The Women Who are Leading the Lomographic Movement Today (Part I)

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Since 1992, Lomography has been on a mission to carry out the legacy of film photography and promoting experimental analogue techniques. We are proud of our Lomographic Community. It serves as a melting pot of artists and film shooters. It's thanks to Lomographers that the legacy and future of analogue photography continues to thrive. For this year's International Women's Day, we would like to celebrate the iconic women Lomographers who keep analogue photography and the creative experimental lifestyle alive.

Self-portraits by @koduckgirl, @lorrainehealy, @waggrad00, @lafilledeer and @ilovefrenchfries

Julia Holcomb, The Life Curator

Born in New York and now living in Chicago, Julia Holcomb, a.k.a. waggrad00 is one of the Lomographer masters who own the classic Lomo look. Having experienced a professional career in photography, Julia's ability to mesh the straight and direct style with the vintage and dreamy aesthetics of film make her one of the Lomographers that everyone wants to mimic. What we love about Julia is her visionary outlook with the analogue medium reflecting in her photographs — her LomoHome is a treasure trove of majestically composed images of African-American people's daily lives and more. We hope more Lomographers will bring out unique visual stories like Julia.

Now, we ask her how the analogue routine like as a Lomographer.

Credits: waggrad00

How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

I first started shooting 20 years ago as an elective course in my senior year in college. After I graduated, I did a year-long photography internship at a newspaper. It was pretty much a boys club with only one female photographer. Our art was respected, but the representation was low. I have to say it's pretty cool being a modern female analogue photographer. I think my age plays a factor too, but I feel even more comfortable just creating what I love and what inspires me. I don't believe the notion that all women are emotional beings, but I certainly am one and I'm pretty proud of it.

The past couple of years, I've taken a few art breaks where I don't create because emotionally I am not in a place to be inspired or to shoot. If I shoot a couple of rolls that I really dislike or if I am not feeling quite like myself, I put my cameras away for a while. Even at this time, I am shooting very sporadically despite a refrigerator filled with more film than food. I can remember each place I was and what I was feeling when I look at my pictures. I can even remember the sentiment of the day. Art, for me, is storytelling even if I am the only one who knows the stories premise, so I can't shoot if I am not feeling emotionally or creatively inspired. I can only imagine there are men out there who feel the same way too.

Have you ever experienced struggles on being a 'female" analogue photographer?

When I was an intern at the newspaper, I had to prove myself to be given assignments in sports photography. I can't say if that was because I was a female or if it was just a coveted assignment. The bigger sports events often went to one of the guys. Currently, I can't say that I experience many struggles as a female photographer. I imagine if there were artistic areas that I pursued that were incredibly competitive that may change (i.e. live music photography).

How did you overcome the challenges?

If I am being totally honest and transparent, one of my greatest current challenges as a photographer is the lack of Black and Brown women I see on the Lomography site and the other site where I post my pics. Unfortunately, I don't often see women who look like me on these sites and if I do, I find it's rare that the picture was shot by a woman or even a person of color. Representation matters and we're not always represented, unfortunately. I look forward to the day when that changes. My favorite photographer is Jamel Shabazz (If you love street photography and have never seen "A Time Before Crack" you are so missing out!!!). One thing I love about him so much is how he celebrated African-American and Latina women solely by encouraging them to just be themselves in front of his lens.

May you share to us your favorite photograph or photographs that you took ever since you joined Lomography?

I tried so very hard to narrow it down to one because I've had so much fun these past 6 years as a Lomographer, but I had to choose two (sorry for the rule-breaking). I didn't know anything about double exposures when I first became a Lomographer. Once many years ago I printed a photo with two negatives overlapping while in the darkroom, but I just thought the photo needed it. I made it up when I saw the two pics were just okay on their own but married together they were something special. When I learned about the process of creating double exposures through Lomography, I was hooked. This self-portrait I shot along with the Chicago Theater marquee was just analogue magic. This is unique for Lomography.

Credits: waggrad00

The other photo I am super proud of and that is a favorite of mine is this instant picture I took while in Santa Barbara. There is a full story about how this photo came to be, but I have to say what I love most about the pic is that I feel it is beautiful modern storytelling. And, without seeing Leah's face (the lovely model here), you get to know a lot about her, her beauty and her strength just by seeing this photo. Also, true analogue nerds know just how difficult it is to get the contrast and focusing just right with an instant camera. I love this shot!

