across the table
"So, we all die.
We just don’t talk about it. And by IT, I mean, what actually happens when someone dies. We’re all curious about it but we also know that we can’t say “I’m sorry your Grandma passed away. Who did you call when it happened? Did she go to the morgue? Did you write the obituary?“
THE FOX FAMILY
"Field sessions in June and September are my favorite sessions in the world. And this family? One of my favorites. In a favorite field. In one of my favorite months."
on the table
"I hope you guys are enjoying my weekly menu planning posts. I’m excited about this coming week’s menu, probably because it contains pulled pork, mashed potatoes and homemade mac and cheese. What more could a girl want?"
March 29, 2019
We sat in the back of the cafe, in leather chairs that made us feel cozy yet very important. The lights were dim, the walls dark, the coffee…excellent.
If you’ve never been to Fluid in downtown Valparaiso, it’s important that you try it. Very different, a big focus on great flavors, streamlined ordering and relaxed, good service.
This was my first time meeting Christine. Once our conversation began, it wasn’t long before I knew that I wanted to feature her. I don’t think she knew she had a direct message that she was delivering but she did, the message was loud and clear…NEVER STOP CREATING.
Christine piqued my interest with her daily images of her life. Nothing fancy, but good, meaningful, beautiful shots of everyday life.
I’m excited for you to get to know Christine…but mostly, I’m excited to see what YOU do AFTER meeting her. I hope you try something new, you’re never too old, never too busy to create.
Friends, meet Christine.
Hello! I’m Christine- Mother to four- two girls, two boys ages 7, 6, 2, and 1. I live in DeMotte, IN and I’m married to a hardworking, loving man who was also my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together since I was 17 and we will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary next month. We are a very pet loving family, we currently have 2 fish, 1 German Shepherd, 1 hamster, 20 chickens, 1 turkey- and we are going to get another small order of 8 chicks this spring, and we have 16 in the incubator currently to hatch (chicken math- it’s a real thing and it’s a slippery slope, haha!)
How long have you been using a DSLR?
I learned how to use one about 9 years ago, and I bought my first one to keep at home with me about 5 years ago.
What inspires you?
Oooooh, this is a good question. What inspires me most, I would have to say is TIME and how our stories change along with it. How it changes us. How everything is constantly evolving and changing along with it regardless of what you do with your life. Are you in the very same spot that you were 3 years ago? 5 years ago? Likely, the answer is no and something (or many little things) have changed since then.
There was a time it was just my husband and I, young and in love. A time we got married. There was a time we bought a house, changed jobs, got a dog… a time before a child and a time after that child. Then came a second, years later a third, and a fourth. So many moments and a million things in between, big and small and it all has its own place and story to go along with it. Time inspires me to shoot constantly, to document what our life is like now at that moment, that very day. We are not promised a single thing in this world and we are blind to what lies ahead of us- so I love embracing the ‘now’. I love looking back and seeing how things have changed- how the kids have grown, how our family looked then, how the garden looked years ago, how the decor and taste in my home has change…. What I know now that I didn’t back then. What has stayed, and what has moved on. What is still with us, and what we have lost. Honoring the time we are at in our life, at this very moment- Good, or bad is what inspires me the most.
What distracts you from creativity?
What leaves me struggling to be creative is the perfect situation. I love a challenge or an obstacle of some sort to put a twist on the ‘normal’.
Is there anything you do that helps ignite your creativity?
I love an obstacle, a challenge of some sort that really makes me think. I love being given a ‘prompt’ (you’ll find these in some photography groups or sit down and write down a handful yourself!) and thinking of the obvious- and then shooting something totally different. Let’s say the prompt to shoot would be ‘reflective’. Immediately, I think of a mirror- so I’m not going to shoot that unless I could manage a really creative or out of the box shot. Did you know your table top and floor can be reflective? The screen on that phone in your pocket, if you put it up against the bottom of your lens? The glass on the photo hanging on the wall? What if you don’t take it figuratively, and shoot with reflective light instead off of a reflective surface?
Another thing I love to do to get creative, is to search through quotes and become inspired by one. Try to find a quote to relate to how you are feeling, or something you enjoy and shoot in a way that goes along with it.
Last, but not least- my kids inspire me. They each have their own personalities, and I love capturing them all differently. I love documenting what stages of life they are in- their missing teeth, their new haircuts, their interests… It never stays the same for long. I love the innocent thought process and love children have to offer. I love to sit and ask them how they think about things, and what’s important to them.
What forms of creativity do you activity take on?
Besides photography I love to cook, bake, and most recently I’ve taken on painting- my favorites are watercolors and alcohol inks. Social media can be a powerful platform and it’s amazing how one thing can lead to another and new opportunities you never thought possibly can present themselves. This is exactly what has happened with my paintings, I started painting just for me- picking up a brush for the first time this fall to keep my mind off of a few things. I documented a few of my paintings through photography and my 365 photo project and it turns out I have some of the most supportive friends, the response to my work was very positive and encouraging. Recently I had someone who was following my work ask if I would consider selling some of my art in a local store. I figured I have nothing to lose- It keeps me painting, if it works great and if it doesn’t- I’m not out a thing! So in addition to photography as a hobby, I’m now painting too! I can’t describe the feeling how great it is to have someone appreciate your craft and work. This is a prime example that you’ve got nothing to lose! Put yourself out there…. You never know who is watching and rooting for you. You never know what doors will open for you unless you try.
Is there anything you dream of doing some day/do you have a creative bucket list?
Nothing specific really my bucket list would just be to travel more, and to be able to show my kids the world. Creative wise, it would be exhilarating to be in totally new and unexplored area (to me) to document. I do have my scuba license, so underwater photography would be a neat area to tackle.
What brings you joy?
CHICKENS! Ha- kidding (kind of).
Life in general! Health, my family, and nature. I love to travel and explore new places and things. I love little details and how they are important to the big picture, yet they are often very overlooked. I’m a very simple person, I love the feeling of warm sun on my skin, or walking through a flower garden.
What do you know for sure?
I know for sure your story is your own- you should not compare yourself to one another. We have all dealt with different cards, but it’s how we handle them that truly creates our personalities and who we are.
I know for sure that you need to be true to yourself- you cannot carry the weight of what others think of you. Be happy, and confident with yourself and you’ll attract like-minded people
I also know with absolute certainty that cilantro is an awful vile, soapy tasting plant haha (yuck- GAG)
Name one person who inspires you locally? And who inspires you not-so-locally?
Not local would hands down be Stephanie Kelley of Stephanie Kelley Photography out of Illinois. She is an extremely passionate and talented person, and I love how she pours herself into her passions (like rescuing/fostering dogs, particularly Great Danes) and uses her talents (like painting!) to help others. She never seems to burn out of energy, she is always positive and has never met an obstacle she couldn’t overcome. She has an eye and drive for repurposing items, she is an insane artist, and a kind soul. I totally aspire to be like her when I grow up
Locally? This is a tough one- I’m friends with so many that I don’t think I could pinpoint one person… Each and every person inspires me differently! I love the passion and the drive my friends who own small businesses have
How do you take your coffee?
Any way but black! I love it best with cream (milk) and sugar, and when its available a little butter and a pinch of salt. I’ll never deny any sort of flavoring either.
You can purchase some of Christine’s artwork at Picked Vintage in Valpo.