SmugMug Corner #105: Christina Lawrie

Another Friday afternoon, another "SmugMug Corner photographer interview. We've got 15 beautiful photographs below, along with an interview with Christina Lawrie - a photographer in the American Southwest.

Name: Christina Lawrie

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Christina Lawrie. I'm 42 years old and I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. Originally from San Diego, California, my husband and I relocated to Arizona in 2001 and never looked back. Being immersed in the Sonoran Desert really ignited my passion for photography. The American Southwest is a place of overwhelming beauty and I never tire of it.

In the past year, I've had the opportunity to work with a prominent wedding photographer. This exposed me to another facet of photography that has interested me greatly. I am currently in the process of starting a portraiture business in the North Scottsdale area of Arizona.

Grey Matter

What is your background/training in photography?

I am mostly self-taught, but I was fortunate to have a member of an online forum mentor me in the first six months with my dSLR. The book, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson was instrumental in my development as a photographer. I read it from cover to cover and still refer back to it this day. has also been an incredible resource for photography and post-processing tutorials.

Poppies in the Sun

How long has photography been a passion for you? When, where and how did it start?

In 2001 I purchased my first digital point and shoot camera and I fell in love with photography. It was the first time the images came out like the ones I saw in my head. It wasn't until 2007 that my husband purchased a dSLR for me. I'm quite sure he thought I would use it for a month or two and then it would reside in the closet. Little did either of us know that I would jump in with both feet and rarely put the camera down.

About two years ago, I was helping my mother sort through my grandparent's things and discovered thousands of Kodachrome slides from my grandfather. He was an avid photographer but passed away before I was born. It's been wonderful getting to know him through his photos. I've been so impressed by his photographs from the 30's, 40's and 50's. One day I'd love to have a book printed of his images.

The Tempest

Blue Spark

The Old West

What equipment is in your camera bag? What piece of equipment will be added to the collection next?

I currently have a Nikon D300s. My lenses are a Nikkor 50mm 1.8, 105mm 2.8 Micro, and a Sigma 10-20mm. A tripod and SB-900 speedlight are the remaining items in the gear bag. A telephoto zoom is next on my list.


What are your favorite places/subjects to photograph? Why?

My interests change as I grow as a photographer. I started out strictly with landscapes and with the purchase of each new lens I discovered a new area of photography. Ghost towns and old vehicles remain a favorite subject, but my love of electrical storms is a constant. I've always been attracted to them and capturing a good lightning shot is always a mix of skill and luck. Currently, if I'm not chasing lightning, photographing people and events has become my latest interest.

The Bug in the Bubble

Three Amigos


Who are your biggest photographic influences? Why? What about their work influences your work?

I don't have a conventional, well known artist (e.g., Ansel Adams) that I strive to emulate. My greatest photographic influences come from other photographers whose work I admire. There are a handful of friends that, because of the caliber of their images, challenge me to improve my own skills.


How long have you been Smug with your photographs? What features do you most enjoy with your SmugMug account?

I signed up with SmugMug two and a half years ago. Several of my friends had accounts with them and I wanted the same features for my website. It was so easy to customize and there is no comparison for how good the photographs look. Having a pro account with SmugMug means that you use Bay Photo for your prints and I have been very impressed with the quality and customer service support.

Another benefit is the local SmugMug user groups. I have made valuable contacts at the meetings and benefited from the guest speakers they have each month.

A Wary Eye

In Silhouette

Two Doors

If you had do sum up in 50 words or less the impact SmugMug has made on your photography/photography business, those 50 words would be...

SmugMug has been a wonderful site to showcase my photographs in a user friendly format and allowed me reach a much wider audience than a stand alone website.

Blue Plate Special

If you had to give one piece of advice to those wanting to pursue photography, what would you tell them?

The first thing I tell friends and family that purchase a new camera is to learn the basics of photography. It takes time to become comfortable with the settings and what the impact of those settings will be to the photograph. It is a journey, so take your time and enjoy the process.

Lonely Street

Posted by Tim L. Walker on Fri, 2011–10–07 14:44
Categories: SmugMug Corner