Christine Armbruster

American Photographer

Although a recent graduate of Brigham Young University with her Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Photography (2012), Christine Armbruster has managed to work on various projects and get published internationally. Working as a photojournalist in the Dominican Republic, Christine created her first solo show called "Working Identities: a collection of portraits from the Dominican Republic" which showed for a full year in 2009. This show was viewed all over Utah and various pieces won awards for documentary photography. The photojournalism work completed while there was published all of the world for papers such as USA Today and Dominican Today. Next on the list was Bosnia. Armbruster got grants and went to Sarajevo where the project, "Mortar Shells and Cigarettes", was completed. Walking the streets of Sarajevo for over a month, she captured these as a reaction to a city still recovering from war. The show exhibited in Utah as well as pieces were sent away to competitions in Texas. Prior to going to Bosnia, Armbruster started what would turn into a 2 year project in Utah, photographing town with populations of 800 people or less, called "Population 800." This small town documentary has shown throughout Utah and became her senior thesis for graduation. Since those shows have been completed, Armbruster has since traveled extensively to shoot two more projects still being edited. The first in collapsed Soviet towns and the second of Bedouins living in caves in the Arabian Desert. Additionally, Armbruster has blended her documentary interests with her commercial photography degree to work for international clients. Some of these clients have included The Travel Chanel, KT Tape, Blendtec Blenders, The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, Chicago Cultural Center, Petra Caravan Tours, and Bedouin Brothers Tour Group. Armbruster is committed to exploring the world of social change through art. Blending her education of commercial photography with her candid aesthetic, she is able to tell stories and capture people in their natural elements. She is currently based out of Chicago, working as an editorial travel photographer.

About Working Identities: The first woman in this series is the inspiration behind this project. As I was walking around the market near my Dominican home, I came across an older woman by the name of Rosa Santana. I photographed her at her vegetable cart, she then grabbed my hand and insisted that I photograph every member of her family in our little community. Leading me inside stores converted out of modest houses and through narrow alleyways into small-enclosed spaces made of stucco with a single mattress inside. Each new home, whether large or small had a family member inside to be photographed. One of her daughters particularly struck me by the way she showed me the objects on the wall illustrating her own three children. As I thought about these seemingly strange dolls and single photograph nailed to the wall, I began to realize how not only do they represent her children, but the different ways we represent and give an identity to the people around us. As I photographed in the Dominican Republic, I began to realize that I was categorizing people, trying to collect one of everything for myself. These people I was collecting were not based on location or look, but rather by profession. I looked for the stereotypical from the butcher to the security guard, but then to the boy who fixes bicycles in front of his house in Santo Domingo and the even younger children who pick coffee beans in the mountains of Jarabacoa. Each of these people have an identity created not by the symbolic objects used to represent them, but rather by an occupation. With this some gain a definition in society, while others are generalized. I chose to explore these occupations not just as types, but rather go deeper to discover each person as individuals. How each person is an individual although they may do the same thing as handfuls of others everyday, how we are all Working Identities.

Source: www.christinearmbruster.com



All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?

Christine Armbruster: "It wasn't until I was twenty that I even considered it. I had always wanted to be in filmmaking and it wasn't until I was on my first real film set involving a week of 15-hour days that I decided I should reconsider. So i went with the next closest thing which was photography, and it just kind of stuck."

AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

CA: "After my freshman year of college I was inspired by a good friend who studied photography and got my first "good camera". For months I photographed so many close up shots of industrial parts and weird metal things. My first memorable photographs, however, that I really feel like began to develop my style, are a few portraits of train hoppers in Austin, Texas later that summer. I sat on the ground with them and got to know them before asking to photograph their faces covered with tattoos and their accompanying dogs. Ever since I have been a little obsessed with train hoppers and spent handfuls of time with them. It's a surprise to me that I have still yet to hop a train of my own."

AAP: What or who inspires you?

CA: "Life around me and newness inspires me. There was once a photographer who said that when he stays in one place for too long he goes blind. I feel very similar. I unfortunately never photograph where I live after I have been there for a few months, it is just so common to me. But that is something I am working on so I can practice sitting still for slightly longer stints. He said he hadn't paid rent in 16 years, I feel like that could become my fate which is both exciting and daunting to me."

