Photo Editor Caitlin Elizabeth Peters Chooses the Visual Grace of Chris Crisman

December 4, 2012

By Caitlin Elizabeth Peters

© Chris Crisman

 Toby Keith tuning up.

I have worked with Philadelphia-based photographer, Chris Crisman for over five years.  We first started working together at Field and Stream magazine, where I was the Assistant Photo Editor.  I was introduced to his work, and strongly drawn to his “Steel Workers” series.  His ability to make everyday people look completely heroic yet approachable is unique.  
They were people you knew, or wanted to know – their life story being told through one image.  Photographed in his hometown of Titusville, PA, “Steel Workers” is a personal passion. An ongoing project, he continues to photograph new subjects and landscapes for the series.  As seen in the example below, his landscapes are dramatic and serene at the same time and they play well of the portraits, old and new.  The overall “Steel Workers” collection is quite beautiful, and you can see the progression in Chris’s work through the years.

 “Steel Workers” series

What makes Chris’s talent unique is that no matter who or what the subject is, he manages to capture details or emotions that most miss.  When photographing people, he has an uncanny ability to keep his subjects feeling comfortable, bringing them to a point of visual grace.  Inanimate subjects are treated with equal respect, and he is able to find beauty in nearly every space.

As the Photo Editor at AARP Media, I continue to work with Chris, not only because of talents but his professional demeanor and consistent work product.  A few of our recent highlights are below.
I was both impressed and relieved when Chris managed to capture this gorgeous image  of Toby Keith (above)  tuning up backstage while on assignment for AARP The Magazine. He was an elusive celebrity who gave the magazine permission to photograph him, but he said he wouldn’t pose for a photo.  He was true to his word, not stopping once to look at the camera for even a single frame.  This image is why I love working with Chris.  Under the most unusual of circumstances, he will keep working until he captures the perfect image for his client.

  Jane Goodall
It is difficult to photograph an icon who everyone knows, yet he captured such a beautiful moment in the above photograph.  I think this is a great example where he really gets into the soul of the subject, capturing Dr. Goodall in a serene setting where nature is appropriately the secondary subject.  

 John Kerr
Have you ever had one of those images that people in your office cannot stop talking about?  That is the effect this image had on our staff at AARP Media.  The lighting, the man, the scenery is pure photography perfection.
Currently I’m working with Chris on another large profile where we are photographing five different subjects.  With all the stress of deadlines, the holidays, and so much work to do, there is no one else I would think of hiring. I’ve also hired him to do a three-minute video, which is still relatively new territory for me, and the first time we will be working on video together.  Like his photography, I am certain that the subjects will be portrayed in their best light, and it will be an uplifting visual experience.

Aside from photo editing, Caitlin Elizabeth Peters is also available for freelance production, scouting and casting in the Washington, DC area.  You can see samples of her work at: