makayla crist


The Colors I Photograph

It’s not just my hair color or my jean jacket. 

Orange and blue. The colors that surround my portfolio, and that I just so happen to describe myself with. Pretty much everything I own is a different shade of orange or blue- but let’s not forget the white Tees and black ripped jeans I usually find myself in. Anyways- I’ve been teaching at RMSP, and we’ve been talking a lot about coloring. Some people in this field don’t tend to purposely think or care that much about the colors they shoot. They just love photographing whatever they like with no real intention of adding or subtracting colors, which is perfectly okay too. Personally, I can’t help but take a deeper meaning to the colors I’ve been surrounded by since I was a child. And the colors I choose to shoot/edit with. But I’m not talking about the cliché adventure photographer move to build a cohesive portfolio off of these complementary colors, but why I’m purposely and carefully choosing to photograph with an intentional color scheme. 

Shades of blue-

It’s nostalgic. From when I first started to find my eye in photography, I found that when I was younger, I would gravitate to certain shades of blue. Maybe it was because of being the only blue-eyed girl in my family, or that my baby blanket was a faded, baby blue color with satin edges. Hazy, but still remember carrying that thing till I was 10. I remember people would call me the blue-eyed girl with red freckles and orange hair. I loved it. It made me different and made me feel different.

Getting older and I was still surrounded by the faintest color of blue from when I was 8- till about 19. I was a competitive swimmer and found myself in the deep end just in awe of being under the water. I would look at the blue silhouettes of the swimmers floating above me- noticing how fascinated I was at this beautiful sport. Fast but graceful. I can’t even begin to describe what it felt like to be tapered and competing at big meets. Such an amazing time in my life. And ironic because our team colors were blue and gold. Emotional, I know. But when I think of my childhood, I think of the color blue. And how much I loved being a kid growing up in Idaho and Montana where the big sky and clear alpine lakes led me to the most real and life-changing moments of my life.

Nothing rhymes with orange. And that’s why it’s my favorite color-

If you would have asked me if I liked the color orange three years ago, I would be like, hell no. I was a neutral colored person, everything in my closet was blacks and whites and grays. And I think that’s why I like this color now- because it brings something out of me I didn’t see before. A certain boldness and fluorescence that I feel- well, powerfully me. I loved my orange hair color and how it reminded me of a sunset somewhere tropical.

Once I became a photographer, I finally had the space to be creative and have emotion in my work, and know that it’s okay. Orange is, in a way, who I want to be- wild and the most spirited part of the day. 

It's more info than you asked for, trust me I know. But it's definitely who I am.

With all of this said, my favorite places to shoot are the desert and the Oregon coast. Hopefully this year, I’ll find some new places to love. 

These colors represent my youth and who I am now. But they’re just colors, and who knows about the future. I might like the color purple. *ew😘



*Jimmy Fallon's version of Ew. Go watch

makayla crist