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Trini Schultz
Trini Schultz
Trini Schultz

Trini Schultz

Country: Peru
Birth: 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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Sean Perry: When I was younger I didn't know or have access to any professional photographers, but I really loved movies and looked at a lot of books. At that time I got into music and everything else was just secondary. As a musician I always thought about pictures and the visual atmosphere great songs provoke and in my thirties I started photographing and haven’t stopped. AAP: Where did you study photography? With whom? SP: I don’t have a formal background studying photography but it’s not quite right to say I'm self taught either. One of my old bandmates, Jeff Miller is a brother to me, a great photographer and my first teacher - I learned about cameras, making good pictures and printing in the darkroom. That experience was also my first big introduction to contemporary artists like Joel-Peter Witkin and The Starns. I later had important mentors in a photographer I assisted for, Frank Curry and a sculptor who has had a tremendous influence on me as an artist and photographer, John Christensen. AAP:Do you have a mentor? SP: I have a few friends and colleagues who I admire and trust that I ask for insight and guidance with various things... Elizabeth Avedon, Jace Graf, Stephen Clark - there are others. I ask different people, different questions for different reasons if that makes sense. I think it's important to deeply consider who you ask and why. I've been a client of Mary Virginia Swanson for many years and her savvy is always invaluable, I truly owe her a great deal. I'm always learning and seeking out the chance to improve and grow. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? SP: I have been making pictures consistently since 1996 and started working professionally in 1998. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? SP: What I remember most are the pictures that when I saw the film, they made me feel that the image was somehow better, or more than my capability at the time. It would lead to months of chasing and trying to catch up to the image. The first time that happened was of a barren tree in the wintertime, backlit. I remember making the other pictures from that time, but the experience of seeing something unexpected back on the contact sheets always sticks with me as meaningful. AAP: What or who inspires you? SP: Music always. Also the discovery and study of people that give themselves to their pursuits with the discipline and heart to be excellent. New York City. Late fall leading to snow and cold weather makes me happy. AAP: How could you describe your style? SP: A little romantic but not sentimental - sci-fi but not overtly conceptual. I always work to make beautiful images and objects that don’t apologize for their consideration of aesthetic and design. My experience has taught me there is a strange, small line between beautiful and pretty, arbitrary and yet often substantial. I think my favorite word or aim for my work is earnest, and hopefully elegant. I try to be consistent and to quote someone I deeply respect, Paul Rand – "Don’t try to be original, just try to be good." AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? SP: I’m fluent in digital tools and use them to manage images online etcetera, but I have used the same camera gear for over twelve years. Hasselblad 501CM with a 120mm lens and 25A Red filter. Tri-X film in A12 backs. Processed in D76, 1 to 1. Silver gelatin prints bleached and then toned in combinations of sepia and selenium or platinum–palladium prints from enlarged negatives. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? SP: I tend to run film and then not look at it for a while.... I then go through the contact sheets and make work prints of the things that seem to have promise. As the series and work evolves the process of editing, sequencing and design kicks in. After the edges of a project are more or less in place, I’ll go back again and see what I may have missed on the contact sheets. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? SP: If I am only allowed one, Irving Penn – hands down, no one else. I love books and too many favorites to list, but in no particular order others would be Saul Leiter, Ted Croner, Robert & Shana Parke-Harrison, Tom Baril, Louis Faurer, Edward Burtynsky, Albert Watson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Berenice Abbott and Matt Mahurin. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? SP: Fearlessly make all the bad pictures you need to in order to get to the good ones. Not thoughtlessly in the number of images, but without hesitation in the intent to chase your ideas. When you are disappointed, try to understand why specifically – was it a technical mistake your effort and experience will resolve over time or was it about vision in what you could or could not see at that moment. The technical things are usually easier to improve upon, I have found the other takes additional perseverance and courage. For myself there is always the confrontation of closing the distance between the potency I’m after and the many challenges at hand while guiding it there. I think the biggest secret is simply not to quit. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? SP: Everyone is different, so very hard to say. I believe one truth for myself has been it’s more valuable to invest time in what your pictures, your life, your point of view are all about and less energy worrying about the urgency sometimes encouraged in technology and shorter term concerns. Play long ball. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? SP: I am currently administrating an ambitious project that connects college students with high school students, creating mentorship and the development of visual language. For the college students it is to illustrate the value of mentorship from both sides, as well as create meaningful dialogue about photography and image making. It provides a mechanism for high school students to share and express their photographic work with a new audience and has direct, tangible advantages for everyone involved – accenting the importance of communication and emphasizing the photography community's tradition of portfolio review. Visit The Picture Review. AAP: Your best memory has a photographer? SP: All of my favorite memories are darkroom related. My first darkroom was in John Christensen's studio, I deeply miss those days and that place. I would often print all day and all night - it's where I learned about photo-chemistry and the subtleties of split-toning and other irresistible alchemy. AAP: Your worst souvenir as a photographer? SP: My checking account. AAP: If you could have taken the photographs of someone else who would it be? SP: It's an interesting question but it reminds me of a rock & roll story, urban legend I remember as a kid and recently retold in Esquire Magazine. When Van Halen was touring in the late 70’s they were opening for Ted Nugent who admired Eddie Van Halen's guitar tone. Among other things, Eddie would hide one of his effect pedals (a tape echo) in an old bomb casing, adding to the mystery of his great tone and why he sounded the way he did. Everyone believed he had a "magic" black box. During sound check, Ted Nugent got the chance to play through Eddie’s rig and was disappointed to discover his guitar tone was unchanged – he sounded like he always did and whatever he loved about Eddie's tone was in his hands and not in the gear. I think photographs are like that, there are many pictures I would be thrilled if I had produced but in the end I can only make what is in my hands and heart. The images I love that others have made don't represent my life and could never belong to me. I remain a fan and audience to my heroes, happily so.
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