Meet Christina Stoever, a gifted New York and Detroit-based photographer with a beautiful perspective and eye for life. Hear her thoughts on life, mindful living, and personal style.
What about your profession lights you up?
Documentation of my memories has always been important to me. During middle school, I ran around campus taking photos of friends with a disposable camera. This carried on through high school, just carelessly capturing my youth until I had to start thinking about a career path.
I always knew I wanted to be an artist of some sort. The idea of being a photographer felt like the one thing I could do and not get sick of. I was lucky enough to attend art school to focus on my craft. Discovering and honing a (photographic) style - I have carried it throughout all of my work.
In full transparency, I’ve felt many moments where I wanted to give up. I felt there were enough talented people in the photo world. Halfway through last year, I accepted that maybe photography isn’t my career destiny right now. I began to look elsewhere for work. Within a few months, many different fulfilling opportunities fell into my lap and I haven’t looked back. I’m grateful for all of the ebbs and flows that come with this craft because, in the end, I know my heart.
What is it like being based in both NYC + Detroit?
I go back and forth once a month. It’s an ideal scenario right now. I’m in a place of not knowing where I should be. Getting to travel and live between two places allows me to have the best of both worlds without having to make any concrete decisions.
Where do you find inspiration?
Road trips and the ever-changing landscape outside the window. The internet provides me with many resources to ingest new inspiration. Music and other art forms inspire me in many ways. They get me out of my comfort zones of creative thinking, which is important when I’m in a creative rut. And nature!
What interests are a large part of your identity?
I love plants, swimming, traveling, and carrying a point-and-shoot camera to document everything as it happens.
Where can we find you on the weekend?
In NYC. I’m such a homebody, it’s almost embarrassing (also there’s a pandemic). I do love Prospect Park and getting lost there via bike or rollerblades. When in Michigan, I like to go on hikes in different state parks or kick it with friends around a bonfire.
How do you slow down after a long week?
It’s very un-glamorous. You can catch me in bed playing video games and absolutely vegging out with YouTube in the background (I love ThatsChic, Emma Chamberlain, and CodyKo haha).
What slow moments do you savor the most?
Every morning I make myself an oat milk latte with a splash of cinnamon, orange, molasses, and clove syrup. It’s my own take on the classic Cafe de Olla, and it gives me life.
My entire creative process. I put so much planning and research into every shoot I do. When I’m finding inspiration and aligning with my client on our visions for a project, that’s what I savor the most.
Watching my houseplants grow throughout the seasons is also a joy. They go through so many lulls, some dying phases, and a few bursts of blooming, which I can relate to so hard. And the rising or setting sun casts the dreamiest light.
What moments bring you the most joy?
Photoshoots that were supposed to be rained out end up being sunny. I enjoy those “small world” moments of meeting or running into someone from your hometown (in the most random of places). This one is going to sound ridiculous - I love other people’s trash. Books, home decor, antiques, electronics, you name it and I’ve found gems in each category. And when winter is over, spring has sprung and the trees are lush and basking in their full foliage.
What does mindful living look like to you?
Not allowing memories of the past or future fears dictate how I make decisions in the present.
Listening to my feelings and discomforts and working through them. This process evolves constantly for me because I’m a very emotional person. Savoring the moment is also important, not living just to pass the time. I’m in a long-distance relationship and have been for 3 years now. This area has tested me. I previously spent so much time wanting to be with my partner that I wasn’t really living in the times we were apart, just always waiting to be reunited.
What steps do you take to show up authentically?
A lot of alone time to recharge. I won’t be able to show up to a social function of any sort if I’m not feeling 100%. I’ve withdrawn myself from most social activities recently. Working full time and needing rest in my downtime have been prioritized. I’ve reevaluated what and who I want to surround myself with in order for there to be a genuine exchange.
Do you have any rituals that help keep your mind clear?
Sitting on my stoop, drinking lemon water, gardening, going on a drive, reading a page or 10 from a favorite book. Listening to loud music in the car so that my singing can be drowned out by the volume. “Journey to the Heart” by Melody Beattie is a favorite of mine. Or cooking a meal with so many ingredients that I can’t think of anything else even if I tried.
What does consuming thoughtfully mean to you?
Knowing who makes what I’m buying (i.e. company ethics, how they pay and treat their workers, knowing how the company’s output impacts the planet, etc.). Buying higher-quality pieces occasionally that I know will be staples in my wardrobe throughout my life. Last but not least, I try to shop second-hand as much as possible.
How did you learn to dress for yourself?
Prefacing this with my memories of being in middle school and being so heavily influenced by my peers wearing Abercrombie and Hollister. I dived headfirst into those (and so many other) trends I saw happening around. I so badly wanted to fit in. I moved to a different town before high school and started as the new girl which allowed me to really explore my own taste in clothing. I felt a bit of an outcast as the new kid. I didn’t spend much time caring about my attire as a means of fitting in. It became clear that what I wore wasn’t adding me to the “popular” crowd. I stopped trying to fit the mold of someone I’d never wanted to be. Starting with a clean slate, where no one had any expectations of who I was, gave me the freedom to express my innermost self. The moment I stopped caring about fitting - I started dressing for myself.
What are you wearing when you feel the most like yourself?
The way I feel when I wake up each day dictates what I wear. I listen to those feelings and dress accordingly. Pajamas are my happy place, I’ll usually make an appearance in my PJ’s before a party is over.
What do you love about the ZX style you chose, and how has it filled gaps in your wardrobe?
I love my Quinta slides because they are as simple as they are unique, and I tend to look for those same qualities in the rest of my wardrobe. They’re amazing to slide on in my travels (especially at the airport) and make virtually any outfit I throw on feel put together.