Credits: waggrad00

Who are the women Lomographers that you're currently looking up to?

I will always have an affinity to the art of @grazie and my closest art friend @rwins. Unfortunately, they don't post as much here, but I am always inspired by them.

Sex and gender should not be the basis of someone's greatness in art. What's your piece of advice for fellow women analogue photographers?

The greatest advice I can offer is to be authentically you. Don't shoot what you "should", create what is innately you. And, this may sound weird, but even if it's not your thing, shoot self-portraits, even if you do it rarely. I feel they are such a wonderful bit of self-expression and no one knows your style or angles the way you do.

Our Humanist Globetrotter, Lorraine Healy

If there was a Lomographer who not only filled our Community with their beautiful images but also opened up more creative possibilities, we believe it's Lorraine Healy, a.k.a. lorrainehealy who will take the credit. The Argentinian Lomographer is also the author of the Tricks with a Plastic Wonder, a helpful book about the Holga camera. Being the multi-talented wordsmith she is, she also wrote some of our classic tipsters, Lorraine is also known for her grand adventures like her American Roadtrip with the Lomo'Instant Wide and unique projects -- her visual stories about American diners and the vanishing old cafes in Buenos Aires come to mind.

So, we now ask Lorraine how's it like nowadays in the Community.

Credits: lorrainehealy

Hi Lorraine! How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

I think it’s a really exciting time to be an analogue photographer, whatever your gender. New films and emulsions becoming available, new developing products, old films making a comeback, new cameras being developed, I don’t know where to begin!

Have you ever experienced struggles on being a 'female" analogue photographer?

I can’t say that I have, really. To my knowledge, I have never been discriminated against or thought less than because of being a ‘female’ photographer. The only difficulty I am aware of is being conscious that there are issues of safety for women in general, that men may not have to deal with. So for a travel photographer (or a female photographer who loves to travel), safety issues have been a consideration. I have either decided that I couldn’t realistically go to certain locales or have gone with a group of photographers, relying on local guides.

May you share to us your favorite photograph (or photographs) that you took ever since you joined Lomography? Why?

I think because it is my one (and probably only) “decisive moment” photograph, because of the airy, proud expression on the one young woman facing the camera, the random timelessness of the two central figures’ choice of clothing paired up with the slight graininess of the emulsion that contributes to creating a feeling of something much, much older than March 2017. It’s also about the memory of the day, the sheer energy of the crowd and being in the midst of it with one of my best friends.

Who are the women Lomographers that you're currently looking up to?

There's @fisheyemary, @neja, and @troch. I follow others, of course, but Maria, Julija, and Troch consistently bowl me over with their talent, fearless experimentation, and joy in the work. They are tremendous, each with their own style and eye.

Sex and gender should not be the basis of someone's greatness in art. What's your piece of advice for fellow women analogue photographers?

I am probably not the right person to ask! I live my life in a general state of absentmindedness to a lot of what goes on around me. I don’t notice or I am not very aware. Occasionally I am hit in the face with statistics about the incredibly low ratios of female-to-male photographers in collections, or museums, or contests. I find it outrageous but mostly I find it ridiculous because talent is talent — it doesn’t matter which gender or nationality or sexual orientation the eye behind the camera happens to be.
To fellow female analogue photographers, I would say “Do your thing. Photograph whatever gives you joy, or stretches your limits, or makes you tick.” Of course, worldly success is something to aspire to and anyone, male and female, is entitled to go for it. But I think tuning out that end of things (the social world, competitiveness, etc.) is healthy for one’s sanity. Focus instead on what you want to get better at as a photographer, what you want to master, what you want to explore. Let your curiosity take you places. Just be safe and wear comfortable shoes!

Pearl Rapalje, the Experimentalist Trailblazer

Our self-declared shutterduck, Pearl Rapalje, more known as koduckgirl, is one fearsome Lomographer. Already partaking in the Lomographic Movement since 2002 with her first SuperSampler, Pearl has tried and tested almost every kooky and out-of-this-world Lomography camera, becoming a versatile master and a Lomography guru that everyone respects. Her LomoHome is a wonderland of various projects and series of different aesthetics. So, without further ado, we ask Pearl how it has been for her so far as one of our women analogue leaders.

