Visual Artist Christy Lee Rogers

In episode #34, host Brett Stanley chats with visual artist Christy Lee Rogers. Christy has a unique approach to underwater photography as she shoots from above the water – capturing the movements and contortions of her models below the surface and creating these amazing painting-like images that tell all sorts of stories to the viewer.

They speak about how she found her process to create these photos, how music plays a large part in her work, and what the COVID-19 lockdowns has done to make her pivot her business.

Follow their work: Instagram, Website

Discuss the episode in our facebook group.

Support to the podcast.

About Christy Lee Rogers – Underwater Visual Artist

Christy Lee Rogers is a visual artist from Kailua, Hawaii. Her obsession with water as a medium for breaking the conventions of contemporary photography has led to her work being compared to Baroque painting masters like Caravaggio. Boisterous in color and complexity, Rogers applies her cunning technique to a barrage of bodies submerged in water during the night, and creates her effects using the refraction of light. Through a fragile process of experimentation, she builds elaborate scenes of coalesced colors and entangled bodies that exalt the human character as one of vigor and warmth, while also capturing the beauty and vulnerability of the tragic experience that is the human condition. 

Rogers’ works have been exhibited globally from Paris, London, Italy, Mexico City to Shanghai, Sao Paulo, South Africa, Los Angeles and more, and are held in private and public collections throughout the world. She has been featured in International Magazines, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar Art China, Elle Decoration, Global Times, The Independent, Casa Vogue, Photo Technique, Photo Korea and others. Rogers’ “Reckless Unbound” is currently housed at Longleat House in the UK; the stately home, which is the seat of the Marquesses of Bath and also home to Renaissance gems of the Italian masters, like Titan’s “Rest on the Flight into Egypt.”  She is a two time finalist for the Contemporary Talents Award from the Fondation François Schneider in France, and has been commissioned by Apple to create underwater images with the iPhone 11Pro, as well as being featured in one of their behind-the-scenes process films.  Rogers’ art has been featured on several album covers, including “Orchesography” for the 80’s band Wang Chung, and her images were selected for the 2013–2014 performance season of the Angers-Nantes Opera in France. In 2019 she won Open Photographer of the Year at the Sony World Photography Awards and in 2020 she created the cover image for the 2021 Lavazza Calendar ‘The New Humanity.’

Podcast Transcript

Ep 34 – Christy Lee Rogers

Brett Stanley: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the underwater podcast and our final episode of season one, but don’t worry. We’ll be back in February with some more interesting interviews. Spending time with all these amazing creatives has been such a great way to distract myself from this very average year. And hopefully you’ve enjoyed listening to producing a podcast is very much like living in a bubble. Sometimes there’s no real feedback from the listeners. So it’s, it’s hard to know if you’re doing the right things and fingers crossed. I am, but I really love getting feedback from you. Amazing humans. So.

Whether it’s just a quick review or a suggestion of future guests or by joining our Facebook group. Any feedback is welcome. You can also help support the podcast by checking out our cool merchandise we have on our store. Just head to the underwater to check it out.

               okay. This week, I’m chatting with visual artists, Christy Lee Rogers. Christy has a unique approach to underwater photography as she shoots from above the water. Capturing the movements and contortions of her models below the surface and creating these amazing painting, like images that tell all sorts of stories to the viewer.

We speak about how she found her process to create these photos, how music plays a large part in her work and what the COVID lockdowns has done to make her pivot her business. Okay. Let’s dive in.  Christie welcome to the underwater podcast.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:01:20] Brett, thank you for having me today.

Brett Stanley: [00:01:22] It’s a pleasure to have you here. We’ve had so many requests for me to actually talk to you and for me, myself, to actually have, I’ve wanted to speak to you for a while. So this has worked out really well.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:01:31] I I’m happy to be here and it’s just great to be natural and talk about things in a light way and not be so serious. So I I’m, I’m excited.

Brett Stanley: [00:01:42] Well, that’s pretty much what this podcast is about. There’s not much serious about it, so this is perfect.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:01:46] Good. We need that.

Brett Stanley: [00:01:48] Yeah, totally. So you’re, you’re based in Nashville. Is that where you grew up?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:01:52] She grew up in Hawaii and I still go back there all the time. All my family’s there on a wahoo and the big Island. When I moved here from Los Angeles, I was living there for a while, making films and doing my art and I just wanted to change and I can really work from anywhere.

I, I mostly just traveled to shows and I can produce from anywhere. So. I, I still go back to Hawaiian shoe, but I also started shooting here and found a great underwater indoor, sorry, pool. That was heated. So I’ve been using that a lot and I love Nashville.

Brett Stanley: [00:02:27] Yeah. What took you to Nashville? Is there, is it just a nice place? Was it somewhere you visited or,

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:02:32] Yeah, I heard about it. I’d never been here and we just packed everything up and I’m kind of a wonder, so I just wanted to check it out and then we ended up staying. So, yeah, I wanted a big city, but not too big. I wanted to get out of the big city, Los Angeles thing and have a little bit more space and trees and beauty.

Brett Stanley: [00:02:52] Great. Yeah, I think it’s, it’s quite green. Um, I I think I’ve been to Nashville.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:02:56] Green, lots of trees. I mean, I’m surrounded by trees right now. It’s beautiful.

Brett Stanley: [00:03:01] Oh, that’s nice. Yeah. That’s a bit of a change to LA where it’s pretty Brown.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:03:05] Yeah, yeah. And there’s a lot of water here. It rains a lot. So I love that.

Brett Stanley: [00:03:10] That’s great. So do you, do you get out into the, do you shoot in the open water very often? Or are you, are you mostly in swimming? Pools and tanks?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:03:17] I mostly in pools, but I did start out shooting in the ocean and spent my whole life in the ocean surfing and boogie boarding. And yeah, I did test out in the ocean. It’s much more difficult because it’s a it’s murky and. You’ve got a lot of movement and elements, whereas in the pool I can control a lot of things.

Yeah. And I did need that.

Brett Stanley: [00:03:41] Yeah. I mean, your work that, well, the work that I’ve seen recently, like in the last couple of years is very controlled. It seems very, you know, very, I wouldn’t say not necessarily precise, but it is very well thought out. How did you come about. That kind of process

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:03:56] Yeah, it started out very raw and natural and organic and very messy. Actually at first it was just experimentations that I was doing in the water. And I, you know, I’ve been taking photographs for a really long time, but it wasn’t very pleased with shooting reality. And I was a little bit bored. And as soon as I started shooting in the water, I noticed this magic that happened.

