Interview: Photographer Christian Lemons
What’s the story of how you got into photography and end up pursuing your passion?
My interest in photography began in middle school with 35mm film cameras and never left me. When I left home after high school to travel I always had a camera nearby. I took photos of nature, landscapes, and things that I found inspiring. I got my first Canon DSLR in 2011 and shortly after discovered the world of wedding photography. I worked tirelessly to build my business while juggling a full-time job. I focused on learning about SEO for my website and the technical aspect of photography.
I was working in a fine dining restaurant serving tables and dreaming of a life where I could support myself by creating art. I moved to Asheville, North Carolina early in my business and quickly realized that elopement and intimate wedding photography was what thrilled me the most. I loved adventuring to the forests, mountaintops, waterfalls, and riverbeds with my couples and working to infuse the beauty of nature into my images. Thankfully, there are many wildly in love and adventurous couples who seek out my work and I now work full time as an elopement and intimate wedding photographer as well as being a full-time mother to my son!
What has influenced your style and work the most?
Human emotion and nature have been the largest influencing factors on my work and style. Adventuring with my couples into nature and guiding them to feel comfortable in front of my camera is the most inspiring process that continues to influence and develop my style and further my work in the direction I want it to grow. My own connection to nature and the process of love has also helped me cultivate and grow my style.
What do you wish people would understand better about you and your work?
I feel as though my message is accurately portrayed and that the people who seek out my services fully understand what my work is all about. I would love for more people to understand how amazing an elopement or intimate wedding can be.
What is the best thing you’ve experienced by being a photographer?
Freedom and connection! I find so much freedom in being a creative entrepreneur. Working for myself is ideal and incredibly freeing for me and I am grateful that I’ve been able to build my business to this level. Freedom from a 9–5 job and also from struggle are both monumental in my life. I have the freedom to be with my son while also pursuing my creative dreams! Connection is another huge factor; connection that I witness between my couples and also the connections I make with them along with my fellow photographers and wedding industry professionals! I find that community over competition is very much alive for my circle and that a radically inspiring thing!
What is your dream location and why?
My dream location is anywhere that my clients feel most connected to themselves, one another, and the natural world. Thankfully most of my clients find this connection in spectacularly beautiful nature spots! Some of my bucket list locations include Central and South America, Hawai’i, New Zealand, Bali, Europe, and pretty much everywhere else on planet Earth! Also, the moon! ;) I recently photographed an elopement in Yosemite National Park and that was certainly a dream come true!
What are some key elements in your work?
I strive to fuse connection, emotion, love, and nature in every photograph I take.
What are some of your all-time favorite hobbies other than photography?
I’m an artist through and through so I love creating things with my hands. I enjoy painting, sewing, building things, growing plants and food, and going on adventures and conjuring up magic with my two-year-old son, Everest. Living a life fueled by happiness and love is one of my major life goals that I work to create every day and that is somewhat of a hobby in and of itself!
What was your last shoot like?
My last shoot was an engagement session atop one of my favorite Blue Ridge mountaintops! Autumn is upon us here in North Carolina and the fall colors were definitely a sight to behold! We adventured all over the mountaintop soaking in the magic! We ended the session with my couples dancing, laughing, and holding one another close as the sun set behind the ridge and the sky turned to blue. We hiked down with headlamps and all left feeling so enriched by our evening spent in nature!
Is there anything we didn’t ask you about that you’d like to share?
Love is the real deal! It’s the largest factor in being able to create potent work. I also believe that true love can heal our society and planet. More love, please!