Evolution | About Chrissy Mazer




My interest in photography started in 2004 when I got my first digital camera, a little off-brand point and shoot.  

I took pictures of any and everything with this little camera.  You couldn't move at all while taking a picture or else you'd end up with a blurry image.  The zoom feature worked but everything came out pixelated and weird.  But that didn't matter to me one bit.  Not only was I able to take as many pictures as I wanted to, I was able to SEE the pictures that I took, right there on my little 1 1/4 inch view screen!  I swear, I think they sell these cameras now in the kid's section of Walmart.  

Fourth of July 2004, Phoenix, AZ

In 2006 I got my next camera.  Another little off-brand.  This one had the quirk of adding a yellow haze to every picture unless it was taken under fluorescent lights.  Which I was able to work around since the kitchen in my apartment had a huge fluorescent as its only light source as well as a shelf that was the perfect height to use as a tripod.   


Yellow Hue
Kitchen Lighting


I used the heck out of this camera and got to know it inside and out.  So when I upgraded to a Samsung point and shoot in 2008 I found myself at a HUGE disadvantage.  I was used to the camera adding a nice softening to each photo it took.  The Samsung grabbed every feature and BLARED it out for all to see. 

And apparently I thought leaving the date stamp on the camera was a good idea.

It took me a long time to get the hang of that one.  Eventually I was able to produce images I liked, but none with great consistency.


That camera met its end in 2009 when I went with two good friends to see the Thunderbird Air Show.  We had a dust storm that wouldn't lay off and the dust got into the lens mechanism and made it so that the lens wouldn't engage when the camera was turned on.  It just made a horrible crunchy grinding sound.  

Enter the "Pink Camera".  Another Samsung and an upgrade from the one who died on the battlefield.  We still have this camera in a drawer buried in my desk.  This one took me through the birth of my first child and my foray into the world of post processing and theatrical makeup.





 I had a lot of fun with this camera.  Though I will admit that the discovery of photoshop actually hindered my development at this point.  Here I stopped worrying so much about getting the images right in camera and instead looked to photoshop to fix the errors or enhance the images in a way that I hadn't bothered with in camera. 



After this...phase...came the turning point for my pictures.  I got my first iphone and discovered cell phone photography.  Now this was fun.  I could add filters, adjust settings, do just about anything I wanted to with this handy gadget. 
Images like these became a big part of my repertoire.  I loved being able to combine all of the elements of photography that I loved into something that fit in my hand.  It was about this time that friends began asking me to take pictures of them or of their children.


All this time I put off buying a DSLR camera even though it was what I had really wanted all along.  I just couldn't justify the expense.  I figured that since I was (clearly) not a professional photographer that I should stick to the less expensive options.  I had even gone so far as to buy a Fuji Finepix camera a few years back thinking that I could "make it work".  Yea okay.  Aside from a few photo shoots I did at pagan events that thing sat on a shelf.  Just a couple of months ago I ended up giving it to one of my best friends.  

Enter my Nikon in September of 2014.  I finally gave up my resistance and bought the camera I wanted.  Immediately my images improved.  Then I joined Clickin' Moms in November of 2014 and it's improved even more.

I immediately jumped into a Project 365 and over the course of the next twelve months my images vastly improved.  I went from shooting a few portraits with a billion snapshots to a few snapshots and a billion portraits.   



In March of 2015 I outgrew my D5300.  I had pushed the ISO capabilities to their max and longed for Kelvin white balance.  At this time I made a massive score on Craigslist.  I found a gentleman selling a used D7000 with 18-105mm lens for a steal.  After driving over to check it out all seemed great so I brought it home.  I checked the shutter count and was shocked to find that it was under 1000.  SCORE!





It was around this point that I finally admitted to myself that this was what I wanted to do with my life.  I love taking images, I love documenting memories, and I love making people smile.  All of these things I can do with photography.

Now it can be said (and likely has been) that I tend to be a voracious learner when I'm passionate about something.  In addition to shooting every day I also devoured every bit of photography education I could get my hands on.  I read manuals, watched tutorials, tried to duplicate lighting techniques, etc.  If there was anything out there that I felt would help me I grabbed it up (sorry, bank account).  

So it should come as no surprise that come November of 2015 I reached the limits of what I could do with the D7000.  Thankfully my online retail shops were doing well (Black Friday season) and I was able to purchase my baby, the Nikon D750.  




The low light capabilities of this camera alone make it worth the expense.  Then add in the fantastic focusing system and I'm completely sold.  

I've kept my D7000 as a backup camera but have bundled my D5300 and paid it forward to a woman in my community who adores photography but didn't have a DSLR.  I knew she would love it like I did and it felt wonderful to be able to do that for her.

So, several years later there are a few things that I've discovered about my photography.  First and foremost I love it more than ever.  Second, there are elements to how I like to shoot that, looking back, I can see were there right from the start.  I love heavy contrast in my images and I still have a huge love for a theatrical and dramatic photograph. 



I'm in my fourth Project 365 without a break in between because if I had to attribute my skill growth to anything it would be shooting every single day.  I can't wait to see what heights I can reach by next year <3