It was like what I was seeing through my eyes and through the lens was very different than what I was actually capturing because you get this refraction of light and this movement, it’s almost like the water is this magical element. That’s just moving things and shaping things in different forms. So that’s sort of when I started to get obsessed with the water as a creative source or as a muse and.

And yeah, it was very raw and messy at first I was experimenting with, you know, how far down, what’s the depth I need to use? What kind of lights, what kind of movement and bubbles. Oh, bubbles, big problem. And and also I started to shoot from outside the water. So I was shooting in the water outside of the water and I was just testing what, what I liked.

I, and I’d probably tested four. Over seven years before I released an image.

Brett Stanley: [00:05:16] Oh, well,

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:05:16] Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:05:17] so just because you, you kind of, weren’t happy with the final product and it wasn’t ready for people to see, or

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:05:23] Yes, yes. It wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I had perfected it and I. I didn’t want to bare my soul. You know, I just feel like when you put out a piece of artwork, you’re bearing a part of your soul and you want it to be perfect and you want it to say what you, you know, what you intend. So when I did the siren collection, I did things a lot differently.

And all of a sudden I felt like I was ready to. You know, to release them and did my first show which was very scary at first. And then, you know, I got over it very fast and I realized that the truth was more important that this was who I was. And so, I just started to become comfortable. And then, and then it, you know, translate it’s formed over time where I started to use multiple bodies and multiple colors.

And. And I, I feel like I just kind of kept adding new elements. My reckless Unbound collection, which was my third collection was, was very reckless. It was very raw, right. Bubbles and movement. And I, I felt like I was kind of being a painter when I was just splashing paint on the canvas and letting it go wherever it wanted to go.

And that was probably. Those first collections were very free. And then I started to perfect things and change things. And, you know, I always have a concept for each shoot that I’m doing. So each year there’ll be a new concept and something new. I want to dive into and explore, and sort of ask questions about life and, and, and, you know, use my art as a way to find those answers for myself and for others.

Brett Stanley: [00:06:59] Yeah, that’s beautiful. Well, and so were you an artist before you started showing underwater stuff? We, did you come from other mediums or was underwater where you kind of found your voice?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:07:09] No. I was definitely always an artist, but in different ways, I started out with poetry and performance art and filmmaking. I actually was in love with filmmaking and Fellini was my first, I would say inspiration. I was just. You know, fascinated by his films and what he could say without saying it, you know, you can say so much just by not saying anything.

and so, yeah, I was always experimenting, but I I’d never released anything. I, I never did it professionally. And, and yeah, I would say when I found the water, that’s when I decided that I would, you know, go out there and start doing shows and start selling the images.

Brett Stanley: [00:07:51] Oh, right. So, so that was your beginning of the, of the gallery side of things and the kind of producing the, the prints and the artwork.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:07:57] Yes, absolutely.

Brett Stanley: [00:07:59] That’s amazing. So when was that? What sorta and I, you know, don’t wait to date yourself, but what sort of timeline or how long ago was that?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:08:07] Well, I shot my siren collection in 2008. And in 2009, after the market crashed, I released the collection and did my first show. And at first I, you know, it was reaching out to some of the galleries, mostly photography galleries saying, Hey, here’s the work? And, you know, would you be interested in talking to me and doing a show?

And everybody was. You know, turning me down. Oh, we don’t really know what this is. It looks like a photograph. I mean, it looks like a painting, but it’s a photograph. So they really couldn’t peg me. You know, what is this girl doing? I don’t know. And and so nobody would accept me. So I decided, well, I’ll just do my own show.

And that was in Los Angeles when the Artwalk started to become a big thing. So. I did a show with a sculptor and we had thousands of people coming through because of the Artwalk. And that’s when I really just kind of first got out there and started selling, works myself. And then I picked up my first gallery shortly after that.

And a rep, you know, it’s funny, it just kind of happened slowly. After, after that first collection.

Brett Stanley: [00:09:18] Right. And how does it feel? Like, I mean, I come from the kind of the, the side of things where I don’t particularly think of myself as an artist, you know, I create images, but there’s no real, you know, I don’t feel like I put my soul into it so much as I, you know, what comes out the other end I identify with.

But yeah, like I’m, I’m doing it from. From the other end, as a, as someone who classifies themselves as an artist, what was, what did it feel like to kind of realize that the work you were producing was good enough to show

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:09:49] You know, it’s interesting, but after the market crashed in 2008, I lost everything and I. You know, I, I fainted, I remember I fainted and I hit my head and cracked my eye open and yeah, it was a really bad time and I sort of crashed down to the very low place. And it was, it was during that time that I, I feel like I really became an artist.

I started reading and writing a lot in my notebook and I realized that. I, you know, I was gonna make it out of this. I think at some point you think, you know, you have no, I had no money, no money. I mean, I, I would spend, I had a hundred dollars and I’d, I’d go and rent a camera, the best camera I could find.

And I said, I’m just going to shoot. And I, I started to write out these, these things in my notebook and realized that I had a message or something I wanted to share. And it was just about. That he did have that feeling that I had, that I was going to die. You know, you just think you’re, you’re not gonna make it or you’re not going to survive.

And then I realized, gosh, it doesn’t matter how low I get. I’ve just keep going. I’m just, I’m alive.

Brett Stanley: [00:11:00] Yeah. Yeah, totally.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:11:02] I’m not gonna die. And it was like, this hope came back and I. I started to put that message in my artwork that no matter how vulnerable we may feel, there’s always this hope and this beauty, somewhere in there that you just have to find.

And so I feel like being an artist is also about having something you want to communicate to the world. Something you want to share. That’s deep, deeper than just a beautiful image. And and that started to become more important to me. So, you know, if you look at a lot of my images, it’s really not about beauty all the time.

It’s not about, a beautiful girl, you know, perfect body. It’s it’s no, it’s just real it’s and I do work with real models as well, and I’m, I’m more interested in communicating that. You know, that we’re more powerful than we think, you know, and, and that there’s hope and there’s freedom on the other side.

And that’s really important to me because that’s part of who I am and my quest, I guess you could say, and, you know, we’re all looking for the answers to life and existence. And so in a way, I’m, I’m using the art to sort of. Experiment and ask questions. So it feels good. It feels like it completes me. I feel like my life has completed being an artist and doing this.

