Unraveled Expert Artist Interview | April Christopher, Unraveled
We love how our community here at Unraveled continues to grow. But one of our absolute favorite things is how it still remains tight-knit. We are all starting to feel like old friends here, and we dig that. We love being able to see someone’s work and recognize it or hear someone’s name and KNOW them. That is what community is all about.
We were lucky enough to meet April Christopher at our first ever Retreat in Utah last year. She is bubbly, warm, and always smiling. She’s the kind of person you want to be around. What we perhaps love most about that little tidbit is that her work radiates her personality as well. It draws you in, is exciting and warm. April, we are so happy to have you here and congrats on making UEA.
For more inspiration from April:
Here is April Christopher, Unraveled…
What inspires your art?
Nature and my children, hands down. I'm a huge fan of environmental portraiture + going a little outside the box (i.e. freelensing, intentional blur, faceless images, etc) so I love to set the scene in my photographs at a place we love, whether that's our property or a hike in the mountains and leave the viewer wondering about the story behind the photograph. I find so much inspiration watching my children play, explore, and adventure in this world where kids often lose the art of free play and imagination.
What do you shoot with?
A Nikon D610 (an oldie but goodie full frame!) and my Sigma 24 mm 1.4 lens. I also love to shoot with my lensbaby Edge 50, freelens with my Nikon 85 1.8 or my vintage Helios lens that I got on eBay for less than $50. I've always been in the 'less is more' mindset with my gear, as I've been very inspired by artists over the years that pride themselves on making gorgeous art with less gear in their arsenal.
What other ways do you express your creativity?
I spent much of my teens and 20's with a passion for writing poetry and short stories, but I lost it a bit in my path to becoming a nurse (my main career) and now a photographer. It's something I'm hoping to get back into soon and I have a goal of combining writing with my photography to add even more of a storytelling element to my work. I also adore dance & LOVE music, although most people don't want to see my attempts to be skilled at either of those. ;)
How do you destress at the end of the day?
When my kids get home from school, we almost always go for a short walk in the woods. I find that we all de-stress from our day so much easier spending a bit of time outside before evening routine. After the kids are in the bed I will admit many nights I love to veg out and watch netflix with my husband, or we play a game of cribbage paired with wine. I know, we're so 'cool.' ;)
What kind of music do you listen to while editing?
I'm a bit of an old soul and grew up listening to 60's & 70's music with my lovely hippie mom, so I often revert to that. Think Cat Stevens, Moody Blues, Van Morrison, The Beatles, etc. I'm also a huge fan of women artists, so Tori Amos (currently listening to her as I write this!) or Ani Difranco are also big on my playlist. 90's/Early 2000's alternative is also a big love of mine - Pearl Jam, Death Cab for Cutie, The Decembrists. I'm embarrassingly uneducated on top hits these days, hah!
What is your favorite book?
I spent entirely too much time thinking of this one (there's SO many good ones!) but the first that came to mind since I just read it in the last year and it's really stuck with me is 'All the Light We Cannot See' by Anthony Doerr. It was such a profound read, especially in these divided times in our world, and I still find myself thinking of it.
Name one movie that inspires you?
This is another hard one, but I always walk away feeling inspired by the movie 'La La Land.' The music, dancing, and storyline draws me in but I especially find myself in awe of the cinematography and it's use of complementary colors (that dance scene on the street with her yellow dress against a blue sky, ah!). It's also such a great, albeit a little sad, story about following ones creative dream which resonates with me.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE SELF-DOUBT OR CREATIVE SLUMPS?
Typically this is when I get a little out of the box, so to speak. I pull out an old vintage lens and freelens with it. I ask some of my other photographer friends to get on a pretty dress on top of a mountain so we can shoot together. I shoot a self portrait. I join a photographer group with an odd monthly theme, something to get me out of my comfort zone. Personal work is truly what makes my heart beat and I usually find the more creative and crazy it turns out, the quicker I get through a slump and onto my next inspiration. I have, however, had times where I just need to step away for a week or two especially in terms of self doubt. Unplugging from social media and technology in particular can be a lovely reset when I'm feeling low.
What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey?
Not being enough or the comparison game (similar to self doubt I suppose). I've had to work hard & save every penny to buy even the 'cheap' brand of the good lenses, and I often feel envious of others that don't have to work so hard to get the things they need to move forward. The feeling of being stagnant in my work because of this is a true fear of mine, and it's something I'm working through daily.
Who is one of your favorite photographers?
Niki Boon. I'm absolutely in love with her documentary work 'childhood in the raw' that follows her childrens lives on their property, technology free and full of uninhibited play. Her use of layering and the way she tells a story photo by photo never fails to blow me away and inspire me beyond belief!