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Meet Christina Zimmerman

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

Hi Christina, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am a 25 years old professional photographer based out of Southern California. I currently live in Murrieta, but I commute to Los Angeles for most of my photoshoots and I plan on moving back to Los Angeles soon as we transition out of the pandemic. With an emphasis on fashion and portrait photography, I am passionate about working with models and influencers who want to get published and elevate their portfolio and booking potential. My work has been internationally published 44 times in a variety of reputable fashion and portrait magazines. I look forward to building lifelong relationships with models, dancers, stylists, HMUA’s, brands, and people who want to change the world for the better. My love and inspiration for photography came from my passion for people and the creative capacity that humans possess.

Before I even picked up a camera, I was a student of movement and light: as a dancer since the age of four, I learned about lines and how to connect moments to tell a story in a way that both challenges and invests in human emotion. I studied vulnerability, confidence and developed a resilient spirit and competitive mindset. I was a dance teacher and choreographer as well, and that really informed my ability to originate and communicate my ideas and give good direction. My dance background has a huge influence on my style and I often try to incorporate dance elements into my work. Exploring movement and light through photography was very intuitive to me when I first picked up a camera and studied film and digital photo basics in high school. I saw the potential to combine my love for dance and storytelling with a whole new medium of art.

The summer after my junior year of high school, I took my ambition to an academic program at Oxford University in England to study photography and filmmaking intensively for the summer. This was a really transformative experience and it gave me a new perspective of myself, my work, and the impact of imagery. After high school, I pursued my undergraduate degree at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. While at Pepperdine, I had the opportunity to be the Creative Director and Photographer for a start-up record label, I worked as a freelance photographer for the Malibu Surfside News, and I was a PR consultant & Photographer for the Pepperdine Institute of Entertainment, Media, and Culture. I graduated with a with a BA in Public Relations which gave me a strong marketing and social media background. Fusing all of this knowledge and experience with photography has given my craft a strategic edge and it’s provided me with the skills I need to now run my own business successfully. I officially established Z Photography LLC in 2020 and I’m really excited to see the fruition of my vision for my business.

While my focus is currently on building my fashion editorial portfolio, I look forward to eventually opening a few Peerspaces in Los Angeles, starting a high fashion & dance magazine, and doing amazing photoshoots all over the world with extraordinary people. I’d love to shoot at a runway show as well and really dive into the fashion photography world. I know I have so much to learn and so much growth ahead of me, this is only the beginning! While I’m not running my own business, I get to travel and photograph dance competitions all over the US with a company called Dance Pixs. It’s very fulfilling to be able to use my dance background to push myself to become an exceptional dance photographer, and it means so much to be able to support the dancers by capturing those moments that I know are really meaningful to them. I’m really grateful to be able to do what I love and use my talents to spread joy and confidence. Some of my favorite photographers to study from online are Sue Bryce, Olivia Bossert, and Susan Strippling. They have all inspired me in different ways and I would definitely recommend absorbing all of their knowledge and advice if you’re looking for some people to learn from!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting a photography business isn’t easy but I’ve had a lot of support from family and friends and some really amazing opportunities that have allowed me to be the photographer that I am today. I started shooting in 2011 so I had quite a while to study photography before I decided to officially start my business in 2020. So far, my biggest challenges have been business learning curves, more-so than photography struggles. There are a lot of hats to wear (especially because I don’t outsource anything right now), so between location scouting, planning, shooting, editing, publishing, sales, marketing, website management, maintaining social media, networking, studying, and building client relationships, it’s a challenge to find a good rhythm and manage everything without being insanely overwhelmed and overworked.

At the same time, I really enjoy wearing all of these hats and utilizing my different skills so it’s a very fulfilling challenge. A lot of my struggles were solved with studying from other successful photographers and putting in the hours, especially on the business and marketing side of things. There is so much to learn and you have to be willing to make mistakes, take rejection, and consistently show up as your best creative self. I think it’s safe to say that so far Covid has been my biggest obstacle so far for obvious reasons, but it was also such a blessing in disguise. I was able to invest a lot of time and energy into my business, and I have so much more clarity with regards to everything that I want to accomplish and how I can best serve my clients.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a professional photographer with an emphasis on portrait and fashion photography, but I do all types of photography and take on as many opportunities as I can. I also photograph dance competitions on the side and I really want to do more creative dance photoshoots that are outside of the competition context! I’m known for getting my models published in print magazines and for being easy to work with. I try to go above and beyond to make sure that everyone has a positive photoshoot experience and walks away feeling confident and like they made a new friend. I’m proud of my ability to uniquely capture my models and to make everyone look and feel their best regardless of their experience level with modeling. I’m really proud of how far my business has come and I’m really grateful to have been internationally published 44 times already in my career. My business is still very young and growing into all of its greatness so I’m excited to see how I’m able to further distinguish myself as a photographer and capture the attention of a wider audience. I hope to inspire and teach others along the way and hopefully elevate everyone that I work so that we can share that success together. I see so much potential and every day I get a new idea so I’m just excited to work as hard as I can to make all of my ideas come to life.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
I learned a lot of patience and empathy from the Covid-19 crisis. I always want to make sure that all of my loved ones are safe and I feel a responsibility to keep my models happy and healthy as well. While I’m passionate about pushing myself to grow as a photographer, when Covid first locked us down I recognized that there were so many other things I could do from home that would allow me to keep making progress and still help stop the spread. I spent several hours each day studying and researching different ways that I could improve my business and strategically reach my goals. I suddenly had all this time to dive into things that I had previously put on the back-burner and it allowed me to reflect on what I really wanted.

During the pandemic was actually when I learned all about how to get my work published and that was really game changing for me and the models that I work with. I realized that I really enjoy fashion and portrait photography and seeing my work in print magazines, so that’s really been my primary focus as we come out of the pandemic. I feel a deeper connection with my craft and a sense of clarity and confidence with regards to how I can help people to accomplish their goals. That’s what really motivates me- I want my work to facilitate growth and I want people to feel recognized for their hard work. Now that I’m grounded in that feeling, I’m just excited for the journey ahead, and I think that we’ll come together even stronger as we emerge from this global pandemic.

Pricing:

  • $250 per hour (additional fees for studio rental)
  • 20 retouched high resolution digital files are included for every (1) hour of shooting.
  • Up to 3 outfits/looks per hour.
  • Order prints starting at $10. Additional retouched digital images are available upon request for $20 each.
  • 30 minute mini-sessions are available for $150 and include 5 retouched high resolution digital files. Mini sessions are limited to one outfit/look.

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Christina Zimmerman Z Photography www.helloochristina.com

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