Credits: koduckgirl

Hey there, Pearl! How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

Life as a woman photographer these days feels good because in my personal experience as photographer who doesn’t shoot photos as a job but more as a personal exploration purely because I love it, I find that it doesn’t matter who you are & the lab sees you just as a photographer and looks at your work, not your gender.

I also got to experience, thru Kickstarter last year, a tour of the Lomography headquarters in Vienna, Austria which was amazing in itself and I got to meet so many nice people from all over the world and all ages too. I was impressed by the amount of confident and creative women running the different departments or if not actually running the department then partnering and on equal footing with a team of other men and there was no rivalry...everyone was respected and looked up to and equally!

Have you ever experienced struggles on being a 'female' analogue photographer? How did you overcome them?

My Father was a professional photographer in the 1970s for Ford modeling agency back in the day when the men(always) did the photo shooting and only women(mostly always) would do the modeling(always) because of their shapeliness and just to note that isn’t actually a word but it is a word men would use back then... some pretty groundbreaking and amazing stuff was accomplished on women’s behalf but also at their huge expense...

Now women and men all work equally in labs, at either end of the lens too...No angle of the stages of development is more a man’s line of work or a woman’s. I saw the beginnings of this in college in the 1980s when I was studying Photography as a major but it is especially apparent now & which I saw at the Lomo HQs as well.

May you share to us your favorite photograph (or photographs) that you took ever since you joined Lomography?

I have three favorites! Here are a couple of photos I especially like that I shot since joining Lomography in 2012:

My mom’s painting studio; Perfectly placed Revolog Tesla film effect chosen for their catalogue; One of my fave NYC shots with Velvia 50 xpro

Who are the women Lomographers that you're currently looking up to?

I loved photographers like Avedon, Weegee & Warhol certainly but I really loved and related to women photographers most especially like Vivian Maier and am sure that if she were alive today, she would be an avid Lomographer and we would all follow her Lomo home obsessively!!!

Other women Lomographers I follow: @Jean_louis_pujol, @ediblestrange, @kibs, @waggrad00, @naiseta, @erikagrendel, @LaFilledeer, @neja, @fisheyemary, @candeeland, @grazie, @crazy_little_red_riding_hood, @olga_primavera, @kiri-girl, @pearlgirl77, @pinkbutterfly, @roxyvonschlotterstein, @sara81, @stacy_mcpommes, @susielomovitz, @tagliatele_la_tesla, @Tsingtao, @xsara, and Dream who I met at Lomo HQs.

Sex and gender should not be the basis of someone's greatness in art. What's your piece of advice for fellow women analogue photographers?

When it comes to sex and gender in the art of photography I think there are a lot of amazing photographers out there that can artistically shoot nude/semi-nude photography in such a way that is a work of art that never compromises or feels uncomfortable and insensitive or actually sticky but is beautiful of women and men.

As opposed to a photograph of a woman force-pulling her underwear to the side to expose her crotch in an obviously uncomfortable pose... ripping the underwear actually just to name one kind which I have seen on Lomography site... this is not always an example of bad taste, but sometimes it definitely is... Or as some women have done on the internet: death-defying tactics like being held dangling off the side of a building 50 stories high to get YouTube views.

These days I feel one doesn’t need to use sex to impress and as we have seen with all the #METOO outing and the 30 something actresses like Jennifer Lawrence getting the ball rolling and outing the salary discrepancies and winning. I never post nude or tasteless shots of exploitive imagery and I get tons of likes and hits on my LomoHome and Instagram account. But even if I didn’t I wouldn’t care because I shoot photos because I enjoy it for me, I don’t do it for the popularity and for the most amount of likes! As it should be! It seems to be a great time to be a woman photographer!

Visual Poet and Versatile Portraitist La Fille Renne

We're very lucky to have Lomographer lafilledeer. She is a champion for women, her LomoHome is filled with albums of boudoir portraits filled with women shot in colorful analogue. Her portraits are some of the most profound in the Community, as she shoots them with an expressive visual language that makes subjects look like goddesses. It's not an easy feat especially when it comes to nude portraits. La Fille Renne just further proves hwo limitless the Lomographic aesthetic is. Today, we ask her how she's been as a woman photographer.

Credits: lafilledeer

How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

It’s not always easy, since photography is still mainly a men’s territory, just like many other fields. As a woman, I sometimes struggle to find my place and to feel legitimate enough to show my work.

Have you ever experienced struggles on being a ‘female’ analogue photographer?

Yes, I have: it’s already hard enough to find your place in the photography world (whether it’s film photography or not), but it’s even harder as a woman. There’s a clear lack of diversity, even in collective works or exhibitions, such as is the case at Les Rencontres d’Arles, which only exhibits 1/3 of woman artists. In 2017, French magazine Fisheye published a special edition on that issue, with lots of interesting figures: only about ¼ of all photographs published in the press is produced by women, only 12% of published photos in daily papers are created by women, only 1/3 of photography prices are awarded to women, etc. But I think these figures are even lower, and the difficulty even greater for openly trans photographers, binary or non-binary.

If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

Together with French author Raphaëla Icguane, we’ve created a paper magazine called Polysème Magazine (@polysememag on Instagram). Its content is mainly about feminism, film photography and other artistic media, and it aims at publishing and promoting the work of both female artists (cis and trans) and binary or non-binary trans artists. Because most spaces (the Internet, magazines, etc.) mostly promote cis men’s work, we decided to create our own space.

May you share to us your favorite photograph that you took ever since you joined Lomography? Why?

It’s hard to pick just one photograph, but I really like this one, taken during my road trip in Lapland. It’s a self-portrait with a dead reindeer, and you know, in English, my nickname La Fille Renne means “the reindeer girl”.

Credits: lafilledeer

Who are the women Lomographers that you're currently looking up to?

@lapetite_chaussure @popoti @poulettemagique @mpflawer @alexcetera @mayabeano @elegia & many more!

Sex and gender should not be the basis of someone's greatness in art. What's your piece of advice for fellow women analogue photographers?

Of course, it shouldn’t, but we live in a patriarchal culture and as long as our society will be led by a large majority of cis men, our visibility as artists will also depend on our sex and gender. My advice is to never give up: keep promoting your work and never doubt that you are legitimate in what you do.

Maria Ferrés, the Instant Queen

No one can pin down Maria Ferrés a.k.a. ilovefrenchfries. She's a spontaneous force to be reckoned with, a free-spirit who is ready to hit the road and burn exposure of instant film with her Lomo'Instant Wide. We dubbed her the Instant Queen as she's currently taking instant photography to the next level. While everyone's snapping with 35 mm and 120 film format, Maria's broadening the horizons for everyone with a quicker, spontaneous and more intuitive analogue routine. We ask our very own instant photography tastemaker how she's been as an analogue shooter.

How’s life as a woman photographer nowadays?

It’s an interesting time! We live in a crazy, fast, digital world. Everything is easy with the amazing technologies that companies keep developing but that’s why I like to be an analog photographer, it brings back all the magic and challenges, it brings back the uniqueness and the excitement that the whole analogic world has. I love to see companies like Lomography and many other creative humans being passionate about analog photography and experimenting with the process and cameras. I can’t wait to see what the new vintage analog time brings.

Have you ever experienced struggles on being a ‘female” analogue photographer? How did you overcome the challenges?

I honestly haven’t had any real struggles for being a female photographer, I try to stay positive and focus on my work and my passions. It’s true that when I started my career as a creative I was involved with the Snowboard and Ski industry and it was challenging being a girl and have people taking you and your goals serious, but again, when things like this happen you just have to stay focused and keep believing. I had struggles being from another country, or for being short, or for not looking like I have enough experience even though I have over 15 years of experience... We all can constantly find challenges, we just have to stay positive!

May you share to us your favorite photograph that you took ever since you joined Lomography? Why?

This is difficult. Any time I look at a picture I think about what it involved: the people, the adventure, the challenges... and all these memories make it magic and unique. These are my top five. All of them are shot with the Lomo'Instant Wide:

First: This picture made me so happy! It looks like a normal photo of a girl by Lake Tahoe, CA but it’s not! I still remember the moment I saw it. I was still getting used to my new camera and framing and focus was a real challenge... I asked Mere to start spinning while holding her boots. I shoot the picture in the right moment, perfect framing and levels... and we even caught a duck in the background!

Second: The colors, look at these colors!!! It makes me want to get inside the picture and taste the colors! I remember we were on top of the Rainbow Bridge, in Donner Lake, CA and it was super windy and cold, it was freezing... Deana was trying to button up her jacket and I just took the photo!

