my gear to be lightweight and I need to stay organized. The combination of Pro Roller and SlingShot works best for me as it gives me all the flexibility I need to carry my gear and get the job done…..even in the most remote locations.
See more of the stunning, moving and diverse imagery of photojournalist Cristina Mittermeier at her web site and learn more about the work of ILCP. Along with conservation photographer Paul Nicklen, Cristina leads SeaChange, an organization that utilizes the power of photography and storytelling to advance ocean conservation.
Cristina Mittermeier's Lowepro gear:
Cristina Mittermeier:Web Site
International League of Conservation Photographers
Photojournalist and conservationist Cristina Mittermeier has traveled to more than 80 countries to document the complex issues where conservation of wild nature and human needs intersect. Among many other awards and recognitions, she has been selected as one of Sony's Artisans of Imagery and has been named Nature's Best Conservation Photographer of the Year. She is also the recipient of the North American Nature Photographers Association Mission Award. American Express selected her as one of Mexico's 100 most influential individuals.
Her images have been exhibited by museums and organizations around the world. Cristina is the founder and former President of the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), a consortium of some of the best photographers on the planet who are actively working for conservation. Cristina's work is represented by National Geographic Stock.