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Meet Christina Russo of Fresh Print Media in Echo Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Russo.

Christina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always been creative and grew up in a household that encouraged art. The first beginnings of photography were shooting film photography in high school and college. At the time, I was mostly taking pictures of still life and city scenes around San Francisco. One day in college, I had shot five rolls and when a light leak sabotaged all of them, I quit right then and there. I did model in college and beyond, something that I got into due to my dance background. I always enjoyed the process of creating and styling a shoot for myself. Through this, I learned what looks good on camera versus in real life and how to do make up for camera. My current journey really kicked off about six years ago when an ex gave me a hand me down Canon T3i. I started snapping pics of my friend Marielle Scott and her manager at the time really liked the pictures. He started sending me his other clients which allowed me to build a portfolio fairly quickly.

Since then, I’ve continued to learn different techniques both in camera and photoshop and upgrade my gear, it’s a lot of fun trying new approaches! I shoot with the same friends a lot as my muses (or guinea pigs depending on who you ask) and will often take my own pictures in my home studio. I still like being in front of the camera and book photographers whom I admire when I can. I learn so much from being in front of their lens and it’s nice to support someone in your field who is doing great work. Over the years, I’ve tried shooting almost any type of content but overall, people are my favorite. I take headshots but they are pretty formulaic so I prefer creative portraiture and lifestyle/fashion shoots. I think my own experiences as a model have taught me a lot about how to direct others for stills. A photographer I worked with before was right when he said a photo session is like a date! It is a really great skill set, making someone you just met feel at ease and get their authentic self to shine through! I especially enjoy working with actors. Actors are used to ignoring the camera so they often get overly conscious of the lens when you’re taking stills. It’s fun tapping into their talent and helping them get past that. Being in front of the camera is the same for both cinema and stills, it’s all in the eyes.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think any creative endeavor has a smooth road. Like any other artistic medium you have to keep practicing and find your style and your fans. There is a lot of demand for imagery but also a lot of competition. Many times I have felt like I was gaining momentum with a rash of referrals only to have the quietest months of my career or get too busy with my “real” job. Marketing yourself and getting clients is also difficult. I could probably market someone else’s business just fine (hey you’d have good pictures!) but when you’re too close, it becomes so much harder.

Obviously the biggest struggle of late has been Covid-19. I was pretty busy and then mid-March everything started canceling. However, they always talk about pivoting in business so I’ve gone from shooting people to mostly inanimate objects! I know some shoots are starting to pick up but I personally feel uncomfortable about it and don’t want to be irresponsible or put anyone at risk. Thanks to my background in mixology and restaurants, content creation for liquor brands has been a lot of what I’m booking since I can do it from home. I’ve also been shooting real estate photos which is not the peak of creativity but has taught me a lot about working with various spaces and lighting.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Fresh Print Media – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Right now under Fresh Print Media, I primarily offer photography services but I also partner with some other brilliant creatives for clients who need social media support or web development. My eventual goal is to build my company into a full digital agency. I’d love to run a company that pays creatives their worth and uplifts both its employees and clients.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love that there are so many creative and talented people in LA that will follow through. If you have a fun idea, you can definitely find some great people to collaborate with. That’s how I’ve found some of my closest friends and photo muses here. On a personal level, I also feel like LA can be very lonely sometimes. It seems like often people are so focused on the hustle and grind and what they came here to do that they don’t know how to just hang for no reason.

Pricing:

  • Portraits and Headshots starting at $100 per look, includes full album downloads and 1 edit per look
  • Content Shoots, prices vary depending on how many set ups and how elaborate they are, starting at $120 minimum
  • Real Estate Packages, starting at $150

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All Images Christina Russo/Fresh Print Media

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