Hello! I’m Christina Blanarovich. I’ve been a photographer for 10 years, but recently switched over to lifestyle commercial work (mainly branding, food and product) after 9 years of weddings and portraits.
I live in NJ with my husband, two boys, and our dog, working mostly out of NYC and traveling a few times a year for projects.
Lifestyle commercial work is a broad term that can be interpreted in so many ways. To me, it’s about creating visual art for my clients that still has a human connection.
Whether it’s food, product or a brand, I want to make customers feel like they know the people behind the businesses I work with. Commercial work can have depth and tell a story!
During my stint in weddings, I primarily shot film (Double Contax 645s on a wedding day, plus a Canon EOS 1v, and Canon EOS 5D Mark III for digital) and my love of the richness, depth and SOUL of film has stayed with me in my transition to the commercial world.
YES, I am a commercial photographer and shoot film. It can be done! About 60-70% of my commercial work is on film.
Occasionally I have the need for the turnaround or precision of digital, and I made the switch to Fujifilm’s GFX50R which is a medium format mirrorless digital camera. It is the perfect compliment to my medium format film cameras! The look, feel, and final image matches so well. I will never go back to DSLRs!
I am often asked what my favorite camera or lens is… and I really don’t have a set answer for that! It completely depends on the mood, what I am shooting, the location… so many factors.
I do have a few preferences for my work though.
The Contax 645 paired with a Zeiss 80mm f/2 is my go-to for food and portrait work. It has a depth and richness that nothing can match.
The Rolleiflex f/2.8 is my favorite for travel and street photography. It gives a vintage feel to the photos.
Lifestyle products I tend to shoot digitally with the Fujifilm 45mm f/2.8.
All my personal work is shot on my Canon AE1, Contax G2, or Fujifilm x100s.
For film stocks, I pretty much shoot everything! I have shot so much film that I know how to make each stock work for the situation. I carry multiple stocks with me and assess which is best based on the available light, color casting, skin tones and other factors.
I equally love Kodak films (ok, I am actually a little obsessed with Portra 800), and shoot Ektar (for travel), Portra 400 is a solid stock that works with almost every situation and I even love Kodak Gold (a consumer film) for my personal work.
Fuji 400H is phenomenal for food and I prefer to rate it at box speed and push it +1 in development for a little extra oomph!
As far as black and white stocks go, Fuji Acros 100 is my favorite. It just has such character.
I prefer natural light for my commercial work as much as possible. While I can competently use artificial lighting (and ALL photographers should become proficient in OCF in various lighting situations because… you never know when you’ll need it), I just love the intimate connections I can make with both clients and the subject of my work when it’s just me, the camera and whatever I am shooting.
Regardless of the medium or gear, the art I create for my clients and the stories I help them tell are the most important part of what I do. And eating the food. Really, that’s one of the best things about food photography. You get to eat the food after!
Rollei Rolleiflex 2.8 F Planar
CONTAX G2 AUTOFOCUS 35MM RANGEFINDER
Canon AE 1 Program 35mm
Fujifilm GFX 50R
Fujifilm GF 45mm f/2.8
Fujifilm GF 110mm f/2
www.christinazen.com | @christina.zen
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