AAP: How could you describe your style?

CA: "I would describe my style as very natural and quiet. I am not in your face and not trying to be loud and force heart wrenching subjects on you. I just want things to be as they are, as beautiful and simple as they are in natural light, portraying people are the strong individuals as they are."

AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?

CA: "I try to use film as much as possible. Digital just doesn't do it for me. There is something natural and more real to me when I use film. Maybe it is because I slow down or take the images more seriously. I have a Bronica ETRS medium format camera with a fixed 85mm lens that is always on my back loaded with Kodak Portra film."

AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?

CA: "I can't hold still long enough to edit my images! I would rather be shooting than in front of a computer, which is partially why I shoot so much film. When I first started photographing, I got a job with a newspaper. With newspapers heavily editing images will cost you your job. It got me in the practice of shooting right the first time and learning how to shoot without relying on Photoshop to make my images speak."

AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?

CA: "I am currently really into Jonas Bendiksen and Jim Goldberg. I have always loved Olga Chagaoutdinova, Diane Arbus, and Pierre Verger."

AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?

CA: "Shoot all the time! Someone once told me that you need to make a lot of crap before anything good comes out of it."

AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?

CA: "Following trends. Trends are in my opinion one of the worst things a photographer can follow. Your work will be catchy for a moment then once trends shift you will be left with having to redefine your personal style again only to possibly fall into the same trap. Shoot what you like, it will become your own style. Everyone else is already photographing the trends, try something different. Classic and well done photography will always be in style and you will always have work."

AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share?

CA: "I am currently working on editing a project shot in Jordan about nomads who have been forced into settling but are resisting and moving back to caves and tents as they lived for thousands of years. That is a cool project I worked on all last winter, living in caves, collecting water, and walking with shepherds. That should be a pretty cool project once I get the storyline a little more organized."

AAP: Your best memory as a photographer?

CA: "I am so sentimental. I feel like every time I travel it was the best place yet, every person I photograph is so beautiful and interesting, and that every situation I have been in was the most idea. I guess that is part of the human experience and the glory of photographing. It is an excuse to walk with nomads, a reason to hitchhike across Russia, a motivation to travel and create. I already have a lifetime of memories and stories for grandchildren, and I am only 5 years into my career."

AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer?

CA: "I have a good handful of scars from not paying attention to where I'm walking while trying to get an image and a broken camera or two from sandstorms I was not prepared for."

AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be?

CA: "Pierre Verger. He has such beautiful timeless style and dead perfect tonal ranges. He got to travel the world and experience so many things hands on from the Harlem Renaissance to religious ceremonies from underground cults in Brazil. I think he was working in just the right time and had some of the most guts from any photographer I have ever seen. He wasn't afraid and I love that about him."

Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
David Bailey: SUMO
 
 

More Great Photographers To Discover

Tamara Reynolds
Nationality: American
Tamara graduated with a BFA degree and has been enjoying a successful career in commercial photography for the past 25 years.

She has been recognized commercially, garnering several awards such Communication Arts Award, International Photography Award, American Photography Award 29 and 30. Recently her pursuits for her personal project of the Southern vernacular, titled Southern Route, has been recognized by The Review Santa Fe 100, Photo Lucida 2012, 2013 Finalist (…)
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
Tamara Reynolds
 
Dan Winters
Nationality: American
Born: 1962

From www.adawkinsgallery.com
Dan Winters (b. October 21, 1962) is an American photojournalist, illustrator, filmmaker and writer. He was born in Ventura County, California on October 21, 1962. He first studied photography and the darkroom process starting in 1971 while a member of his local 4-H club. In 1979, while still a high school senior, he began working full time in (…)
 
David Johndrow
Nationality: American
David Johndrow is a fine art photographer living in Austin, Texas. After studying photography the University of Texas, he began shooting commercial work as well as pursuing his more personal fine art photography.

David’s continuing series, Terrestrials, combines his passion for gardening and photography and features macro nature photographs of animals and plants that inhabit his Hill Country, Texas garden. To realize his vision, he prints with silver gelatin, (…)
David Johndrow
David Johndrow
David Johndrow
David Johndrow
David Johndrow
David Johndrow
David Johndrow
David Johndrow
 
Sandra Tamos
Nationality: Lithuanian
Born: 1989
Since my childhood I was attracted to visual arts, painting mostly. I had a dream to become a fashion costume designer when I grow up. When I was 14 things changed. I didn’t lose my passion for painting, but the camera my dad gave me drew me into photography. Since then I started taking self-portraits and gained some photography experience. Later I started reading books about photography and wasn’t taking any pictures for the time being. When I was 18 I bought my first (…)
Sandra Tamos
Sandra Tamos
Sandra Tamos
Sandra Tamos
Sandra Tamos
Sandra Tamos
Sandra Tamos
Sandra Tamos
 
Michal Cala
Nationality: Polish
Born: 1948

Michal Cala was born in Toruń, Poland in 1948 and studied aircraft construction in Warsaw at the University of Technology in the early 1970's. From 1974 to 1983 he worked as an engineer in various companies in Silesia, and began photographing in the area. In 1977, he moved to Tychy in Upper Silesia, where he co-founded the photographers' association KRON and become a member of the ZPAF – the Union of Polish Art Photographers.

Relatively unknown outside (…)
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
 
Marcel Van Balken
Nationality: Netherlands

Marcel van Balken is a self-taught photographer from the Netherlands for about 40 years. As a photographer he is interested in specific themes and conceptual photography. He believes in working thematically with an absolute preference for surrealistic and creative photography. He gives himself a kind of theme or assignment and will not stop making photographs unless he thinks he got everything out of this assignment.

Marcel moves as a photographer ideally in (…)
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
Marcel Van Balken
 
S. Gayle Stevens
Nationality: American
S. Gayle Stevens has worked in antiquarian photographic processes for over fifteen years. Her chosen medium is wet plate collodion for its fluidity and individuality. She exhibits extensively across the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and China. Ms. Stevens received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. She is an educator, speaker, juror, curator and an active member of the photographic community. Named one of the Critical Mass Top (…)
S. Gayle Stevens
S. Gayle Stevens
S. Gayle Stevens
S. Gayle Stevens
S. Gayle Stevens
S. Gayle Stevens
S. Gayle Stevens
S. Gayle Stevens
 
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Nationality: American
Born: 1977

Keliy Anderson-Staley was raised off the grid in Maine, studied photography in New York City and currently lives and teaches photography at the University of Houston in Texas. She earned a BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and an MFA in photography from Hunter College in New York.

Anderson-Staley’s tintype portrait work was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a Puffin Grant. She participated in the Bronx Museum AIM residency (…)
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley
Keliy Anderson-Staley
 
Daniel Beltrá
Nationality: Spanish/American
Born: 1964

Daniel Beltrá is a fine art photographer based in Seattle. His passion for conservation is evident in his evocatively poignant images of our environment. Since the early 1990’s, Beltrá’s work has taken him to all seven continents, including several expeditions to the Amazon, the Arctic, the Southern Oceans and the Patagonian ice fields, many of those in partnership with Greenpeace. He received the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the Lucie Award for International (…)
Daniel Beltrá
Daniel Beltrá
Daniel Beltrá
Daniel Beltrá
Daniel Beltrá
Daniel Beltrá
Daniel Beltrá
Daniel Beltrá
 
Marco Gualazzini
Nationality: Italian
Born: 1976
Born in Parma in 1976, Marco Gualazzini began his career as a photographer in 2004, with his home town's local daily, La Gazzetta di Parma.

His recent works include reportage on microfinance in India, on the freedom of expression in Myanmar, on the discrimination of Christians in Pakistan.

For the last few years he has been covering Africa extensively.
He devised and took part in the creation of a documentary for the Italian national TV network RAI on the (…)
Marco Gualazzini
Marco Gualazzini
Marco Gualazzini
Marco Gualazzini
Marco Gualazzini
Marco Gualazzini
Marco Gualazzini
Marco Gualazzini
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
Discover the 6th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices