How I Discovered Photography

 I got my start in photography my final semester of Sophomore year at La Roche College in Pittsburgh.  At that moment, I was studying Accounting.  My grades were average, and I was lacking motivation-- all unlike me. I was also working part-time at Nordstrom at the time. When I started at La Roche, I wasn't completely sure what it was I wanted to do when I graduated, so I thought a career in Finance would be safe.  I soon found out it wasn't something I would be excited about pursuing after I graduated so this raised many red flags as to what I was passionate about and what I would like to do. I was lacking creativity.  I've always been an observant, self thinker, so knew I need something that matched those qualities.

Mayan Ruins


I loved painting in High School and remembered how it made me feel. So over Christmas break, I started looking into other options.  I considered a major in Writing, Interior Design, and Graphic Design.  The only thing the held me back, was that I would have to potentially do 1 or 2 extra semesters, as most of my business credits wouldn't transfer, and Interior design was a 5 year program.  As much as I wanted a career change, I was eager to continue my path with what I've learned so far. I decided to humor the idea of a Marketing Degree.  It would allow me to take a few creative courses and transfer my previous Finance credits.  I saw a photography class available and thought it would a fun, relaxing course, amongst my business courses.  I also took a entry level graphics class.  Both of these classes combined completely change my perspective.  I'll admit this now, but I was putting 90% of my attention into my photography course.  I couldn't put my camera down.  I was truly discovering who I was as a person through the lens.  I started shooting nature, played with composition, and learned the basics.  Unfortunately, there was only 1 or two photography classes at La Roche, but I continued to use the school's tools to keep photography in my life.  My Junior year, I took an internship at WPXI where I was send to photograph and cover events around Pittsburgh.  I would show up to these events, and people would introduce me as the photographer.  It got me thinking, wait, this is actually a job?! I started to shoot more for fun, and experimented taking portraits with friends. One of my courses was an Internet Marketing class where we were to create a website for a "pretend" business, to learn how to make a usable website.  I thought, why spend my time making a website for something else when I could make a website for myself! Once this was finished I accidentally had a portfolio.  I used this to share my work and eventually by word of mouth, I was getting inquiries about taking photos. I was getting a good amount of photo work while I was finishing school.  However, when I graduated, I was unsure if I should pursue photography full-time.  It was definitely a risk.  My background was in business and I had no real training other than the 1 course I had taken for fun two years prior. Two teachers of mine played a big role and pushing me to be the best I could be. I thought, well I'll work at an Advertising Agency, and then maybe eventually get enough work that one day I could be full-time. 



I applied to a few jobs, and realized this career path wasn't for me.  I made the leap and decided I was going to give a career in photography my best foot forward. Shortly after, I became a Retoucher + Fashion Photographer at ModCloth based in Pittsburgh. I was also shooting events and weddings.  I discovered my passion was for Fashion photography. I remember when I worked at Nordstrom, I would just stare at the imagery and ads and think, one day that will by work. I felt if I wanted to be serious about Fashion work, I needed to move to NYC. I'm currently living in Long Island City, in New York City, NY. I've lived here for 2.5 years.  I travel with brands and also create travel on my own (I can't go on a trip without taking photos).


Photos above from my trip to Mexico with Luanna

Today I turn 27.

Today I turn 27.

Not 21, not 25, or 30, just somewhere in the middle. I decided to write this blog post, to write about what I've accomplished up until this point in my young life.  I started to feel as if I was making a list of names and titles, and decided that today, that doesn't matter.  For me, birthdays have always been a milestone for me to determine the hurdles and feats I've managed to overcome, and count the things I've done in my career.  At first, this gave me the drive to reach goal after goal, constantly setting myself up for the next extensive plan I'd come up with for myself.  But what I started to find was, this motivation started becoming a bad habit, because age is just a number.


A mentor of mine a few years ago, saw my potential. She said, "by the rate you're going you're going to have accomplished everything you wanted to do by 27".  I took it as a compliment, which was what she intended, and it's been in the back of my mind ever since.  Here I am at age 27, self-taught photographer, living in NYC, traveling almost every month, and became a wife.  Do I feel I've accomplish everything? The answer is, I've managed to check off everything from an imaginary list I made for myself 7 years ago when I discovered I wanted to be a photographer.  A month or two ago, I read an amazing article on GQ from Sarah Paulson:

"If my career had turned out like the fantasy I had of what it was going to be, it would never have made me happy. But I couldn't have known that until it didn't happen. I found a success that is so much bigger and deeper and better, and it's because it happened later. If any of what I'm having happen now—the successes—would have happened to me when I was younger, I would have been ruined. Because when you're young, and things come super easily to you, and you have success right out of the gate, you're liable to think that's how it actually works. You start to think you don't need to be fully prepared or committed to have these things meet you."

For me, being 27 today means another year discovering another layer of who I am, and what makes me happy. To sum it all up, these photos represent the person I've unveiled to myself. I know whoever reads this and sees these won't ever get the true meaning. But, that my friends, is the art of a photographer.

Photos taken by my adoring husband Steve Pearson

Joshua Tree, CA

Styling | Christina Emilie



Behind the Scenes in Collaboration with method

The word "creator" literally means a person that brings something into existence. Anyone that's created realizes that their is a process to be taken, but sometimes that can be limiting. We all reach road blocks but no matter what you always find a direction out. The past few weeks I've been on my computer editing in between shoots. So I wanted to try stepping out of my comfort zone and try something focused in beauty.  Being a fashion photographer, my job is to make clothing appealing and presentable for a designer to sell their products but wanted to get down and dirty with the creative process.  I've teamed up with method home to show creators that it's time that we #fearnomess and that creativity comes with no limits. 

Last week, I put together a #test shoot in my home studio to experiment with different lighting techniques and makeup.  


Using a model, I arranged the set using a my strobe light and 3 foot softbox. With a makeup artist, we collaborated on creating the shoot, "Gold Dust".

What I used:

  • 3" soft box
  • C stand
  • B1 light
  • Gold paint
  • method's 4x  Free + Clear detergent
Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 7.40.42 AM.png

No matter what, after wrapping a shoot, everything from my apartment to my clothes get super messy.  Being a minimalist, I love having the brightest whites possible. Post shoot, I threw everything in my washer and literally made it brand new with method's 4x detergent.

I used the Free + Clear scent which makes me feel just that. The best part about method is that they use recycled plastic to reduce the footprint of their products and incentivize recycling.


A huge thanks to method for making this shoot possible.

Behind the Scenes: Trailblazer Campaign with | FEED Projects

At the beginning of July, I received an email from my friends over at FEED, about a secret new collection they were launching at the end of August. 

This was going to be their very first LEATHER collection and was honored to be selected the photographer for this campaign!  I immediately got to work with their creative director about making this shoot come to life.  Lauren Bush Lauren founded FEED in 2007 with the simple idea of creating products that would engage people in the fight against hunger in a tangible way. Every product has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase. Since their launch their handbags remained primarily canvas.

Being that this was going to be such a powerful campaign, I decided to produce the shoot and put together the perfect team. The turnaround was going to be quick, so the key was to put time into perfecting the details.

After weeks of emails and concepting, sourcing the perfect team (which they were!) Our model Jelena was one of the best I've worked with and Connie the stylist brought the perfect editorial edge. I'm so excited to share with you the Behind the scenes + final photos from this campaign. 



photography: CHRISTINA EMILIE | model: JELENA SALIKOVA | styling: CONNIE BERG | retouching: ALYSSA BENEDETTO





LEFT: Fill light, 3 foot softbox TOP: Highlight light, Beauty dish RIGHT: Main light, 5 foot octa box

LEFT: Fill light, 3 foot softbox TOP: Highlight light, Beauty dish RIGHT: Main light, 5 foot octa box



Minimalistic Studio Inspiration | Styling Rack

It's Friday! I'm just wrapping up the week and getting ready for some pretty incredible shoots happening in my studio in the next few weeks.  Since clients, models, and sometimes even creative directors are on-set with my in my home studio, I wanted to spruce up the "styling" portion of the room to update it's appeal.  Tictail sent me the PERFECT new clothes rack and I just finished organizing some pieces from my last shoot.  It's minimalistic style is perfect for the decor in my apartment, while being large enough to fit more than just a few hangers.  Make sure to follow my shop and let me know what you think!



Khaki Culottes | Annelore

The other day I was heading to a meeting and needed something comfortable to wear, yet still professional.  Culottes are probably my favorite bottoms right now and I cannot believe I found this pair. I found them from one of my favorite stores in Tribeca called Annelore.   The designer's story is just as perfect.  It began in a 400 square-foot West Village store which has become a destination for women to find something original to wear, as the line is never more than 30 pieces per season. Both pieces I'm wearing were literally HAND MADE in their Tribeca store, 18 Jay Street.  The fit feels like it was made for my body, because it basically was. Check out their Instagram @AnneloreNYC

Shop here:


Why Peru Should Be at the Top of Your Bucket List.

Travel brings power and love back into your life. Who could disagree? Any time I need a change of scenery in my life or a change of pace, I'm constantly seeking a new world to discover.  This past year in 2015, Steve and I visited Okinawa, Shanghai, Barbados, and Beijing. With 2016 just around the corner, we were looking for our next destination.  My friend Luanna is from Peru and would rave about her hometown, Lima.  Being we were in need of a new adventure for the New Year, we immediately booked tickets to Lima Peru. I remember feeling a little uncertain about what to expect in this new country.  Peru was on my bucket list, but it wasn't at the top. This blog post is a round up of my experiences and trip to Peru.  Without further ado, here's 5 reasons why you need to move Peru to the top of your bucket list:  

1. Flight's are affordable.

For traveling internationally, flights to Peru are pretty affordable. We bought our tickets roundtrip to Lima for $641.34 through Delta. 

View above the Andes Mountains.

View above the Andes Mountains.

We are both members of the Delta's Skymiles program and American Express card so the two of us try to fly this airline as much as possible. Even now, I'm seeing flights go for $550-$850. The flight is seriously a breeze: I had 2 (maybe 3) glasses of wine, a meal and 2 movies and we were there.

2. Machu Picchu

Peru holds one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World- Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is seriously one of the most impressive things you'll see in your life, between the stunning 360° view, the mountains and the fact that it's an ancient city that was built at almost 8,000' above sea level (that's high).

Our first sighting of Machu Picchu. We arrived at 9:00AM with fog and a little rain. &nbsp;

Our first sighting of Machu Picchu. We arrived at 9:00AM with fog and a little rain.  

By 11:00AM the fog rose revealing the mountain, Huanya Piccu.

By 11:00AM the fog rose revealing the mountain, Huanya Piccu.

Putting aside the obvious reasons of why it's important to go see this marvel, I want to tell you about the biggest challenge of Machu Picchu: getting there. The closest city with an airport is Cusco. Cusco is a historic Peruvian town which can be very sleepy/BnB or an absolute party town - depending on what you're looking to do. Since we didn't have a lot of time there, we chose the sleepy route also because it takes a while to adjust to the altitude. Cusco sits at a little higher than 11,000' above sea level (it's really high) and altitude sickness is pretty real at that height. Luckily there are a few Peruvian remedies, one of those being there Coca tea, which was pretty satisfying and I felt like it actually helped.  So once you make it to Cusco it's important to at least give yourself a day to get used tot he altitude before you do anything that requires any physical exertion, like going to Machu Picchu.


The day we went to Machu Picchu, we woke up at 4AM and took a 1.5 hour bus ride through the mountains and 2 towns to get to the train station in Ollantaytambo. We then boarded the train which completely surpassed my expectations and was maybe one of my favorite parts of the experience. The train was about 1.5 hours and dropped us off at the town of Aguas Calientes (hot springs) and then from there we took a winding 20 minute bus ride to the gates of Machu Picchu. We're not typically guided-tour people, but we decided to take the guided-tour. This ended up being an excellent move, because there are no plaques or signs that say what everything is, so if you want to know what anything is I would suggest the tour which lasts a little over an hour. Once the tour was over you have plenty of time to take pictures and are free to explore. Truly an amazing experience.

Now there are 3 ways you can get to Machu Picchu: The way I listed above would be the first. The second is to take the Train to Aguas Calientes, but then skip the final bus ride and walk up the hundreds of steps to the top of the mountain (this could take anywhere from 1.5-3 hours to climb). If you have the time and don't mind hiking, there is a 10-day hiking trek that leaves from Cusco and ends at Machu Picchu, called the Inca Trail. Honestly, if we had the time I would have loved to have done that, but time wasn't in our favor. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be rewarded with the absolute beauty of climbing that last step after a 10-day hike to finally see Machu Piccu... ahhhh. 

Another important tip is to book this whole thing before arriving to Peru, especially if you have a time restriction. We booked all aspects of the Machu Picchu trip through a local boutique travel agency, The Global Nomad. I worked with Brit, on my digital travel design and we immediately connected on the "you only live once attitude".  Each trip is made from scratch and tailored to match your individual travel style, interests, needs, and budget. I loved working them because I felt I was getting an exclusive experience and communicating was so easy.  There was trust immediately.  We received our full itineraries and flight confirmations in a personalized digital site and even arranged complimentary arrival airport transfer which is a cost I always forget to anticipate.  They specialize in creating personalized vacations /honeymoons and day-to-day trip itineraries throughout the world.  I have a 30% off promo code for traveling services if you are looking for someone to book this trip or other trips for you. ->

3. Quinta Miraflores

After having a blast in Cusco, we flew back to Lima to finish out our trip in the Miraflores District of Lima.  Which absolutely gorgeous. I could talk all day about Lima, but I really want to tell you about the BEAUTIFUL boutique hotel we stayed in, Quinta Miraflores.

As we approached the hotel we quickly realized what a beautiful area we were in, which was further amplified by the absolute charm of this quaint, perfectly decorated hotel. We walked through the white picket fence up to the front door, knocked, and were instantly greeted by the friendliest staff you'll ever meet. We quickly got the key to our room and made our way up the stairs. Now let me say this, if you like sterile IKEA'esque furnished hotels, this is not that (That's what makes this hotel BETTER!). 

The interior design of the room is incredible, the furnishing of the bedroom had a ton of character with a warm vintage feel - everything just tied together so perfectly. And don't get us started on the bathroom. As soon as you enter, you see the most beautiful clawfoot bathtub, that feels more like a piece of art or statute than a functioning bathtub (it did however also function as a proper bathtub). 

After spending the day eating and drinking like royalty at the many wonderful restaurants the area has to offer, we came back to our room, filled out our complimentary breakfast form and went to bed. The next morning we had breakfast in the garden which was lovely. The owner (Barbara) who was stopping by, sat down with us, had a coffee and gave us the history of her beautiful little boutique hotel. She was so kind and very fun to talk with. 

You can book here:

4. Cuisine

Don't even get me started on the's unreal and sooo inexpensive. The most Steve and I spent on a dinner was $50 which was for 2 huge main dinner plates and 2 cocktails. We ate seafood and meats for under $15 a plate and it was the best food I've ever had in my life.

Broccoli burger at Papachos in Miraflores (Lima), Peru.

Broccoli burger at Papachos in Miraflores (Lima), Peru.

Seafood fettuccine (Octopus, Squid, Shrimp, Scallops) at Pescado Capitales in Miraflores (Lima), Peru.

Seafood fettuccine (Octopus, Squid, Shrimp, Scallops) at Pescado Capitales in Miraflores (Lima), Peru.

Club sandwich and Causa at Popular in Miraflores (Lima), Peru.

Club sandwich and Causa at Popular in Miraflores (Lima), Peru.

Chifa steak and noodles dish (left) and braised short rib in a cilantro based stew (right) at Isolina in Barranco (Lima), Peru.

