We had the good fortune of connecting with Christie Goldstein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christie, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
Well, I was once told that a study out of Columbia University found that the average person makes around 70 decisions in any given day. While most decisions aren’t difficult, we all face a few big ones from time to time. For me, the most difficult decision I have ever had to make was to walk away from an unstable home environment at the age of 16. This was a pivotal and risky choice that had no clear path or a best course of action. The responsibility of this choice was mine alone and while I was very young when I had to make it I learned a very valuable character lesson that guides my decision making process to this day, some 30 years later. In making difficult choices there may be heartache but it also gives us the precious opportunity for growth and to actively shape who we will be in the future.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe it is incredibly important to document our everyday moments, not just the monumental or milestone events. Photographs of weddings, graduations, babies, and families are universally treasured but there are also stories about who we are and how we got to this moment in our lives. Images hold a moment of history captured, they seem to hold time still, as they witness tragedy and joy and are the keepers of all that we have deigned to be unforgettable. My creative voice wants to find a way to tell a person’s story of who they are and what they are passionate about when they step in front of my camera. The challenge of meshing documentary, story telling, and portrait work into a session starts with creating a bond with your subject so they are comfortable being themselves. I have learned that it is invaluable to me, to extend my session lengths in order to have the time to create this kind of a relationship. I want people to know that they are interesting and beautiful and that by photographing their authentic self they are capturing more than a snapshot. They are visually sharing their story of who they are in this very moment.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I always love this question when I see it asked because it usually leads to discovering new places. No pressure! We are lucky that our city is so diverse in what it has to offer that you can’t see it all or eat it all in just one visit. Houston is home to a vast array of art, theater, museums, and food and we are certainly missing them during this unusual time. In a time of openness and safety I would surely include seeing a performance or two and one must be at the Orange Show Center For Visionary Art followed by a quick photoshoot in Smither Park. I don’t want to spoil the details of this hidden gem but this art park is a visual treat. Speaking of visual treats, EaDo holds a special place for me with all of its street art. I have photographed several of my kids at the Houston Graffiti building over the past few years and the artistic talent is unbelievable. From the Houston Graffiti building, we could catch an Astros game at Minute Maid when the season is allowed to start back up again or go have a drink and listen to live music at Truck Yard. In my post pandemic dreams there would be a trip to 8th Wonder Brewery and Rodeo Goat, I mean a week’s visit isn’t even long enough for this side of town. I would certainly finish of a friends visit with a fun trip to the Color Factory. Check out my photo again and you might notice it is taken in their giant NASA ball pit room!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have been so fortunate to be surrounded in love and support in my photography journey, which is definitely not the case for many photographers. I am a mom of 8 kids so ,of course, huge props to my spouse for supporting this crazy dream. I have also had some invaluable moments with fellow photographers who willingly gave their time, knowledge, and encouragement. Two that I would like to mention by name are Shalonda (Chubby Cheek Photography) and Kate (Kate Boggs Photography). These two have an unmatched passion when it comes to supporting other women. Day after day, these ladies continually give their time to offer a kind word, to answer countless questions, and when you are done being in their presence you feel like an unstoppable goddess. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to two very special people in my life. They both are on the receiving end of countless random texts, emails, and phone calls of me asking them to be brutally honest and critique my work. They deserve so much more than my love and thanks – you know like a paycheck! but for now a special ‘thank you boy’ and ‘I love you peach’ will have to do.
All images are mine.