EK Interview: Kristiina Wilson

Kristiina Wilson can violate Newton’s third law.  Also she can seal all of her epidermal cells, completely close her eyes, nose and mouth, perfectly cover her ears with her hands and see with her mind.  Because of these anomalies she can travel through space.  Kristiina has verified that Titan has a methanological cycle.  NASA still consider this somewhat of a theory.  She thinks the methane rain of Titan is ever more beautiful than Earth’s own rains.  When not traveling through space Kristiina dedicates her time to photography and amateur crime fighting.  And of course awesome interviews:

Tell us about yourself, are you a morning person or a night person?  How does that play into your work?

I am more of a night person. BUT, I start all my shoots around 10am and we generally wrap around 3-4pm. They don’t take very long. I like to stay up late to read books and relax from a day of work. I don’t find that shooting at night is generally very productive.

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

What kind of camera(s) do you use?  What made you choose the gear that you use?

I shoot lots of different vintage polaroid cameras, a Fuji Instax large format camera and a Canon D1MarkIII. I love polaroid and Fujiroid for their rawness and old film feel, and I love the Canon for its full frame capabilities and great clear shots. They are the perfect combo.

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

What software/effects do you use in post?

I don’t do much in post. Really the most I do would do is a simple b/w conversion from color or to correct skin issues. I just use Photoshop for that. Very simple!

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

What’s you approach? When composing a series do you decide beforehand what kind of after effects you intend to use or do wait until you have the pictures in front of you?

I generally have a fairly firm idea of how I want a series to look before I shoot it.

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

How did you get into photography?  How did you get the industry gigs that you’ve had?

I started taking photography seriously in high school, and my parents helped me build a darkroom in the house, which was so great — I could experiment as much as I wanted. I then went on to study photography at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in NYC and at UIAH in Helsinki for my BFA and MFA degrees. I got magazine jobs by doing a LOT of research — going to magazine stories, reading letterheads, contacting people, etc etc. Ad jobs generally come via word of mouth, through networking, via friends, etc.

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

Who are two artists who have influenced your work?  How has their art affected yours?

Richard Avedon really inspired me and made me 100% sure that I wanted to be a photographer. His fashion work is amazing. All his work is amazing. Seeing his exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1994 cemented the idea in my head that I would be a photographer, and that was that.

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

What was the inspiration for “Little Tiny Clouds: 7th Man”?

Honestly — I had a bunch of cotton stuffing lying around the studio from a sculpture project, and was just throwing it in the air when I noticed it looked like tiny clouds. I was just goofing off. But I thought maybe it could be a cute story, someone just messing around with the stuffing, with a hard flash and some crazy clothes. Tiny clouds of stuffing — that’s it! 😉

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

How do you select your models?  Tell us about that process.

Sometimes I have a shoot date and an idea and I will ask all the big agencies to send me packages of who is available on that date, and I will pick from those models who I think is the most inspiring or the most suitable for the story concept. But often now either the client, magazine or myself already has an idea of who we want for the model and we just go straight to the agency and ask for them, which really streamlines the process. It is just about knowing what models are out there, what they are like in terms of movement and personality, and then matching them up with the job at hand.

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

What were you feeling emotionally for “99 Cent Dreams: U Mag”?  What do you hope to convey, ideologically and emotionally through the series?

I wanted to show who Frey is, in the context of the strange locations that we were putting him in. The rest of it was up to him, and my edit.

art blog - Kristiina Wilson - Empty Kingdom

What series are you working on at the present?

Right now I am working on a cover story for Slurp magazine, a men’s fashion story for a new magazine called SID, and a women’s story with a gorgeous new redhead model named Dallas. Then I have a break for 2 weeks!

If you could transform into any animal, what would it be and why?

I have had several people tell me I remind them of a Snow Wolf, so I will say that — snow wolf.