Featuring Christine Zhou
Hi, my name is Christine Zhou! I call Nantong, China my hometown, and I’m planning to major in Neuroscience and Computer Science.
I’m a first-year photographer currently residing in Sutherland House.
Hi, Christine! Could you tell us about when you first started taking pictures?
I first got a DSLR when I was in 8th grade. It was from a free raffle my dad got. He didn’t really use it much, so I took it for my own purposes. Obviously I was very trashy then, but I was just captivated by how good it is to capture the beauty you see. Sometimes, I wish that my eyes are the cameras, so that I can capture moments without people noticing, because there are a lot of moments where I wish I had a camera.
Some photographers like to take a break from the camera every once in awhile to let life pass by naturally. Do you ever feel the need to do that?
I definitely agree that sometimes taking pictures is very interrupting to your experience. I did go through this period where when my friends and I went out, I kept ending up bringing a camera. Sometimes, I’m just too focused on what I can capture on my camera. And it’s as if I’m seeing the world through the camera alone, and that’s not healthy, because a lot of people live their lives perfectly fine without this recording device. I just think of photography as an outlet for my needs. It’s almost like I need to ensure that I have a beautiful life. Or that the people around me are beautiful. So, from this perspective, I think photographers are subhuman, not that they are lower, but a lot of people think artists are super, because they can create, but I think a lot of times, it stems from a need that is not always controllable and might be dark.
You’ve done a lot of beautiful landscape photography. Is that your primary focus?
I’ve been doing a lot of landscapes, because I had trouble finding real humans to shoot. But I’m definitely more interested in capturing humans and animals–basically any moving things. It’s more challenging and more interesting, because it’s an interaction between you and the model, versus landscapes that can sometimes be one-directional. The chemistry between you and the model can be very interesting. You have to devise how they look, how they’re willing to perform in front of you, and how they treat you. So, it’s also a practice of interpersonal relationships.
Who do you want to take portraits of?
What makes someone beautiful?
It’s not the look. It’s the posture. It’s how you are inside. Even if someone has really good facial features, if their inside is not as good-looking as their outside, it can have some very interesting effects.
This is a human to human interaction. And I’m not in it for money or anything. For me, it has to be genuine. I feel the connection, so I want to portray the beauty out of you. I think the most beautiful moments are the humane moments, like the beauty of humanity, kindness, and understanding. It’s like having good bones. You may have good skin, but if you don’t have a good skeleton to support it, it’s just creepy.
Is there anyone you’ve met recently who has inspired you with their humane beauty?
I’ve met people that I want to take pictures of, but, if I’m honest, a lot of times, they turn out to be different people than I thought. But there is this one girl named Jesse: she is really pretty, and she is really kind, and she really takes me as a friend.
I just try to picture the beauty of people around me. I’m sure there are lots of beautiful people out there with beautiful insides and outsides, but if they don’t contact me, and I don’t know them how the hell am I supposed to take a picture of them?
You heard it from her, folks! If you would like to spend time with a rad artist and genuinely cool person (plus, get a sparkly new portrait in the process!) let Christine know at: