Photo taken by: Earthtone Photography
Hi! My name is Christina, and my life as a photographer started when I was a baby! My father loved the art of photography, and my sister and I were his test subjects. I remember how happy he was while shooting, and how special I felt when his image became print. When I was 10 years old I received a point and shoot camera and a cabbage patch doll for Christmas. I promptly went out and posed my doll in different locations around my neighborhood. She was swinging on the swings, climbing a tree, etc. After the photos were printed, I put them in an album and wrote captions for each picture, the total of which captured the story of my dolls day. A long time went by before I bought my own Nikon N65 film camera. I was 18 years old, so I took photos of other people’s kids when I got a chance, and focused mostly on nature. That same year was when I sold my first print of a beautiful dragonfly. I remember when the buyer requested that I sign the photo, I naively asked “why”. He said, “So when you’re famous, I’ll have proof that this is your work.” I was blown away by his response; it was a gift that I still cherish. Soon after I married, had two girls, and contemplated whether or not to focus on photography as a profession. I choose not to pursue photography at that time because of the following reasons: The market was saturated, it was too big of a risk, and I would be throwing away years of college. I decided to do the “smart” thing and finish my degree in finance.
While in school I met my future husband. When we were looking for a wedding photographer we must have looked at a hundred or more websites of local photographers. Many of them took amazing photos, but they were “standard” and not especially creative or artistic. Finally, through word of mouth, we found a friend of a family member, Jeff Newsom. His photos make made me love photography all over again. During our engagement shoot one of his first questions was, “are you a photographer.” I said no, that used to shoot a lot with a film camera. But really hadn’t crossed over into the digital world. His response was, “you should get back into it.” Right then I realized that I may have left some wonderful things behind, and most likely not for the right reasons. With all the wedding planning while finishing my finance degree, I didn’t think much more about it. After getting married, I worked at a finance firm for about 6mo. Lets just say that being stuck in an office with my kids in daycare is definitely not my thing! Soon after realizing this, I gave birth to my 3rd daughter. I stayed home to take care of her and my older girls. Before I knew it, I was obsessed with taking pictures of my new baby. For her first birthday, I hired a professional photographer to take my daughter’s photos. I asked the photographer if she would include my two older daughters in a few shots. She happily obliged, but made it clear that she did not enjoy photographing older children. The day of the shoot, my one year old did not nap properly and was super cranky. So of course I did not get one single smiling photo of the baby, and the photographer literally gave me one photo of each of my older girls. I realized right then, that I wanted to do photography my way. And, I needed to buy a new camera!
I bought a Canon mark ii, and one prime lens. I practiced constantly, and when I couldn’t figure out something on my own I would Google “why are my photos blurry” or something that would sound so silly to me now. During the time that I was practicing the basics, I had no contact with any professional photographers. Mostly because I didn’t know any, and also because I felt intimidated by other photographers. I blamed the reason why I couldn’t be a photographer on the competition. As is turns out, the only person holding me back from my dreams was myself. Right at the same time that I started to realize this, is when I met my very dear friend, Loreta Washington of Earthtone Photography. Becoming friends opened up my heart to the photography community as a whole, and my life has been changed forever because of her. I have learned that I am at home the photography community, and that I was born to be a photographer. Loreta and I are now shooting weddings together, as a team. I also have my own portrait business named after my daughter, Bella Fiore Photography. Currently, I am offering photography sessions for: Birth, newborns (lifestyle), maternity, children, seniors, families, Engagement, Events and Weddings!