We would like to introduce Cristina Gareau, our first photographer in our new Portfolio web series. Cristina grew up in Quebec, but after having a change of heart from her nine to five looking through microscopes under neon lights, she moved out west, bought a camera, and has never looked back. Her work has caught our eyes on social and web through her stunning landscapes and fashion photography and of coarse her artistic approach to surf. Scroll down to learn more about Cristina and view her beautiful work.
- Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Cristina, but mostly go by my nickname Nanou – my parents gave me that name when I was born. Originally from Quebec City, I worked in the field of cancer research for about 8 years. One morning about 6 years ago, I decided that I had enough of the neon lights and microscopes, so I traded them in for the golden hour and panoramas and moved out West. It had been my dream to live here for a very long time.
- When and How did you get into photography?
My progression from microscopes to DSLRs was a little bit of luck and a little bit of (literal) accident! For so many years I wanted to get a camera but had lots of discouragement from others. “Don’t do it, it will stay in your closet, you won’t use it, it’s a waste of money…”. A little more than a year ago I had a neck injury that forced me to slow down hard – so I decided to take another leap, into photography. It was the best decision ever and changed so much for me. Most of all, it reminded me to follow my gut and my heart – which I do every day I take photos. If you have a dormant passion, please don’t listen to others and just try it. It might just change your life.
- Outside of surfing what is your favourite subject matter to shoot?
Adventure, lifestyle, portraits.
- In recent years, there has been a wave of photographers and creative individuals moving to the coast. How do you differentiate yourself from the crowd?
I think that at our very base, we are all so different that our photography can’t help but be so. Everything that we are, everything we have seen, everything that we have experienced – it all goes into our photos. What I see as beautiful can be a millisecond before what you see as beautiful, and the clicking of our shutter will capture our world around us in an entirely different way. My eye is informed by the science I peered through a microscope at, and the collision of that art and science in adventure, surfing, portraits – that’s what I love and what I see.
- Where would your dream surf trip to photograph be?
Outside of Canada I would love to see New Zealand, but would definitely love to go explore more of our coast up North first.
- Outside of Canada who inspires you?
In photography, right now I can think of Kat Reynolds, Serena Lutton, Henri Cartier Bresson – but my inspiration comes from different areas, architecture, design, fashion, and even biology.
- Whats next? Any future plans?
To keep on learning! I am always interested in travel and adventure, and I am focusing on spending time growing and melding that portion of my business. I would love to travel to different shoot locations for surf and adventure and grow in that direction. In that way, I’m just like every photographer out there! Travel, grow and learn.
For more from Cristina click below.