Chifa steak and noodles dish (left) and braised short rib in a cilantro based stew (right) at Isolina in Barranco (Lima), Peru.

Popular in Larcomar Mall

Popular in Larcomar Mall

La Gastronoma

La Gastronoma

5. Miraflores, Lima.

The last 3 days were spent in Lima, Peru. To me, Lima felt like southern California, without the jet lag. It's on the pacific coast so there is a pretty big surf community. Its very modern and upscale and has a lot of amenities that you wold have access to in the United States.  All in all it felt familiar yet foreign.  There's energy to the city. People exercising, a coastline sidewalk with parks. Miraflores hosts most of the restaurants in which we ate. The photos below basically speak for themselves about how beautiful we found Lima:

Hotel B in Barranco.

Hotel B in Barranco.

Sunset in Barranco, Lima.

Sunset in Barranco, Lima.

I'd love to hear your feedback and answer any questions you have about visiting Peru or traveling!  Email me: & follow on Instagram @christinaemiilephoto

Book travel with: The Global Nomad


Cienne NY x West Village

If it's still in your head, it's with taking the risk. My family's background is all business so for me it was a scary thought to step into a creative career without having a path to follow. What I found is, they luckily go hand in hand. The point it was clear to me was honestly when it hit me that I want to be happy now. I don't want to wait until later in life to follow a path that makes me happy. We only live once so I knew I'd find ways to make it work.

My power attitude needed a power outfit.  I discovered Cienne NY on Instagram and they've become one of my favorite indie brands. They partner with weavers in Ethiopia to custom-design the horizontal stripe which I've fell in love with.  It's super unique and sophisticated. The Michele Dress has a built-in corset to boost you up and hold you in. I layered it over The James Turtleneck during cooler months.


dress: CIENNE NY

boots: ZARA

turtleneck: CIENNE NY "JAMES"

bracelets: ALEXIS BITTAR "Skinny Tapered"


January #Goals: More massages in my future.

I can't believe we're in the second week of January.  Winter has finally stopped by to say hello after having the longest Indian summer I can remember. After finishing an incredible year of work and traveling two new countries, Japan and China, I look for new ways to prepare for another successful year. If I look back to my favorites moments, I've found that most of my accomplishments have come from when I am in a healthy place, mentally and physically.  I truly believe that creative success goes hand in hand with your body and mind. 

Just moving to Long Island City, I was looking for a place to relax and get serenity, for even an hour out of my day.  I came across Earth & Sky Healing Arts and booked a Holistic Massage with the very kind Ihotu Ali. The day of my massage, I entered the quaint studio and immediately felt a calming atmosphere.  My session began and I received integrative treatment through deep tissue massage and aromatherapy.  I chose the flower essences of Lavender and Grapefruit.  This mix was the perfect balance of citrus and floral to start my massage.  Ihotu made me feel nothing short of comfortable or important.  She made sure to customize my experience to it's fullest potential.

I left my appointment feeling relaxed, calm, and centered. My session lasted for 60 minutes which was the perfect amount of time, taken from my busy day to find a moment of peace.  I encourage and challenge you to at least find 30-60 minutes of time devoted to something that focuses on you.  It's extremely important for me to start my work with a fresh mind and positive attitude.

You can book your appointment and see what other services EARTH & SKY HEALING offer here.



Traveling Keeps me true to who I am.  It's easy to get caught up on the life around you and I enjoy being reminded my own world is a tiny piece in this universe. 

I wanted to share more photos from my trip to Beijing.  One of the days we were there, we visited Tiananmen Square. 

Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the centre of Beijing, China named after the Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. The square contains the monuments to the heroes of the revolution, the great hall of people, the National Museum of China, and the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hal.

The Tiananmen Gate, a gate in the wall of the Imperial City was built in 1415 during the Ming Dynasty.  It was crazy to experience history so old.

Milla Crop Top Sweater from Sam Edelman, Patchwork A Mid Top Shoes from Bucketfeet.