By Janet Alexander.
Spoken like a true Hawaii native, Kailua-born photographer Christy Lee Rogers says, “I hadn’t found my way yet until I found the water.” Coming from a family of musicians, Christy was already artistically inclined, but didn’t consider photography until high school, at which point she says, “it was the one thing I could get lost in and express everything that I wanted to say.” Teaching herself through relentless experimentation–”keeping the things that work and throwing away the things that don’t,” as she describes–Christy remembers how her creative calling eventually came to the surface, once she began photographing underwater subjects, “I didn’t have to think about it; it felt natural,” and adds, “I became obsessed and I started throwing everyone I could into the pool.” Shooting with a Canon 1D, even after having “found the water,” it was seven years before Christy finally felt ready to release her first series, “Siren.” By then, she explains, “I wasn’t nervous or scared, I was happy with what I was putting out there, because it was so pure to me.”
Without a crew or light meters, Christy describes her shoots as “very raw,” and says,”I don’t like to have a lot of pressure when I’m creating.” Over the course of six nights, shooting from outside the water, Christy says she aims to have “too many good shots,” and by keeping her methods simple and comfortable she is able to go with the flow. “I’m sculpting and molding as we go, adding colors, fabrics or props based on what I see,” she says. In this way, Christy considers the camera an incidental medium through which her visual art is expressed, and accordingly, avoids any post-production processes. “When you put your work out there you feel bare and that’s hard at first because it’s very personal, but when it’s so truthful you can’t go wrong with it,” she reasons.
No pun intended, Christy says that her work “comes in waves,” and in keeping with her experimental approach, says of her most recent series, “Reckless Unbound,” “I let everything go like paint on canvas–just throw the paint on there.” Consequently, the resulting aesthetic of her photography has been compared to Baroque era painter Caravaggio. For her next collection, Christy will be using a Canon 5D Mark III attempting to represent, “all of mankind,” and has spent the past six weeks collecting the necessary props and costumes. Dividing her time between Los Angeles and Hawaii, Christy says her greatest challenge is time, “I love exhibiting, and if I could do it all the time, I’d be so happy,” which is why she was thrilled when Snap! Orlando invited her to this year’s event. Having never heard of Snap! Orlando before, Christy is particularly excited because of its theme, “Motion in Light.” Aside from the opportunity to see new work and meet new people, Christy sees her participation as a part of her job, as she concludes, “making art is a service–putting good back in the world to help people dream and laugh and feel inspired.