After you get to know Krista, meet our Graphic Designer, Emily Zirimis, our Digital Director, Kate Barnett, our Managing Editor, Elizabeth Tamkin, our Audio Engineer, Quazzy and the woman who founded this website, Leandra.
In honor of career month at Man Repeller, we’re profiling the team so that you can get a better sense of who does what, how this place runs and who’s capturing all of the photos so that they don’t take off in the middle of the night like cats who’ve been waiting to get out this whole time. What a segue! Meet Krista Anna Lewis, our photographer and Creative Asset Manager who has a dedicated Instagram to her feline, Bill Furray.
Hi Krista! So you’re the MR photographer, which sounds self explanatory, but your’e also the Creative Asset Manager. What do you actually do?
I get to help form and refine the visual identity of Man Repeller! Sometimes this means editing other’s visual contributions, but once a week it’s planning and pitching ideas for each story a few weeks before it goes live. The rest of the time, I’m executing these ideas, usually through photography, but sometimes in creating fun slideshows or helping Emily out with a collage.
Where were you before this?
School! Barnard College. And I interned at Man Repeller my junior year summer through to graduation. My internship before that was at Garance Doré where I helped out wherever I was needed and learned how to take the subway with my eyes closed.
What did you go to school for?
Art History with a Concentration in Visual Arts, which means I did fine arts for my thesis (I made a photo book!) and learned as much about 20th Century Art as I could stuff into my brain.
How did you find/get started at Man Repeller?
Good ol’ Charlotte Fassler was my freshman year astronomy lab partner. She knew I had been reading the blog since high school when she started interning with Leandra before she graduated. A couple of years later she asked if I’d want to intern for her, and the rest is MR history.
Favorite part of your job?
Learning how to make strangers feel at ease in front of the camera and getting to relearn and relearn this each time I meet someone new. Everyone we feature is so fascinating and intelligent and wonderful to talk to. Part of my job is befriending interesting people, and I feel so lucky each time I meet someone new.
Least favorite part of your job?
Having to make great slideshows under a time crunch. It’s stressful to take something you’d normally do over the span of a few hours meandering online and compress it into as little time as possible.
What’s one thing that surprised you in your path up until now?
Looking back, it’s most surprising that everything seems like a natural progression. I interned all throughout school and made each job a chance to figure out what I could see myself doing. But at the time, I felt like I was jumping around and just trying to watch people whose work I admired and had NO idea how I could turn my interests into a paycheck.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A fashion and art photographer. Maybe even a creative director or furniture designer or anything else that involves making a beautiful little world. I want to make photo books! I want to make photographs that mean something to me (emotionally, politically, or aesthetically) that someone random can look at and see a sliver of what I hoped they would get from it.
What’s one piece of advice for someone who wants a job like yours?
It feels like everyone else is trying to be a photographer these days (admittedly, I’m a little biased) so work hard, but don’t tire yourself out. Once you figure out what you’re interested in photographing, don’t stop. Keep making work even if you think it’s shit. Don’t ever destroy your negatives; you could end up loving them in a year (or 10). Having a hard day? Try again the next time. Make sure there’s a next time. Use your self-criticism as a push to try new things, to be better at them. Give yourself time between taking photos and editing them. Most of the time, as little as a day is enough to give you a clearer mind.
What’s your advice to someone who has no clue what they want to do?
What’s the first thing you want to do when you have a day off? Ok, after sleeping in? Find a way to make whatever it is into a job, which might mean assisting, interning, reading about other’s career paths in a related field or making things on your own while you work a job that doesn’t feel like a condom-fit glove. It’s not going to be instantaneous, but it will keep your brain moving. Eventually, you’ll figure it out.
Take time to take care of yourself. Your mental and physical health is top priority (and if you need to make an argument to a boss, health is central to being a productive and innovative employee). This will look different for everyone, but figure it out as soon as possible. No one gains from overworking yourself to impossible lengths.
Tell me one weird thing about yourself.
My stripper name would be Beau The Strand.
Photographed by Amelia Diamond (!!!).