Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gals We Admire: Christine Reid

As a little girl, Christine Reid would take family portraits of her Barbie dolls. This  childhood hobby may have been a foreshadowing of her career choice later in life. Find out what it's like to make a living as a professional photographer.

Name: Christine Reid
Profession: Photographer
Twitter handle: @creidphoto

Describe your typical work day, from start to finish
As a photographer no day is ever "typical", but every day does start with email. I do my best to respond to inquiries every morning before I get distracted. Luckily, I’m a morning person because sometimes this needs to happen at 6 or 7 am before a wedding day. If I am shooting, I’ll be clearing memory cards and charging batteries, while mapping out my destination(s) and reviewing the timeline for the day, but if I’m home that day, you can find me culling, editing photos and creating albums while keeping up on my social media responses. In both cases, my day will end late into the night.

When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
I’m sure my response to this varied depending on how my day was going. I remember the saying some of the following: a reptile vet, a mom, a farmer and a lawyer. Thinking back to the days when I would take family portraits of my Barbies with the family camera, I should have known then where I would end up.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The people. Starting out as a painter first, I’ve always wanted to capture people artistically. However, when I paint people it never looks right—especially the nose. Photography allows me to capture not only the people, but the relationships between those people. I love that part. I also enjoy the editing process and making each photo my own little masterpiece. I take my work very personally because I have a relationship with my clients and it always pays off to put the clients first.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your profession?
Time. Whether I have looming editing/ordering deadlines or I’m losing light at the end of a beautiful sunset photo session, time is never on my side. It is important I manage my day responsibly; otherwise you lose. Funny thing about this challenge, you don’t learn how to manage it until you have lost and even then it continues to be a challenge.

Do you believe you had a "calling" for your profession?
I was actually just analyzing this question the other day. Looking back, I’ve only held a stable office job for two to three years at a time. After two years at any office, I would feel stale and almost robotic doing the nine to five thing, day in and day out. Going to college to pursue an administrative career seemed like the wise choice, but for me I was meant to be an artist and capture moments, and when the time came to make the switch it happened very naturally. I think that’s how it should be.

What are the three most important pieces of career advice you would give to other Canadian Career Gals?
Remember why you started this path in the first place and never forget that. Often you will cross paths with “the crowd” and want to be like them—don’t! You will also lower your standards in an attempt to be successful—don’t!

Always be inspired by your own vision and network with those who are doing the same.

Remember that a rising tide raises all ships.


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