Brett Stanley: [00:12:20] Yeah. And it’s great that you’ve had that, you know, you’re on the bones of your ass, kind of like artists kind of journey too. Like you’ve gone. It’s very, it’s very inspiring.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:12:30] Yeah, it was scary. You know, you don’t think you’re going to come out the other side, but then you have no choice. And that’s, like I said, I took my last a hundred dollars. I remember I sold a piece of artwork to a friend of mine for $300. You know, I just needed some money. I’ll make you this amazing print.

And, and he supported me and I think I took a hundred dollars and went and rented. I don’t know if it was a Canon in Hawaii and then I just went out to the pool and started shooting. And for six months I worked on that collection and I just started releasing it. And, it was a powerful, it was my Odyssey collection.

You know, it was, it was a very powerful collection for me. So yeah, it does. It’s interesting. And I know, I know what it feels like to be on that side where, you know, you, you have nothing. So I think it makes you stronger for sure.

Brett Stanley: [00:13:20] Yeah. Yeah. And I think that sort of thing, you know, it, it strips away a lot of, a lot of the, I don’t wanna say ego, but you know, a lot of the things that your brain puts in front of you to, when your, you know, you’re down to your last dime and, you know, the world is so visceral

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:13:34] Right.

Brett Stanley: [00:13:35] that, you know, that’s when the creation kind of either happens or it doesn’t, I guess,

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:13:40] It really pushes you to a point pushes you to the edge. And like you said, it strips away all this falseness, you know, and you just, you have nothing left, but to just look at yourself and go, okay, this is. This is me, you know, and, and, and I think that’s what it takes, you know, is and I, I think that’s interesting about this time as well with COVID and everything happening is that in a way, what I see is that maybe this is needed.

To strip away the false, you know, life maybe that we have in front of us, you know, where we take things for granted and and to get real about who we are and set, right?

Brett Stanley: [00:14:21] Yeah. And, and I think, you know, especially this time, you know, like the last let’s call it the last year, I think, you know, like I am excited to see what kind of artwork is actually coming out. The other end of this. Cause I know for myself, you know, my commercial stuff dropped off. I’m suddenly, you know, at home with my brain, I’m not.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:14:39] Yeah,

Brett Stanley: [00:14:39] this creative outlet that I get from my clients. And so, you know, I’m sort of thinking of things like, it was like a gestation period, I guess, where I just spent the last year kind of brainstorming stuff

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:14:50] Yes. Yes.

Brett Stanley: [00:14:52] things opened up again.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:14:53] Yes, me too. And I was lucky that I had shot a collection back in August and I was just sitting on it because I was so busy, it was going to be this amazing busy year. And this was August, 2019. And so when COVID hit, I just decided, well, I’m just going to dive in and start working on this collection.

And, and it’s funny because it’s transformed into something completely new because of everything that’s happening. And I. I, you know, I couldn’t do anything else. I’d get so upset about what was happening and just feel this knot in my stomach. And I come downstairs and I’ve just open up my images and get lost in them and then I’d feel better, you know?

So when I quit, you know, and I had all this administration stuff to do, and it was really busy time actually, but. I couldn’t confront those things. You know, I just got to dive into my artwork. So it’s, it’s saved me in many ways. And I’ve been putting out images now every month, instead of doing a gallery show, which I will usually do and release everything.

I’ve just been releasing an image a month and, you know, keeping that flow, going and doing it online.

Brett Stanley: [00:16:01] And so when you say you’re releasing an image each month, like in terms of people in your, like your online gallery to buy prints of one thing a month, or just in terms of okay.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:16:11] Well, I guess everything. So, you know, I work with galleries that sell my work around the world. And so when I release an image, I will make sure that all the galleries get the image and that the, that we, we. You know, sometimes it goes out to the press and, you know, we do the full thing. We’re just, you know, they might be emailing it to their classes.

And then of course I’m putting it on to my website and posting it on social media. Here’s the new image. And then also what I did this year was we did an outside installation because we could do anything. So we, I did something in London where we just put up some images on the street. You know, bill billboards on the street.

And I said, well, you know, we just want it to be out for the public, you know? And it had this really great message that we put on it. And so that that’s been my solution.

Brett Stanley: [00:17:01] So, did you actually go to London to do that? Or did you do it remotely?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:17:05] Is it all remotely? Yeah, we had a com company. We are working with that, that put it all up.

Brett Stanley: [00:17:10] And would you have done it remotely before? COVID

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:17:13] You know, I might’ve, I might’ve done it remotely as well because I don’t think there was anything I could do necessarily. You know, we would have probably done it around a show. We would have released, you know, had a gallery show and then maybe done also an installation as well. So.

Brett Stanley: [00:17:29] Cause one of the interesting things that I find about, about the whole COVID situation and doing, you know, talking to people through the podcast is how people have pivoted to kind of deal with the, I guess, the social distance of the whole thing, you know, like doing things remotely or putting things only online or, you know, mail order printing and stuff.

So, I mean, how has that affected you as it, have you had to pivot

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:17:52] I have, but it’s been a good pivot. I’m I’m surprised how powerful the internet is these days and everybody’s on it. And so. If you’re out there, you know, putting it out there, it’s I mean, I’m very happy with it. I did have a lot of shows that got canceled and projects. Some very big projects got canceled, so that was difficult.

And then, I mean, even right now, we’re doing a small show in Paris. That’s going to be up for Christmas. It’s just a couple of prints. And then we’ll do a big show in, in, you know, March. But we’re still doing things. It’s kind of amazing that there are still, you know, projects. Everybody wants to do projects, you know, it’s I’d like to shoot.

That’s the only thing that’s been hard for me is that I did have a shoot that I was going to do. And you know, when things calmed down a little bit, I’m going to do it because I usually have a very, very small. Crew, you know, it’s just me and the models and maybe somebody else helping me. And I’d like to get, get that going again.

Cause I’m also working on some video work some moving images and that’s, that’s sort of the new direction I’m going in.

Brett Stanley: [00:19:00] Yeah. I mean, I had a look at your not your Instagram, your YouTube. And do you have some amazing, like motion work on there? Is that reasonably new stuff or is it stuff you’ve been doing the entire time?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:19:12] I’ve been doing that the entire time. So I would do a shoot and then I’d also be, you know, rolling some video at the same time, but I wasn’t doing it very seriously. I was, it was just a side project. And then I’d make these. These videos, you know, one or two minute art pieces, and now I’m starting to focus more on it where we’re just going to shoot video and we’re not, you know, we might shoot some stills, but it’s going to be focused on the video and, and, you know, using better cameras because I was shooting with a Canon five D Mark three, and you know, I can’t do 4k.

When I’m, when I’m shooting with that and that we actually did some public installations of the videos. So we had them up in some public spaces and we’d have them at the gallery shows and people really liked them. We had the, that the Venice Biennale alley, we had a bit, I had did a huge installation, video installation.

And and yeah, people would just sit in front of that and be, you know, Mesmerized. So I thought, okay, I got to do this more, so

Brett Stanley: [00:20:16] I mean, I look at your work and I think I’m trying to think when I first found it. And I think it was probably your when, when your sirens series kind of went huge.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:20:25] Oh, wow.

Brett Stanley: [00:20:27] And I think I remember looking at the images and kind of wanting them to move. I mean, there’s such a movement in that image and what, you know, in my kind of technical brain was like, how has she even done this?

Like, this is, it looks underwater. But then at the same time, it doesn’t look underwater

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:20:44] Yeah,

Brett Stanley: [00:20:45] the bubbles are doing things that I’ve never seen bubbles do before. And then it was like this you know, the curtain was drawn back and I’m like, Oh, she’s doing it from above.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:20:54] Yeah, it’s so funny because for me, when I first started doing that, I didn’t think anything of it, but you know, because 10 years ago or 11 years ago, or actually when I first started, which is maybe 20 years ago, no, nobody was shooting underwater. You had Howard Schatz. We had done some underwater, but nobody was doing it really.

And so I didn’t think there were, there were any rules, like, Oh, you have to be underwater. And I believe me, I tried underwater and I just didn’t like what I was getting. It was too clear for me, you know, I was capturing too much. I wanted that, that mystery and the darkness and, and I was able to capture that from outside.

So yeah. Yeah. And then getting back to the moving image too, I would like to start making more breathing images where, you know, it’s just this beautiful breathing movement, very soft, you know? And I think that is the feature also of, of still images is, you know, movement, a little bit of movement.

Brett Stanley: [00:21:54] Oh, absolutely. And I think one of the things that has certainly got me thinking about moving images more in terms of like you’re saying, like breathing images or the Apple screensavers, I don’t know if you have an Apple TV, but the Apple screensavers are these very slow motion movements, like through a landscape or they’re a drone shot or they’re underwater.

And it’s just this, you know, the slow motion of it, the slower it is, the more I sit there and look at it.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:22:20] I know is I’ve seen that actually. And yeah, you get lost in it. It’s so peaceful.

Brett Stanley: [00:22:26] it’s, it’s incredible what it does to my brain. Cause you know, like if it was normal speed, I probably wouldn’t really be that interested in it.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:22:33] I know there’s something magical about the slow speed for sure. And I’m, I’m, I’m actually working on something right now, which is, working with special effects producer as well. So we’re, we’re taking my, my underwater videos and doing something kind of special and I can’t. Can say too much about it.

Cause we’re still doing testing, but it’s going to be very magical and take you to this whole nother world. And yeah, there’s a lot to do on it, but it’s exciting. Cause it’s, you know, we’re still in that beta stage where we’re figuring out all the problems.

Brett Stanley: [00:23:04] And is that taking images that you’ve already shot through this process or is it stuff you need to read to, to shoot for the project?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:23:11] Well, we’re testing with some of the new footage that I shot last year. But I definitely need to shoot more sign. I’m ready to shoot exactly for this. I’ve got to use a different camera and I’ve got, I I’m, I’m seeing what the problems are, you know, cause he know how it is. You can only get somebody to go underwater for 30 seconds to a minute, you know?

So that’s and then, and then you’ve got the bubbles and you know, you don’t want to use all the first part of the footage when they’re just going down into the water. So. So there’s a lot to, to figure out how to perfect that,

Brett Stanley: [00:23:46] Is there a thing with your, with your style and your technique and the, I think this is what blew my mind was that I’m an underwater shooter. I only ever think about things below the surface.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:23:56] right.

Brett Stanley: [00:23:57] Or I think about things on the surface, but you’ve still out of the water at that point. And so when I saw your work in your, under the water, but shooting from above, that was kind of genius to me because you get all that, you know, you’re looking through that surface, you know, you’re having it kind of distort and it’s changing and the bubbles are staying there for way longer than they would be.

If you’re under the water. Are you, is there a certain depth the, you want to keep people at, or are you really using the entire quota sort of water column?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:24:26] You know, it really depends on the shoot. So with the siren collection, I shot in a very deep pool and, and it was great. Cause the light kind of falls off and you get this darkness. And then, and then I started to test with a more shallow pool so that I could use fabrics and colors and really see that. So there is a.

You know, a fine line. And, and that’s, that’s interesting that a little bit too deep and you don’t get to see all the colors down in the water too shallow. And you’ve got too many bubbles happening at the surface. Too many bodies in the water, you know, five bodies go down together. You’re going to get a lot of bubbles.

And so there’s this fine line. And I’m just, I’m kind of researching now and figuring out what works best. But, but yeah, it is interesting. Cause you get that refraction of light, right? Where you know that thing where you, you put your hand under water, you’re going to go grab something in the pool and you, you think it’s here, but it’s actually over there because you’re getting.

The light spending. Yeah. So, so I didn’t realize I was using that effect, but those, that was my, the natural effect I was using. And nowadays in Photoshop, you know, they have all these tools of blending and blurring and it’s just not the same, but that’s technically what’s happening.

Brett Stanley: [00:25:48] Well, this, I think that was the thing, like in my kind of thought process of trying to work out how you did this. I, there was a moment where I was like, is this just liquefy? Is this just like the Photoshop liquefy thing? But then I’m like, no, that’s, it’s like, it’s more detailed than that. It’s more organic than

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:26:04] Yeah, I wish I knew Photoshop better, you know, because I, when I first started out, I just knew basic things, how to get the photo in there and crop it and, you know, be able to send it to people and things like that. I’m not a very technical person, so I sort of had to teach myself, but yeah, nowadays I can see that there’s all these tools, but it’s really not the same.

Something happens when you capture it naturally.

Brett Stanley: [00:26:29] Yeah. I’m a big fan. I think in the last couple of years, I’ve really become obsessed with getting stuff in camera.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:26:36] yes, yes. Me too. Me too. I, I there’s, you just know what you’re going to get right off hand, you know, I mean, for me, I’m, I’m looking through my lens and I can feel it and, and see it. And I’m not, I’m not even using light meters. You know, everything is actually very dark. My camera is saying, you know, low light and you know, but I’m just pushing it visually.

I just kind of go by my eye to see what, you know, what I like.

Brett Stanley: [00:27:02] Are you using constant lighting or using strobes?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:27:04] I’m using constant lighting. Yeah. No strobes.

Brett Stanley: [00:27:07] you can, you can see straight away that your, what you’re going to

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:27:11] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:27:14] So one of the guests we had on previously was a photographer in Canada called Steve Richard. And he does something similar to you, but probably the other end of the scale where he’s shooting from above.


Christy Lee Rogers: [00:27:26] Oh, Oh,

Brett Stanley: [00:27:28] he is wanting and it’s, he wants it to be crystal clear.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:27:32] Oh

Brett Stanley: [00:27:33] like it’s shot under the water, but the way he’s doing it is he’s doing that. He’s shooting from above, but making, you know, getting the models in situations where they look like they’re upright.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:27:44] Right, right. Yeah. And that’s possible too. I mean, you really can do anything if you know how to tame the water, because I’m sure he’s got a team that surface and make sure that all the bubbles are gone.

Brett Stanley: [00:27:57] Oh, he does. And his, his kind of process for it is really methodical in terms of, he built his himself a little pool in his dry studio, and it’s only about three feet deep. You know, and it’s like uh, you know, it’s almost like a waiting pool.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:28:10] Oh, interesting.

Brett Stanley: [00:28:12] So he has models. They go under, they have to hold the pose for long enough.

So they’ll surface reflection on, you know, the ripples aren’t there. And if he’s not getting what he wants, he’s like deleting photos on his camera as he’s going. He will only keep the one shot. That is the one that he wants.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:28:28] Oh, wow. That is so interesting. Yeah. I would like to build myself and I have a plan to build a pool for sure. Because I’m also shooting at night, you know? And so I’ve got to wait until nighttime to do any of this work. I’d love to be able to shoot during the day, but, but there are so many ways you can capture anything and that’s know, you just have to dream it up and then experiment with it like he did.

Brett Stanley: [00:28:52] Yeah. And that’s why, that’s why I love the two of you. Like your work is nothing like each other, but you’ve taken the same approach of shooting above the water and just come out with totally different, results.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:29:03] Yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting. And I, I feel like I also want to start going underwater. The, like the last video I did, I was underwater. And the water was really murky at that point. So I was shooting into the light and I, I was like, I just need to try something different. And it was great. It was, it was beautiful in a different way.

So I’m going to start doing different things as well and just, you know, pushing it.

Brett Stanley: [00:29:28] Oh, absolutely. And was that the, the sirens Mo

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:29:31] Yes, yes. Yes.

Brett Stanley: [00:29:34] So that was beautiful too. And that’s a beautiful, you know, there’s depth to it because the more the water is kind of, kind of murky and you get that volume and that light has kind of, it has texture to it.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:29:44] right, right, right. Yeah. I, I did like that. So that was literally, you know, 10 or 15 minutes of shooting at the end of the night when everybody was exhausted. And I said, I got it. Just let me try this one thing, you know? And so, so again, I’d like to experiment more with that where I have more time.

And and that’s always the thing you’re pushing up against when you shooting underwater, right. Is time because the models can only go for so long and then they’re wiped out. So, yeah. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:30:12] So, I mean, you were talking about having projects and, and things that you kind of had to put on hold. When you talk about projects, are they things that you’re driving that you’re coming up with or are you having people and maybe companies coming to you to kind of create stuff for them?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:30:27] Yes. I started to do some commissions. Recently, and I’ve never done them before. It’s funny. I’ve always just created my own artwork. But yeah, recently I’ve had more people reaching out to me to do commissions. And so those were some of the projects that, that got canceled.

Brett Stanley: [00:30:43] Yeah. And so what does the commission look like? Is, is it someone who’s wanting like a portrait of themselves and your style, or is it a company that’s wanting artwork from you for, for a purpose?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:30:53] Yeah, it’s more of a company like with Apple, they commissioned me to do some shots with the new iPhone. And fortunately we did that in, I want to say December, November, December, and then they did a behind the scenes where we were just really. Testing out the new iPhone and, you know, cause you can just stick it under water.

And so they did a little behind the scenes and I created, I created a lot of images for them, but I think we ended up using maybe six or seven images. So some more projects like that. And and those are a little bit more difficult for me because I am so set on my, my style and my. My communication, I guess you could say for the images, but you know, so far, like with Apple, they let me choose the creative.

So they, they didn’t want to even come in the way of my creative. And so I got to choose and I, I chose to do sort of a space Renaissance. That was what I called it. And so I, these, you know, we had these led lights underwater that looked like little balls. And so we made them look like little planets. Uh, So it was all done in camera.

And, and then we were casting, you know, certain colors across the top of the water and just experimenting with light a little bit more.

Brett Stanley: [00:32:09] So that’s beautiful. And so let’s talk about your kind of lighting. W w how are you approaching that is, have you got your lights under the water and above? Is there a mix? What are you kind of doing there?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:32:20] Yeah, there’s definitely a mix and it does depend on the pool that I’m using. So, each pool is just a different situation and I do like to have different pools. I don’t really like to shoot in the same pool each time because the, I don’t want to have the same shots, you know? So you know, siren was shot on Mulholland drive in Los Angeles on a very, very dark night.

There was a moon and that one was just lit underwater. You know, and then I started to use more light outside the water because I started having more color and fabrics. So it just depends. It’s all done by, I just see it and I might go and do a test and see what kind of lights I need. And then I do keep it very simple though.

I’m, I’m very raw in my approach and organic and I, you know, I don’t want lights or any technology to slow me down or come in the way.

Brett Stanley: [00:33:12] right. So you want to be quite agile.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:33:14] Yes. Yes.

Brett Stanley: [00:33:16] And what about post production? Is there, I mean, you mentioned that you’re not great at all. You weren’t great at Photoshop. Is there much that you’re doing these days to you compositing any of the images together or is it all in camera?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:33:28] Well, okay. So I started out and I was kind of known for doing everything in camera and it wasn’t doing anything to the shots. And then. On these last collection, I have been shooting plates, so she’d several plates and stitch them together very naturally because they’re, you know, they can go wrong very fast, especially if the lighting is different.

I mean, some very, it’s actually very difficult and I didn’t do all of the images like that, but the longer ones I started to shoot them on plates. Cause I’d realize, okay, this person is perfect. But then this person is the face is, you know, destroyed because of the water. So I didn’t want to lose that whole image.

And so, you know, and it’s funny because, for me, it’s not about the technical aspects. Again, it’s still about communication. So if I can get the communication through, I, I’m kind of willing to go down whatever path I need to. And and I’m not good at this stuff, you know, it’s very raw. I’m not. This, you know, Photoshop expert.

So it’s, it’s still pretty raw. And I would like to just, I try to keep everything, of course, as in camera, as possible, like lighting, you know, I’m not, I’m not changing a lot in the lighting. There were some images where I just pulled out certain colors, you know, and and that was kind of interesting.

So. I’m experimenting. I guess that’s what we can say. I am experimenting and seeing how far I can go

Brett Stanley: [00:34:55] Yeah. I mean, I think that’s a great way to approach it because you’re, you know what I’m kind of getting from this as your work is very experimental and, and, you know, even shooting from above, you know, you, you have no control over what the surface of the water is doing

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:35:09] Right.

Brett Stanley: [00:35:10] you’re getting is very kind of experimental.

And then if you’re taking it into something like Photoshop, then you can even keep experimenting and keep kind of creating that way.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:35:19] Yeah. Yeah. And it’s become a long process for me where my post-production process is. As you know, I’m staring at these images for hours and hours and just months and figuring out exactly what I want to say. And what’s powerful. You know, and it’s funny, every day changes, you know, I just feel a different way each day.

So I live with the images for a really long time before I release them. And you know, so it’s definitely a process of, you know, that I love, I love that’s. My favorite part actually is the post-production part.

Brett Stanley: [00:35:53] Yeah, I think, I think the post-production is, is kind of, you know, it’s a, it’s a important step in the whole thing. And for me personally, it’s, it’s when the image really comes to life. You know, what I’m shooting in the pool is the he’s the raw materials. And then, you know, like I’m the sculptor in, in Photoshop.

That’s when I’m chiseling out the actual object, you know,

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:36:13] Right. Right. And you get to see them on the big screen and it just changes everything. You really start to feel the emotion come through from just a certain glance or look, and, you know, it’s funny. Cause a lot of the shots that I like are sometimes mistakes. I had one shot from my Odyssey collection that I had the girl in a mask.

How was using a lot of masks back then too. But. The mask kind of came off when she went down under, and then she came out of the pool and she said, Oh, I’m so sorry. I messed that up. And then it’s funny because the shot, something happened to the mask. It’s like the, the top part went over it and you couldn’t see it.

And it, and it became one of my most popular shots and it was this mistake and that happens all the time.

Brett Stanley: [00:36:58] So one of the reasons that I love underwater is because of that kind of chaos, that, that produces beautiful results. You know, like you don’t have complete control over everything

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:37:07] Right,

Brett Stanley: [00:37:08] And I feel like that, you know, the, the fact that I’m, I’m open to things not going to plan is that’s when I do my best work is, you know, the right situation happens.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:37:21] Yes. Yeah. And it’s funny because I, I will plan, you know, I write out in my notebook and I have all my plan together. What I’m going to shoot. And then I show up and I sort of have to let go of everything. And it’s scary. It’s a scary feeling because you don’t know if you’re going to capture it. Because the wa the water is so wild, but then as it’s happening, you have to be there.

You really can’t be lost in some other place. You are right there and nothing else matters. And. I think, you know, I always just know now because I’ve done it so many times that it’s going to work out and I’m going to capture it. If I, and I keep pushing, I mean, there’ll be some times where a couple hours into the shoot and I know I haven’t captured anything.

It’s all bubbles and all mistakes. And I, I can’t get the models to be comfortable. And, but, well, we just keep pushing and pushing and then, and like get them comfortable and we fix things and then somehow it starts to work, you know? And then. I mean, it’s scary at first. And I’ve had whole shoots where I didn’t use any of the images because they just weren’t good enough.

So I’m also very a perfectionist when it comes to that. But I know, I know how to push it, just push it, you know, just so far to get exactly what I need.

Brett Stanley: [00:38:39] do you go into it with an idea? Like, are you, are you an exact idea of what you want or are you kind of going in there with a, with a conceptual idea? And, and if you get that ballpark, you’re happy.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:38:50] Yeah. I, I, I definitely am planning the elements that I want and the costumes and the colors and the movements and the models. And then I have the concept, you know, like, this is what I want to say or express with this, with these images. And then yeah. Then I let go and then we sort of go off in whatever direction the water’s going to take us and the models.

And. And then I just keep pushing it. And that’s why I like to shoot several nights in a row or, or, or take a day off in between, because then I can look at the images and go, okay, that wasn’t working. So how can I push it to, to, to get what I need? So the best is to have a day off in between, look at the images and then go back in and, and try to correct things or, you know, re sculpt them.

Brett Stanley: [00:39:36] So, how are you directing with the models? Like what are you, what sort of, it must be really hard for them to know what you’re getting and what you want, you know, when they can’t see what you’re getting.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:39:46] Well, okay. I do show them them images throughout the shoot, and that’s been very successful action for me too. You know, I explain what we’re doing and I don’t explain it until they get to the set because I don’t want them overthinking it and try trying to practice or anything. I want them to be fresh.

And then we discuss the technical parts of how their body is going to be positioned and knack their arms, hands, everything, facial expressions. And that it it’s almost like I’m setting them up like an actor. This is, this is the scene you’re gonna. You know, perform and, and then, and then, yeah, we just, just kind of practicing, he they come up for air and then I give I’m constantly giving them directions, so, okay.

This is not working. And then I’m showing them images. Okay, you see how this, this really works and this, this didn’t or, Oh, you know, here’s so, and I, that really helps them because they don’t understand when you go down underwater Europe. Here’s lost. You don’t even know which way is up or down and right.

And so, so by showing them the images, they, it makes them happy that they see, Oh, okay, it’s it’s happening and I’m doing it. And they can see what’s what’s going wrong. You know? So that’s really important,

Brett Stanley: [00:40:59] Is one of the things that I’m really impressed by is, you know, when I shoot underwater, I’m underwater with the model and we’re generally doing stuff in a. In a normal orientation in terms of, you know, it’s as if they’re floating above the ground, whereas for you shooting from above, you know, they’ve got to fight the, the drop of their own legs.

They’ve got to, it’s very three-dimensional in

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:41:21] Oh yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:41:22] even the distance from the surface makes a difference.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:41:25] Oh yeah. If their legs are further up than their body or their head, the body’s out of proportion. So that’s one of the constant things that we’re fighting. And then also keep in mind, is that. When you put your head back, you’re at the water goes right up your nose. You know, it’s not like when you’re standing in the water where you can stand there and do this beautiful poses for a long time.

But yeah, with the position, the water’s going up, your nose. So we have a, I have a whole routine for that too. You know, you have to kind of get comfortable letting the water, sit in your nostrils without sucking it in and then be willing to blow it out when you come up, you know, which is not very attractive.

And some people don’t want to do it, but I said, just do it, you know, just get that water out. And, and then they become really good at it. Once they’ve done it.

Brett Stanley: [00:42:16] Yeah. I think I love this. A lot of people will, you know, it’s, it’s kind of uncomfortable and a little painful to start with, but you’re going to. You get desensitized to what I think if you do it enough,

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:42:25] Yes, you do a lot of them. It’s funny. As, as they start out, they might be kind of scared at first or nervous and then go, Oh my gosh, this is so difficult. And then, and then they get better and better. And then they kind of feel this sort of accomplishment at the end, especially when they see the image and they go, Oh, wow.

I mean, I’m taking something so difficult and making it look beautiful. You know so that’s very satisfying for them. And also because I’m not really working with models, I’m working with just normal people that are creative, you know, dancers, or, and I liked that. I liked that they’re just normal.

People never really modeled too much before I’d never done this. And so it’s a challenge and that’s also what I’m capturing in the images that sort of going from that vulnerability into this very hopeful, beautiful place. You know,

Brett Stanley: [00:43:16] Yeah. Do you think you would get a different look if you used professional underwater models, as opposed to people that were just learning?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:43:23] You know, it’s funny because I, I think so. I have, I have worked with some, some people that are models and I don’t want them to be posing too much, but fortunately for me, it’s so difficult that even when you try to pose underwater, you can’t, you just can’t. And I think they realized that too. Wow. I thought I was going to go down there and do this beautiful move.

And then my mind just shut off because all I’m trying to do is. Is, you know, not have the water go down my throat and my nose and, and, and the lights shining on you. So you can’t see anything. And you know, you’re wondering, you’ve got all these people next to you. So, you know, this guy’s foot is in this person.

You know, mouth and it just becomes chaotic down there. So we, I mean, it’s, you know, it’s funny because on some of the shoes I have captured some behind the scenes and everybody is just laughing and laughing because I mean, they, you know, like I said, this, the guy’s is in this person’s mouth and they’re like, how did we end up like that?

You know? So it’s fun. But, yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:44:28] I think that’s one of the things that really grabbed me about the images as well was, was the number of people that were in there. I mean, I, I knowing now from, from some of your work that they might not all have been there at once, but, but it looks like you’ve got at least sort of five people in the pool at

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:44:43] Yeah, I’ve done six at the most. And that’s difficult. And that’s what I started to see is that I can’t get everybody to be perfect down there at the same time. But yeah, I mean, I definitely have shot a lot of people and you’re also dealing with the bubbles. So, you know, let’s say six people go down together.

One person messes up and they run out of breath. Then they come up and then your shots kind of wrecked. And then we start over again. So, so I started to run into those problems. How can I get everybody to at least do 30 seconds where, you know, there’s not a foot kicking the surface of the water. That happens a lot too, where they’re trying to get down and sink.

You’ve got to blow out the bubbles so you can sync. And then, then that the legs are flapping. And the, the, the top of the water is getting messed up. And so boy, I was just going, wow, I’m having a difficult time with this, but, but, but it is possible. You just have to practice a lot. And, maybe, maybe I have to have a deeper pool for those.

Cause I, I think I had a four-foot pool when I was doing that. And it’s hard to sink. Your body just wants to come right up right away, you know?

Brett Stanley: [00:45:55] And I mean, you’ve got all that fabric in there as well. Are they all, are they all wearing these outfits or is there like a loose fabric in there as well?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:46:02] Oh yeah. There’s lots of loose fabric in there. I mean, I have. Just buckets and buckets full of fabrics, and you’d be surprised, but you put them in the water and they all clumped together in this one little tiny spot. And so you’ve got to keep dragging them out and, you know, it’s a constant fight with the fabric.

They float off that way into the deep end. And that’s probably one of my biggest problems as well as wrangling. I have to have somebody there that wrangles the fabric. That’s their job.

Brett Stanley: [00:46:31] that someone in the pool, like pulling the fabric out and getting it set and then they move out of shop.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:46:36] Yeah, yeah. At where they’ll have a a pool stick, you know, where they’re just moving that fabric back in and positioning it.

Brett Stanley: [00:46:43] Yeah.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:46:44] Yes.

Brett Stanley: [00:46:45] Cause that, yeah. Cause when I saw like the, you know, it was five people and then all the fabric, I was just like, man, this must just be like some sort of chaos and she’s just captured some amazing shots of chaos.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:46:55] It is chaos. That’s, what’s so fun about it. It’s pure chaos. I mean, it’s not, it’s not supposed to work. I mean, okay. This is the funny thing is that when I first started doing this, I, I mean, somehow I captured it. Right. And then I said to myself, Oh, I won’t be able to do another shoot because this is impossible.

What I’m doing, I’m this not supposed to work. And it really is really not supposed to work. Uh, I don’t know how it’s working, but I would get scared after shoot thinking, Oh, I, this is my last shoot. I can’t do it again. And then, you know, six months ago by, and then I’d feel okay, let’s try this again. You know, but it’s, it’s not supposed to work.

I can tell you that, that, that, I mean, I shoot a lot of images and I’ll tell you, there’s only a few that are good. There’s not a lot. Most of it is junk.

Brett Stanley: [00:47:45] Yeah. I mean, what’s your, what’s your kind of hit rate. Are you, are you like in a, in a session, are you shooting hundreds or thousands of images?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:47:52] Thousands thousands. Yeah. Thousands for sure. And then you know, I might put out 20 or 30 images a year, so I’m not putting out a lot of images for, you know, the collection will take me with the pre-production and the shoot and the post production about a year. And, and yeah, so 20 to 30 images is not very much considering how much I’m shooting.

Brett Stanley: [00:48:16] Yeah. And what do you do with those outtakes? Are you keeping them or are you, are you dumping them?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:48:20] I keep everything. I’m weird. I’m weird about that. I have all my hard drives and I can’t bear to throw them away because I have gone back sometimes and look through them and thought, wow, I didn’t see this image. You know, your perspective changes every day. So I don’t know how I’m going to feel, six months from now.

And I look at them and I think, Oh my goodness. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:48:41] totally agree. I’m the same. And that’s why kind of, kind of Steve Richards kind of approach kind of stressed me out. Cause it’s like, you deleting everything. Oh my God.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:48:49] I could never, I could never,

Brett Stanley: [00:48:51] I do this thing where, so I have, you know, I, I have thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of images over the years and every now and again, I’ll sit down and I’ll do a random slideshow of everything I’ve ever taken. And I’ll usually find something in there. That’s a gym that I’d never even thought of.

Cause it was five years ago and you know, I moved on from that, but now I look back at it and go, Oh, that one was awesome. What did I not choose that one?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:49:16] Yeah, exactly. I mean, I do that throughout the post-production process too, is that I’ll go through a, choose my favorites. Maybe I’ll start working on some and then a month later I’ll go through them all again, fresh, fresh, and then I’ll choose new new pieces. And then. You know? Yeah. There’s always pieces that show up that.

Oh, okay. Didn’t see that expression. Or I didn’t feel that at the time. Always.

Brett Stanley: [00:49:43] I find it amazing how your own brain can change, how you view things, you know, like, and I say this to my clients and my models is that the closer you are in time to when you shot it,

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:49:54] Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:49:54] you know, that you’re going to feel differently days after.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:49:58] Oh, Oh yeah. I don’t actually even look at the images for days after the shoot. I know a lot of people want to jump in. I might jump in and look and make sure I got it. And then I have to let it go. I just, I just disconnect from it for awhile.

Brett Stanley: [00:50:12] I feel you have to, because otherwise you’re influenced by what you were trying to do on the day or what you were seeing on the day.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:50:18] Right, right, right. Yeah. I just a little rest also, because usually I’m pretty wiped out after shoot. I need to just rest do something different and then coming back fresh. I mean, I think a lot of artists do that too, where even if you’re a painter, gotta take a little break. And a musician does that a lot too.

You got to take a break and disconnect and then you come back in fresh.

Brett Stanley: [00:50:41] yeah, I think you need like a pallet pallet cleanse or something, you

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:50:43] Right, right?

Brett Stanley: [00:50:45] kind of, yeah. Just say, come in fresh.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:50:47] Yes.

Brett Stanley: [00:50:48] In terms of influences, I mean, obviously there’s a lot of, lot of, a lot of. Painters in this, what do you kind of, what are you seeing? Like what are you looking at to kind of keep yourself moving?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:51:00] Well, it’s funny. When I first started, I was mainly into reading a lot of reading and music. So, and filmmaking. So, so Fellini was definitely one of my first influences. And then, and then I was moving over into music a lot. And then I started reading about space and time and these really big concepts that I didn’t quite understand fully.

And that was what was inspiring. The first works. And it’s funny because I did make a decision not to look at any. Visual references when I created siren. So I didn’t want to be influenced by anything visually. And so I didn’t look at anything and I just want it to be pure and raw. And definitely, and then it’s funny because then everybody started to compare it to these, these Baroque painters, like Caravaggio and, and I went, Oh, I didn’t even see that.

I wasn’t paying attention to that. I was just, it was just, I liked drama. I love dramatic lighting. I love shooting at night and, and now, I mean, I definitely love Baroque and Renaissance paintings for sure. I mean, it’s it’s, but I wouldn’t say that those are the things that are inspiring me. I’m.

I think my biggest inspiration is music. I listened to it all day long, you know? I mean, I can’t be without music playing in the background.

Brett Stanley: [00:52:22] Did you have music playing while you’re shooting?

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:52:24] Yeah. Yeah. We we had Han Zimmer playing on the last shoot

Brett Stanley: [00:52:28] Oh

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:52:28] the whole, the whole time. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:52:30] see, that’s beautiful. Cause I have this picture of you in a, you know, in a, in a dark and pool pool house or something and you’re with these lights on and you know, it seems very, very cinematic anyway. So having that kind of soundtracks beautiful.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:52:42] Oh, it was great. I love, I mean, when I can have the music, I will, and we did have a pool once that had music underwater, which was beautiful. And yeah, so I would say also films are very inspiring to me. You know, the, the movie interstellar. Where they’re going into time as well. And that I just, I get lost in these questions, you know, and yeah.

So for sure. And then lyrics, I love lyrics. So I listened to muse, you know, the band muse they’re, they’re one of my favorites and that. I, a lot of my titles of my pieces are little pieces of lyrics that I string together. And I’m, I’m keeping a notebook of all the titles because the titles are really important for me as well.

Cause they finish the communication of the piece. And you know, there was one from my music collection that I named our hopes and expectations and that’s straight out of a music song. So, and then I guess the other inspiration I’ll say would just be, you know, humanity,

Brett Stanley: [00:53:43] Right.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:53:44] The things that are going on in problems.

Like I’m really trying to solve some problems mainly that has to do with freedom and my own freedom and searching for that. So, so it’s a lot of things coming together. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a visual thing.

Brett Stanley: [00:54:00] Okay. Yeah.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:54:01] But I’m expressing myself visually, which is the only way I know how to express myself.

Brett Stanley: [00:54:06] Yeah, you’re processing it and then pumping it out through the visual medium. Yeah, that’s beautiful. Christy. This has been so cool. It’s been awesome. Just to get an idea of how you kind of approached this whole kind of mindblowing It’s it’s so cool.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:54:23] Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure to speak with you and I really enjoyed it. So thank you,

Brett Stanley: [00:54:28] Thank you. I

will speak to you soon.

Christy Lee Rogers: [00:54:30] Okay. Speak to you soon. Bye.

Support The Podcast


Buy The Underwater Podcast merchandise and 25% of profits will go to keeping our oceans clean with Project AWARE.

Subscribe for Updates

* indicates required