Third: Magic, it’s all about the instant multiple exposure magic, the badass vibe and attitude Leah throws out there when she dances in her ballet pointe shoes! This picture was taken in the dark, in order to get a good contrast, we set it all up, then turned the garage lights off and I took the picture it was a fun and magic creative process!

Fourth: This picture has a special spot in my collection because it was one of the last pictures I took in Tahoe before we moved to Barcelona. We were having a great boat day at the lake, Scott did a backflip and I got the shot! I love the gamble of analog action pictures, you get it in the right moment or you don’t!

Fifth: La Pedrera, Barcelona. One of the first things I did when I came back to my city spent a day getting lost around Barcelona and of course visiting my favorite place, la Pedrera by Gaudí. I had to capture the charisma and magic of that place.

Who are the women Lomographers that you’re currently looking up to?

I’m super curious and I follow and admire many creative girls but I’m in love with sugarmaplewings’s landscapes, maryrobinson’s portraits, liaye's magic, sara35mm urban jungle photos, Anne Hollond’s adventures, fisheyemary's colors and recently I also fell in love with Helen Kronau’s black and white work.

Sex and gender should not be the basis of someone’s greatness in art. What’s your piece of advice for fellow women analogue photographers?

Believe in yourself, that’s what I would tell anybody actually! Be happy, be passionate, stay curious, always take your camera with you. Don’t be afraid to waste film, take lots and lots of pictures, learn from the mistakes and keep taking photos! But most important... be you, believe in yourself and enjoy!


Regardless of sex and gender, whether we're celebrating International Women's Day or not, we believe that these Lomographers have been influential and prominent in our Community. We thank you for all the Community members who keep the passion of film photography alive. Let's make every day be Women's Day.

written by cielsan on 2019-03-08

17 Comments

  1. popoti
    popoti ·

    Merci beaucoup :)

  2. crazy_little_red_riding_hood
    crazy_little_red_riding_hood ·

    great article!

  3. koduckgirl
    koduckgirl ·

    Thanx @cielsan fantastic stuff

  4. waggrad00
    waggrad00 ·

    This is amazing!!! Congratulations to all the incredible Women represented!!!

  5. roxyvonschlotterstein
    roxyvonschlotterstein ·

    The women who are featured are all great. All women generally are great! Btw, I have been asked to be featured too. Sadly no one replied when I asked if hey still want my answers.

  6. koduckgirl
    koduckgirl ·

    @roxyvonschlotterstein let cielsan know and maybe there is a part 3

  7. roxyvonschlotterstein
    roxyvonschlotterstein ·

    @koduckgirl no big deal. She already know coz it was her email. Nevertheless, the women featured are all amazing. Sadly it need a global celebration day to set focus on female lomographers. But in the end, i totally agree, the gender doesn't matter at all, it's art that matters.

  8. lorrainehealy
    lorrainehealy ·

    Congratulations, Julia, Pearsl, LaFilleRenne, and Maria, honored to be in such company! And a million thanks to you, Ciel! @cielsan @koduckgirl @lafillerenne @waggrad00, @ilovefrenchfries

  9. cielsan
    cielsan ·

    @roxyvonschlotterstein hey! My sincerest apologies here as I only saw the reply in my Spam inbox.. I honestly don’t know how it got there. T.T messaging you in a bit!!

  10. cielsan
    cielsan ·

    @koduckgirl @lorrainehealy I should be the one thanking! So I say, thanks for trusting me in putting your art into words. :)

  11. fisheyemary
    fisheyemary ·

    @lorrainehealy @koduckgirl You girls are the best! Thank you very very much, I am honored!!

  12. fisheyemary
    fisheyemary ·

    @cielsan Thanks for this lovely article!!

  13. stereograph
    stereograph ·

    Thanks for that great Coverage!

  14. crismiranda
    crismiranda ·

    Lovely article and shots!

  15. waggrad00
    waggrad00 ·

    @cielsan I sent you an e-mail to thank you, but I'd love to say it again. Thank you so much for including me w/ these awesome women/artists. 😊

  16. pearlgirl77
    pearlgirl77 ·

    @koduckgirl congrats and thanks.. and funny that your real name is my name here :D

  17. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    loved the article

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