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Creator Spotlight: Alex Qian and Christopher Balladarez

Author: The Printique Team

A photograph can easily get lost in the digital world. Buried under the masses of social media posts, lost in a hard drive, passed up for the next distraction to grab your attention.

As a photographer, it takes a lot of effort to produce something that catches a viewer’s attention for even a few seconds.

But the real reward lies in bringing a creation to life; displaying it for people to engage with in the physical world is an unbeatable experience.

Printique proudly sponsored two up and coming photographers Alex Qian and Christopher Balladarez who had the opportunity to showcase their work with globally recognized camera brand, Canon USA, during a film premiere featuring a talented filmmaking community.

Alex Qian and Christopher Ballaredez at the Sam Newton Film Festival.
A crowd of photographers and creatives that gathered at the event.

The event, which hosted more than 350 people, primarily featured Christopher Balladarez’s story about sobriety and his journey of finding himself again through his passion for photography and storytelling. The Canon feature film was directed by Sam Newton.

It was our pleasure to support such an inspiring story and photographer that overcame great obstacles to get to where he is today.

We wanted to get to know the photographer’s stories a bit more:

Printique: “Why did you choose these photographs? How did you capture them? Who were you with? What is the story behind them?”

Alex: I chose “Illuminate” (tree photo) because it represented a lot of the feelings and isolation I experienced growing up as a minority. We captured it in a remote location called White Pocket. Which required us to camp overnight after taking a 4×4 deep into the desert. To create the light effect, I had a drone with a spotlight on it illuminating the tree, which I then masked out the drone while editing the final image.

“The other image (Hawaii photo) was a collaboration between Chris and I on a trip we did to Hawaii together. This image is striking because I actually got to photograph Chris way off in the distance while I captured him at scale with a 200 mm lens shot on a Canon R3. I’d like to claim I did the work to create the shot but Chris ran at least a mile out there so I could snap this photo of him amongst the clouds! The image represents the struggles that everyone experiences throughout life, and our own personal triumphs.”

Printique: “How was your experience printing with Printique?”

Printing with Printique was a breeze and the images came out beautifully! This isn’t my first time working with the brand and the team got our images printed within a week before the event which took a ton of stress off event organization! I would happily recommend their services to other photographers.

Printique: “How did the crowd receive the gallery?”

Alex: The event itself was incredible and such an inspiring creative energy to be a part of!!

It was so cool to be able to say, “those are my images over there” to the amazing new friends I made that night. I even sold the print of “Illuminate” to a fan and collector!

Printique: “Why do you take photos?”

Alex: My goal is to continue producing and participating in these types of events so the community can continue to grow in a positive way.

I also take photos because in a way, I view it as a responsibility. Initially, it was a creative release from life and my personal experiences, but it turned into providing an outlet for fans of my work to escape through my eyes, and is something I want to continue nurturing and developing as my career progresses.

Printique: “Why did you choose these photographs? How did you capture them? Who were you with? What is the story behind them?”

Chris: Patagonia: Patagonia is one of the most iconic places in the world. I’m not too much of a daytime photographer but I knew that even with this simple composition it would look amazing at a low angle with a wide aperture. This shot was taken while filming the recent Canon film mentioned above, “One More Shot”. I was with the director Sam Newton, our second shooter Jay Ford, and my beautiful wife Veronica Balladarez, who helped produce this film. This was such an amazing time in my life that I will never forget. This photo was shot on a Canon R5C using a RF 28-70mm f/2 lens.

A Southwest Road Trip: Road shots are always really aesthetically pleasing, but especially in the Southwest. Putting Amanda in frame with the outfit she was wearing really created a nostalgic feeling that I wanted to capture because I knew it was one many people could relate to. This photo was shot on a Canon R5 using a RF 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

Sierra Wave: The Sierra Wave is a phenomenon that happens only a couple times a year. It consists of when lenticular clouds are formed into these massive structures. I just so happened to witness this first hand and let me tell you I was freaking out. I had my buddy Kenny and Vianca with me. I made Kenny RUN and climb this huge rock in order to capture the scale of this shot. This photo was shot on a Canon 5D Mark IV using a EF 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

The Perfect Moment: I truly believe everything happens for a reason. This morning was not supposed to happen. A few friends and I at the last minute decided to drive through the Valley of Fire. We missed the sunrise, and were deciding whether or not to wait for the clouds to clear up. I was running a time lapse with one camera while I was waiting for my friends to decide where we were off to next when all of a sudden I see this little guy standing at the edge of the rocks. I immediately stopped the time lapse and snapped a photo, hoping the animal did not move, and thankfully it didn’t. This photo was shot on a Canon 5D Mark IV using a EF 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

A Full Moonrise: This is a photo that I have been wanting to create for quite some time. I’ve tried to plan this trip many times as well but for some reason, the plans never would go through. For some reason this time, everything seemed to work out. There’s something about chasing a moonrise that I just love. Not to mention, Death Valley is one of my favorite places to visit (except in the Summer time hahaha). This photo was shot on a Canon R6 using a RF 100-500mm lens.

Drives Through Chile: We were filming the last shot of the day in Patagonia. As I was sitting on a hill, I could see this car approaching in the distance. It was going at a pretty good speed, I honestly didn’t think I was going to get the shot, but it actually happened.  This photo was shot on a Canon R5C using a RF 28-70mm f/2 lens.

Printique: “How was your experience printing with Printique?”

Chris: You really could not ask for a better experience while printing with Printique. The fact that they were able to pull off creating these gorgeous metal ready-to-hang prints in such a short time, had us absolutely stoked!

Printique: “How did the crowd receive the gallery?”

Chris: There is really nothing like seeing your image come to life. So being at this event, having people come to see the prints, see the film, and just be around these amazing artists who appreciate art work like this is a very humbling feeling. Many people were so impressed with the quality of the prints. Definitely got asked a ton of questions!

Printique: “Why do you take photos?”

Chris: I take photos because I love to start the process of curating and sharing stories. Documenting adventure and travel in my own way and looking for moments that I can share with others to inspire them to do the same. I know it’s cliché but life really does only happen once and we should all do our best to make the most of it. Every day counts, and memories will only last for so long. But a photo, a photo can last forever.

Printique is proud to support these visionary creators and thank them for sharing their inspiring stories with us!

See more of Alex’s work:



See more of Chris’s work: