My name is Christopher James Trotchie, I was born in Casper Wyoming and I am an Enrolled Tribe member at Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana.
I photograph people, places, and anything really. Nothing is off-limits. If it’s happening in the public domain, it’s fair game. Photography is not a crime! Sometimes when I’m invited to photograph in private spaces, I do that too. I like photographing.
Last year I was living in Southern Oregon near Klamath Falls, and I realized kinda early that the place has a set of circumstances that make it a little extra interesting.
The population is around 19-20 thousand, and for the most part, the community is very isolated. The isolation has created a distinct culture—making people and places there stand out. Maybe I’m the one that stood out, I mean with the camera and all, I definitely did.
I like photographing how it feels to exist. The way a person experiences a space, shared emotions and that kind of thing are the pot of gold I’m looking for.
Some flashes of still life, minimalism, and fashion get in my mix, but I stick to street portraiture most of the time. Street photography connects us as human beings.
Everyone’s face tells a story and that story interests me deeply. I try to get eye contact if I can. Our eyes don’t need words to express a lifetime of experience – all they need is a glance or a raised brow. By looking a person in the eyes we can show empathy, compassion, respect, and a sense of caring. That is why eyes are so beautiful to look at. They hold us like an embrace even if only for a second. Eye contact is not a deal-breaker by any means, but it’s a plus for sure.
Sometimes photos land in my lap but not that often. Most of the time I need to walk a 4-mile loop wasting a bunch of film and then nail the best portrait of my life right next to where I started.
I mentally post up on a spot for a few days, weeks, or months and learn how it works. I will see a hot dog stand, bus stop, intersection, parking lot, farmers market, or whatever while driving across town and it will get my creative juices flowing. I’ll make a note of the time of day and try to think of when that spot will be hopping or have the best available light. Once in a while it’s nice to know what’s coming before it’s there, you know? I walk to these spots picking different routes along the way and seeing what pops up. I don’t hang around in a spot too long for fear of blowing it up.
Photo-making for me comes in waves most of the time. I work professionally for different companies and am not above head shots and advertising work, but with the price of film being what it is, my photographic life is getting complicated. So if you need your lawn mowed or your dogs walked, I will work for film! I shoot as much as possible balancing my time with work and parenting my nine-year-old daughter, Emelia. That said, I keep my camera with me and rudely make people wait for me while I stop for a photo often.
Why I photograph is simple: I find satisfaction in the work I’m making, and I keep it that simple. If it ever gets to a place where I don’t enjoy what I’m doing, I will stop.