All About Photo Awards 2019

Trini Schultz

Peruvian Photographer | Born: 1961
Trini Schultz is a self-taught fine-art photographer living in Orange County, California with her husband, Dan, and two children. She was born on July, 1961 in Peru, South America. Growing up watching her grandfather paint, she grew an appreciation and interest for art. With the encouragement of her family & friends she pursued in her enthusiasm of drawing and painting from a young age. Photography intrigued her but it wasn't until her father bought her her first camera at the age of 16, a Pentax K1000, when her passion for taking pictures began. She studied Commercial Art in Fullerton College where she also took a class in black and white photography to learn how to develop her own film. A few years after her second child was born, she started her own photography business creating black & white photos in her home-built darkroom and then hand coloring the images. With the evolution of the digital camera and photo software, traditional film and darkroom supplies started to become less available. Trini then set off to learning the new techniques of digital age photography. Her husband taught her the basics of Adobe Photoshop and she took it from there. She began creating painterly-like images with the use of photoshop techniques she had picked up over the years and more recently with the inspiration of surreal photography slowly becoming a popular style of art.

From www.mymodernmet.com
California-based photographer Trini Schultz, aka Trini61, explores new worlds through her lens filled with haunting and, at times, romanticized portraits of people with their own captivating narratives. Time stands still in each of her surreal images as wafts of dust billow around a mysterious man, floating umbrellas fill the sky, and a rainstorm of rocks are caught in midair like weightless aerial objects. The fine art photographer's portfolio boasts a fantasy-driven collection that exposes an expressive beauty in the uncontrollable nature of her imagined worlds. There's an engaging charm about the photos that are both intriguing and captivating. With the help of her family, who often serve as her willing models (including a husband who wound up breaking his foot while performing a stunt for a photo shoot), Schultz is able to bring her creative visions to life.


All about Trini Schultz:

AAP: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
When my dad bought me my first "real" camera. A Pentax K1000. It was a Christmas gift, and I was about 16. He got me a huge Polaroid camera before that, but it wasn't the same as having an actual 35mm camera. I loved photography but I didn't think of it as a choice for a career, it was more of a hobby, but family and friends kept telling me I should consider being a photographer. So it wasn't till after I got married and had my second child that I picked up the camera again after many years, and took photography more seriously, and fell in love with it all over again.

AAP: Where did you study photography?
I took a class at a local community college in black & white developing many years ago, but that was it. I'm mostly self taught. Same with photoshopping, taught myself.

AAP:Do you have a mentor?
No

AAP: How long have you been a photographer?
Oh gosh...a long time! Probably 30 yrs or more. But there was a period in my life where I didn't do it as often, because the rolls of film and to having them developed could get expensive. Then I started developing my own pictures at home, but photo papers and the chemicals could get expensive too. Then came digital photography and my life changed.

AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
No, I don't remember but it was probably a family member or a friend. People was my favorite subject. Still is.

AAP: What or who inspires you?
Everyday I'm inspired. Looking at other photographer's work on the internet. The shapes of the mountains and the clouds. The way the sun shines thru the window and creates shadows on the walls and floor. Music videos, movies, fashion shows, paintings. I love going to antique shops, so much inspiration and ideas pop up. Interesting buildings abandoned or new. Artists look at the world with awe and inspiration, every little detail from a dead insect on the floor to fog rolling over the hills, seeing the beauty in it and the potential in them to make an amazing subject on a photograph or a painting.

AAP: How could you describe your style?
Surreal or conceptual photography. i love fashion photography too so I would like to experiment more with editorial type of photography as well, especially now that my daughter is studying costume/fashion design.

AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film?
I used to use a digital Nikon D80 for a little while, and then got myself a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera. I use two different lenses, Canon EF 24-105mm 0.45m/1.5ft, and a Canon EF 85mm F1.8.

AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images?
Depending on the image. If it has a lot of details, a lot of work needed, then it takes me a while. I'm a perfectionist and sometimes I find myself spending more time than I need to on a single image. Some images only take a few hours, and some take weeks! Even when I'm finished with it, I sit on it for a little while, making sure it doesn't need anything else.

AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)?
I love the work of Martin Chambi, a Peruvian photographer from the early to mid 20th century. He was one of the first major indigenous photographers in Latin America. Another Peruvian photographer I admire is Mario Testino. The beautiful black & white work of Dorthea Lange and Ansel Adams. And of course, Annie Leibovitz & Richard Avedon, who's work I've admired since I first started taking photos. But it's the incredible work of lesser known or not as famous photographers I see on the internet every day, that leave me very much inspired and excited about photography.

AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer?
Not give up. It takes a lot of practice & playing around with. Try different styles, subjects, experiment with it, it helps to take a class or two at your local college if you like, and never stop learning and trying new things, it's how you grow artistically. Don't be afraid to think outside the box too.

AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid?
The feeling that you failed cause the only failure is when you give up.

AAP: Your best memory has a photographer?
It's a personal one. I was inspired by the photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz in her book 'A Photographer's Life' in which she included images of her partner's ordeal during her cancer treatments all the way to her death. They were so beautifully documented in black & white photos. Before my grandmother passed away my mother and I were caring for her, and during this time I documented some of the moments in black & white photos. I never plan to show the images to anyone, except close family, if they wish to see them. They are bittersweet memories, of my grandmother's final images of her life. And out of all the images, a close-up photograph of her hands is probably my favorite.
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