Trini Shultz is a brilliant fine art photographer from USA and her images show her characters in an amazing world of fantasy and magic. Most of her work is set in a mystery land where whales fly and lovely ladies live in surrealistic haunting ambiance. Her photographic style bears her peculiar signature which is evident in the selection of props conceptual concepts. Her beautiful daughter is also models for many of her photos and sometimes her husband also adds up in her photos. That’s a very talented family, for sure. Our Q&A part with Trini begins:
Hello Trini, please tell us something about yourself:
I was born in Peru. My family moved to California when I was 3 and later returned to live in Peru when I was 7. Two yrs later we came back to California and I’ve lived here ever since. I studied art in college and it was there that I took a black & white photography class where I learned to develop my own film.
I started taking photography seriously after my dad bought me my first “real” camera when I was 16. A Pentax K1000. I still have it and will always keep it as a reminder of when I first started to fall in love with photography. I later took a photography class in college where I learned to develop black & white film. After I got married and had my first child I did not spend as much time with photography.
It wasn’t till after I had my second child that I took up photography and developing my own film again. My daughter, who was a toddler at the time, was my subject and she enjoyed modelling for me, and to this day, she is now 18, she is my model in most of my photos, as is my husband. I take photos as much as time allows me, but most of the time I spent working on the photo.
My favorite subject to shoot are people, whether it be indoors or outdoors. I love fine art photography and no matter what the subject is I am compelled to edit photos with Photoshop. Whether it’s a wedding photograph or a simple portrait, I love editing and adding something intriguing to a photo and give it that wow factor, that painterly look or make it more appealing. For example, last Feb. I photographed my cousin’s wedding and she was hoping it would snow that day, but instead it was a bright sunny day. So I added snow in one of her photos.
When I first started “conceptual” photography I used a Nikon D80, but the images were lacking sharpness. So upgraded the camera to a Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-105mm lens which is a great lens overall, but for portraits and better depth-of-field effects I use the 85mm lens.
I used to sketch out my ideas in drawings. And once in a great while I still do. But most of the time I don’t have anything planned and go out on whim and just shoot. Try out different poses, different outfits, different props, etc. and later during the editing I come up with ideas. This especially works well if you have pics you never knew what to do with and have been sitting for a long time, or when a photo-shoot idea didn’t work out but you think of another idea while editing.
It’s always good to keep all your pics even the failed ones. Experimenting and trying new things helps you grow artistically, try stepping out of your comfort zone and in the end, you never know, might be the best piece of work you’ve done so far.
I don’t think there’s such a thing as “cliche” photos because photo ideas are repeated anyways, it happens, but each has it’s own interpretation and it’s own style. I’ve seen dozens of levitation pics but there’s always room for another and another because they are each different, intriguing and beautiful to look at. Just like wedding pics or graduation pics are cliche but you can do something with it to make it different and intriguing.
What are your sources of inspirations? Any favorite quote?
My source of inspirations come from movies, paintings, other photographers and nature. I have many favorite photographers, and still adding to the list. Favorite quotes: “Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I am going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham. And “Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” – Don McCullin.
Follow your heart and do what you love. If you enjoy photography carry your camera with you and shoot anything that appeals to you. There are no rules or boundaries, experiment with it and play around with different techniques. Same thing with Photoshop, play around with it and with practice you will get better.