Kristin Pishdadi, Chicago based photographer and designer, drops by to let Devlounge go “behind the camera” and get some insight on designing and photography.
Devlounge: Hey Kristin, thanks for putting the camera down for a sec to answer some questions with us. For anyone yet to see Low End Theory, mind introducing yourself and giving a brief background about your site?
Kristin Pishdadi: Hi. My name’s Kristin Pishdadi, I’m 25 years old and live in Chicago with my husband and two kids.
My site “Low End Theory” is a continuation of my old site which was titled “The Love Movement”. Both titles are inspired by the titles of two albums by “A Tribe Called Quest”. The names have no significant meanings. I am just a fan. J .
LET has been online for a little over a year now. It’s been a fun journey from the beginning. I’ve met a lot of great people along the way and learnt a lot about myself in the process.
DL: Mainly you are a photographer. How’d you get involved and photography, and what camera do you use?
KP: I’ve always been very artistic. I paint, draw, and play 4 different musical instruments. Initially, photography was a hobby, but it quickly turned into a passion.
I used to work as a freelance designer but drifted away from it because I just wasn’t enjoying it as a job anymore. When I decided to take a shot at photography as more than a hobby I signed up for some workshops and classes to help develop my photographic style.
My primary SLR is a Canon 20D, but I also have an older Digital Rebel, along with a big variety of film cameras.
DL: When taking pictures, any specific characteristics you try to focus on capturing?
KP: I try to focus on color and composition. I don’t photograph anything specific but I do make it a point to keep a camera with me 24/7.
You’d be surprised at the number of times I have driven along and seen something I had to photograph. I’ve always turned around and gone for the shot.
DL: At the same time, you use your knack for photography and deliver some beautiful sites. LET was recently featured very high in the CSS Reboot. What goes into redesigning a site, especially one like LET which has been redesigned so frequently (thanks to your extensive site history, we can see a great progressions in design.)
“You’d be surprised at the number of times I have driven along and seen something I had to photograph.”
KP: I’ve been designing for a long time. Unfortunately I did not jump on to the web standards bandwagon when I should have. When I first started LET it was to teach myself CSS/XHTML. The progression of what I have learned along the way is very obvious if you view the screenshots of my site.
The Reboot design was adapted partly from my last design. The last design worked well for my site, and I wanted to keep with a similar structure and keep my site recognizable to my visitors. The header took a big change and the page structure was flip flopped, but I kept all of the content organized the same way to make it easy for people to find what they were looking for.
DL: Do you prefer leaving images untouched, or cleaning them up here and there in photoshop before publishing them?
KP: I prefer leaving them untouched. I shoot in RAW format and usually don’t touch anything besides the levels & the white balance.
DL: Any other hobbies or interests you have that you wouldn’t mind sharing?
KP: I’m a tomboy of sorts. I’m a gamer and I’m into dsm’s.
I used to play and travel to lan parties with an all girls CS team, but I’ve moved on from PC gaming to the xbox 360. Anyone out there who wants to play with me, feel free to add “kpishdadi” to your friends list.
We’ve also got a project DSM we’ve been working on (-for the last year-) since last year. It’s a 98 Eclipse GSX with an upgraded turbo and lots of other goodies.
DL: Finally, you are greatly respected by many of the most popular bloggers. This shows a lot in a blogging / designing web mostly dominated by males. Any advice you can give, especially to females, to help get them involved in designing?
KP: Dive in! It’s easier than you would expect it to be. Feel free to ask me for help too. I don’t mind helping anyone who asks.
DL: Thanks again Kristin. Keep up the consistent great work.
KP: You’re very welcome. Good luck with the new site, it’s coming along great.
Kristin’s work is currently being featured in a Chicago Based Photography Show, open through July 2006. For more information, visit the gallery’s page.