DPP Home Profiles Chris Crisman: Master Of The Person In Their Place

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chris Crisman: Master Of The Person In Their Place

In his environmental portraits, Chris Crisman creates highly polished images that show the humanism that drives the Philadelphia-based photographer

What I Use
Cameras & Lenses
Hasselblad H2 camera with Phase One IQ160
digital back
Hasselblad 50-110mm
Hasselblad 35mm
Hasselblad 80mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L
Canon EF 50mm ƒ/1.2L
Canon EF 16-35mm ƒ/2.8L
Canon EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L
Dynalite 2000 watt-second power packs
Custom-built Dynalite 2400 watt-second
power packs
Chimera softboxes
Photek octabanks
Lightrein octabanks and grids
Other Gear
PocketWizard Plus III and Plus X transmitters
Pelican and Tenba cases
Adobe Creative Suite V6
HDRsoft Photomatix Pro
Phase One Capture One Pro 7
Computers & Printers
Custom-modified MacBook Pro for shooting
Mac Pro with EIZO monitor for retouching
LaCie 75 TB storage array
Epson Stylus Pro 3800 printer
Epson Stylus Pro 7900 printer
DPP: In your work, it's obvious people skills are an important component.

Crisman: I try to get people to look at my work ahead of a shoot; they usually can find some people in some of the images who they can relate to. If it's about just getting through the session in time, I try and show that that's what I'm concerned about, too. If they're worried about looking bad in front of the camera, I'll discuss what their concerns are. There's a lot of therapy involved with this. They're putting themselves out there for the world to see, so there's fear that comes with that. I think it's a good idea to get yourself in front of the camera once in awhile to remind yourself of the experience.

DPP: In addition to your still photography, you're working with motion on occasion, as well.

Crisman: It's the reality of the times. The general idea that I like to shoot from a tripod and shoot remotely frees me up to direct. It's a similar process. We've done some behind-the-scenes videos of my shoots and some pieces for AARP. Those were shot with the RED. I'm not the cinematographer. I'm the director.

DPP: You often use the word "we" instead of "I" when talking about your shoots. Your team seems to play a big role in your work.

Crisman: In the last few years, as the productions get bigger, the schedule gets tighter and the expectations become a lot higher, it has really become a lot more about trusting and collaborating with the people I work with. We're trying as a team to do unique things—not be boring, not be simple—and produce special, meaningful work.

Go to www.crismanphoto.com to see more of Chris Crisman's photography and motion work.


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