Product Photographer - Christopher White
Your business name:
Christopher White Photography
Tell us a bit about your business:
I specialise in shooting jewellery, bottles, liquid and glass. I have a studio based in Cape Town having returned from the UK a few years ago. In some sense I am still finding my feet back here in SA but the business is growing quickly, most probably because of all the sunshine.
How long have you worked as a photographer?
Do you feel it was an instant success or did it take a while to find its feet?
Our lecturers used to tell us it would take 10 years before we were established professionals. I used to laugh at that, seemed ridiculous. It wasn’t.
If any, what kind of jobs did you have before your career took off?
I used to be a waiter and managed a bar for a while. I also worked in a portrait studio (which I hated) to stay in photography – learnt a lot there though. My thinking was that if I took another daytime job it would soon become a career and difficult to leave. In hindsight this proved to be true for a lot of the people I studied with. I’m glad I stuck with that rare moment of insight.
Do you feel that you chose your "passion," or did it choose you?
My reasons seemed really vague thinking back – serendipity! Guess it must have chosen me. Never really thought about that before.
What made you decide to follow a creative career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do after leaving school. Left university after a year and a half studying really practical subjects like philosophy and literature. I was totally adrift for a few years so beginning a risky career choice was relatively sound.
Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
Often. For me this is the best bit about my work. When you’ve tried every way you can think of to light something and it just isn’t working, the client looking at you. These are the times when you grow and learn. I know now that I will find a way to nail it but there is that moment of concern when you’re totally devoid of ideas and need to set off into the unknown.
What is your favourite accomplishment?
I’m really happy with how quickly my studio here in SA has grown after just 3 years. Photography-wise seeing my shots as huge murals in the Dermalogica stores was pretty good.
Tell us about any workshops you may offer:
I don’t offer any unfortunately. Just wouldn’t have the time. Maybe one day.
What is your favourite lens and why?
Canon 100mm Macro L. I use her every day and am often still amazed by her sharpness and magnification. There’s something magical about macro, like unveiling a hidden world.
Are you working on any out of the ordinary projects at the moment?
This may sound silly but I’m not sure. I’ve loads of shoots swimming around my head, all with their little idiosyncrasies. Not off to shoot fragrances on the moon but there are some that are going to be challenging to light. Not sure how I can approach them differently.
JUST FOR FUN
What is playing in your CD player/iPod right now?
The Tiger Lillies!
What’s your favourite ’90s song?
Pixies – Debaser
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Probably my work schedule and how the hell I’m going to get everything done.
What were you like in high school?
Disinterested, angry. Haha.
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your high school self?
Things always work out, carry on as you are and keep not worrying.