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Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster
Christine Armbruster

Christine Armbruster

Country: United States

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."

 

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Marsha Guggenheim is a fine art photographer based in San Francisco. Storytelling is a guiding influence in her work. Marsha is deeply interested in photographing people and uses her diverse city to capture their stories. A street photographer for many years, her comfort and ease while shooting on the street has provided numerous opportunities for closer connections within her community. Complementing her street photography, Marsha spent years working as a photographer with formerly homeless women. This work resulted in the monograph, “Facing Forward,” which highlights these hard-working, proud women through portraits and stories of their life experiences. Without a Map is a personal project Marsha has developed over the past five years. Through the use of family photos, creating pictures from her memories and by turning the camera on herself, she has found the means to evoke, reinterpret and address unanswered questions that were buried long ago. About Without a Map "How does one move through life with the scars of the past? When I was ten, my mother died unexpectedly from a heart attack. I couldn’t understand where she went or when she would return. Just as I began to comprehend this loss, my father died. I was without support from my family and community. I was lost. Without a Map reimagines this time that’s deeply rooted in my memories. Visiting my childhood home, synagogue and family plot provided an entry into this personal retelling. Working with family photos, creating new images from my past and turning the camera on myself, I found the means to evoke, reinterpret and address unanswered questions born from early imprints that were buried long ago."
Joel Bernstein
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Joel Bernstein is a photographer, guitarist, and record producer based in Oakland, California. His photographs have appeared as the album covers to, among others, After the Gold Rush, 4 Way Street, Rita Coolidge, Wind on the Water, Running on Empty, CSN, Bob Dylan at Budokan, Rust Never Sleeps, Shadows and Light, and Hard Promises. His photographs have been published in Time, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, among other publications, and there have been retrospective exhibits of his work in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London. As a guitarist, he is most noted for support work to his friends David Crosby and Graham Nash, both individually and on their Crosby & Nash records. He has acted as co-producer and archivist with Nash for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and is responsible with Nash for the compilation and production of the box sets Voyage for Crosby, Reflections for Nash, Carry On for Stephen Stills, and CSNY 1974 for the band's tour of that year.Source: Wikipedia Joel Bernstein is an acclaimed rock photos photographer whose work, spanning four decades, chronicles the inner lives and public moments of some of the most important singer-songwriters, performers and musicians of our time. They include Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Prince, Jackson Browne, Laura Nyro, Tom Petty and many others. Bernstein also became a close friend and musical collaborator with many of his other subjects, playing and singing on their albums and concert tours. But his most important work remains his up-close-and-personal photographs of these singular artists. His preferred method has been to spend as much time as possible with his subjects until the right instant–the perfect moment of intimacy–reveals itself. Bernstein’s many album covers are commonly listed among the most influential in rock's visual history. His first, at age 18, was Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, often cited in Best Album Covers Of All Time lists. His work was featured in the album cover for Joni Mitchell's Hejira, nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover. Bernstein’s work was also the inspiration for the look of Cameron Crowe's well-received rock film Almost Famous, in which many scenes were precise re-creations of Bernstein's photographs. In 2018, Bernstein received a Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Photography Hall of Fame.Source: Morrison Hotel Gallery Bernstein's work is well known within the world of music, and is included in the permanent collection of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. His work was a key inspiration for the look of Cameron Crowe's well-received rock film Almost Famous, in which many scenes were precise re-creations of Bernstein's photographs. His many album covers are commonly listed among the most influential in rock's visual history. He has been published in a wide spectrum of books on music, musicians, and the music business, as well as in Time, The New York Times and Rolling Stone. He was profiled in MOJO, the esteemed British music publication, which extensively featured his photos of Neil Young. Bernstein maintains that his unique perspective on these artists is the result of spending so much time with them that he was there to observe and capture those unique “perfect moments of intimacy” when they revealed themselves, not by some preconceived set-up. He is currently based in Oakland, California.Source: San Francisco Art Exchange
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