Monday Muse: Christina Slaton

A lot of your work revolves around food; what draws you to food photography and styling?
Some things are meant to be. I have done so many kinds of photography, but nothing is quite like food photography for me. I come from an eccentric family of French Canadians on my dad's side and my mother is German-Dutch. My parents are both great cooks, and lots of the food they would make me as a child was representative of where they came from and where they traveled. Food has always been fascinating to me, and I've always had an appetite to be reckoned with. When I was younger and traveling I'd think, "Wow, the food here is so different than at home." And then I thought, "wow, what a beautiful and appropriate way to connect with other cultures." And then I thought... "wow, I know what I want to do now."

What are some of your favorite projects that you have worked on?
I think my favorite project is when I photographed at Alinea for Ny Magazine's Grubstreet. I just remember feeling like a fish in water, but at the same time, blown away that I got to meet Grant Achatz, walk through the kitchen, and set up my equipment. The dish was called "graffiti concrete spring vegetables", and to me, it was a beautiful moment in my life. Right now I'm working on a Healthy-ish Chicago food guide for Infatuation that I'm really enjoying, and I'm up for a big job, and it's looking good. I'll keep you posted. 

Update: Christina was offered the position as Lettuce Entertain You Photographer. 

Is this the career path that you planned on? 
There was never a time that I wanted to be anything other than a photographer. I went and got a BA in Communication Arts and Graphic Design with a minor in Photography. I took a job in Graphic Design, and immediately quit to start my own company.  Some people are just born that way. When I moved to Chicago for love, I told my friends. "I'm going to go make a name for myself in Chicago" and some of them laughed at me. That was a tipping point.

I eventually met Amy Morton who let me photograph at her restaurant Found in Evanston. She then introduced me to Huge Galdones, (one of the premier lifestyle/food photographers in Chicago). Huge became a mentor of sorts, and I would assist him in his shoots. This was a game changer... he asked me once, "Do you ever get bored of this?" The answer was, and still is no. And at that point. I could not have been more driven to succeed. Soon after, I started as the Photographer for the Infatuation in Chicago, which brings me to styling. For the most part it is just me and the chef at these Infatuation shoots, and without a stylist on board, I am the stylist, photographer, and director. I was left with the food, the camera and my thoughts, which really helped me become a stylist. 

What is something you wish you would have known when you started this venture?
If there was anything I wish I knew when I started my adventure, it's that I wish I knew that everything was going to be ok. 

Photographs by Christina Slaton

Photographs by Christina Slaton