Community Spotlight: @squirrel_friend and @mjanekerr

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Being one of the largest analogue photography communities on the web, we are proud of the creativity and diversity of our members. For this month's Community Spotlight, we are pleased to introduce to you Lomographers Michelle Faulkner and Mandy Kerr and their unique way of seeing the world.

Credits: squirrel_friend & mjanekerr

Michelle Faulkner

LomoHome: @squirrel_friend
Location: Boulder, CO

Hi, Michelle! What do you do and what got you started with photography?

I graduated last June from Portland State University with a BS in Environmental Studies. I then attended the Earthship Academy in Taos, NM to learn how to build Earthships (self-sustaining off-the-grid homes made primarily out of garbage). I am now currently in Puerto Rico building Earthships for a local community as a hurricane relief center. When I return back to Boulder in a month, I will be working in a greenhouse and assisting with sustainable urban agriculture. Then hopefully in the upcoming fall, I will begin my master’s degree. I really don’t know what I “do”. I guess you could say I am a devoted student of mother nature.

I would always enjoy taking photos on any camera I could get my hands on. My partner attended film school and thought I had a good eye with a particular style so he gifted me a Canon AE1 35 mm film camera two years ago and I haven’t been able to put it down since. Being in a long distance relationship, my partner and I wanted to be able to capture the sentimental moments of us having the chance to be together and film is incredible at creating more emotion-filled images, in my opinion. Film photography forces me to focus on the image I want to take and reconsider the perspectives and possibilities of each image since every click counts. Because of this, I truly found my creative outlet and passion that allows me to escape and bend the rules.

How did you discover Lomography and what made you join our analogue Community? Who are your favorite photographers here?

I discovered Lomography from my friend Luke who works at Shutterbug, in Portland where I would take my film rolls to get developed. As I would babble on about how much I love to play with colors, Luke asked me if I had heard of Lomochrome Purple film. I did my research and my mind was blown away. I tried to get my hands on some of this magical film but it was nowhere to be found until about six months later when I found a new batch of it available on the Lomography page. I freaked out a bit and immediately put in my order. Being impatient, I started to search for inspiration on the Lomography page and found that I could become a part of the community. I used up three of my Purple Lomochrome film rolls and added it to my page, as well as adding other film photographs I had taken previously. I currently am using my other Lomochrome Purple film rolls here in Puerto Rico, as I wanted to save it for something that really hits my heart.

Amanda Jackson’s photography definitely inspires me. There was actually a Lomography interview published about her and her beautiful work. Amanda’s color play is so creative and wild. I’m extremely into it. Someone I found more recently goes by @littlerockarolla here in the Lomography community. I really like their vintage style and of course their use of colors. I also think @ennuhchew is really creative and I appreciate their style of photography here also in the Lomography community.

Credits: squirrel_friend

What is your favorite subject to photograph? What do you usually look for in a scene before you hit the shutter?

I definitely tend to lean towards portraits and I tend to incorporate a lot of nature. Capturing the human expression excites me. I am fascinated by the dynamic relationship between humans and the natural world. It makes me sad at times when I think about how we are treating our planet but then I remind myself of the many people I have met in my life that truly care to make a difference in this world and that gives me a little bit of hope for humanity. But as I said before, it’s the colors that I am often thinking a lot about before capturing an image.

In this day and age, why choose film?

Film forces me to take a step back and be in the moment. Every shot counts. It also forced me to understand the roots of photography. I love to feel and hear the raw sound of my camera capturing an image. I crave the unexpected results that result in teaching me patience and appreciating the lack if identical images. Digital cameras allow me to click click click away without thinking twice, which has its own benefits. I live for the creative mindset that film puts me into. I don’t get that same creative feeling in my gut with digital cameras.

What does a perfect day look like for you?

A perfect day for me would definitely involve living in an Earthship, taking photos on a sunny day in nature with some beautiful humans that live deep in my heart. I want to teach and show people how lovely it is to feel more connected with our natural world so we can overcome this need to fight and overcome our need to latch onto negativity by surrounding ourselves with the roots of our planet.

Credits: squirrel_friend

Mandy Kerr

LomoHome: @mjanekerr
Location: Scotland

Hi, Mandy! What do you do and what got you started with photography?

My current day job is a mother of four boys, but many years back, I studied Visual Communications at Edinburgh College of Art, my main subject being animation. I did some B&W darkroom photography there, and also previously in high school, spending many extra hours in their darkroom, which was an amazing opportunity. I can remember my first camera, when I was about seven or eight years old, acquired by collecting tokens from cereal boxes. It was yellow, took 110 cartridges, and it went everywhere with me! I can always recall the excitement of taking the films to be processed and having to wait a whole week to see the prints.

I spent a fair bit of time visiting my gran’s house when I was younger, where my aunt also lived, and she had so many photos — several old family photo albums, but also a lot of images she had taken herself, many on slide film, plus home movies shot on her cine camera. I would spend hours looking at all her photos through a slide viewer, and then occasionally she would show them on her slide projector. I just remember thinking how magical it was to see the images blown up on the screen.

How did you discover Lomography and what made you join our analogue Community? Who are your favorite photographers here?

I think I may have been searching for information on a camera or photo technique and found some great info on the Lomography site, and then started looking at all the incredible images by community members and decided to upload my own. I was blown away by how supportive and encouraging everyone was.

That’s a difficult question to answer as I have a huge list of favorites, but just to name a few, I’m always drawn to images by @moongrowl for their experimental nature, and images by @chromagnon for the colours and composition, often quite bold yet dream-like, and also images by @josa who uses some printing techniques I love (and hope to get around to trying!) resulting in some gorgeous images.

Credits: mjanekerr

What makes you stay with film photography in this day and age? What's your favorite subject to shoot?

I have nothing against digital photography, and think it’s incredible we are able to just pull a small device like a phone out of our pocket and capture an image at the push of a button, but, for me, there’s just something more magical, or rewarding, or exciting about using film, having to wait to see what the results will be, the unknown, the occasional light leak or other unexpected additions to the image.

I love shooting people, but I’m never all that confident to ask random people the way I’d like to, and can’t afford to pay a model, so my poor kids end up being models, when they’ll allow it, or the occasional mirror selfie, but if I’m out and about without the kids then I really love when I manage to catch candid shots of people just doing whatever they do. I also tend towards shooting signs, streetlights, and birds when people aren’t around.

For you, what's the best part about being a Lomographer?

I love the sense of community, connection, knowing that there are others out there who also love film and analogue processes and that I can share it all with and learn from.

What is your favorite Lomography camera and film and why?

I have a Diana F+ which is nice ... well, I had... I used maybe twice and now have no idea where it’s gone, sadly :-( and I have a Lomo’Instant which I enjoy, but my favorite has to be the La Sardina, which I bought for each of my kids so they could join in, but have ended up borrowing the camera several times myself as it takes some fantastic images and it's so easy and a lot of fun!

Credits: mjanekerr

Stay tuned for our monthly Community Spotlight to discover the work of some of the most talented Lomographers!

written by Marc Ocampo on 2019-02-03 #culture #people #community-spotlight #squirrel_friend #mjanekerr

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