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

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For nearly three decades, Lomography and the Lomographic Community continues to keep the legacy of analogue photography and the creative experimental lifestyle alive. For this year's International Women's Day, we would like to celebrate the iconic women Lomographers whose works contribute to keep analogue and experimental photography moving forward.

Self-portraits by pearlgirl77, orangebird, umeshu, leanlui and neja

Tamara Skudies, the Analogue Tastemaker and Maestra

You'll just know instantly when you come across a pearlgirl77 shot. Lomographer pearlgirl77 a.k.a. Tamara Skudies embodies the word "experimental". She leaves no room for mediocrity when it comes to analogue photography, and dares to put her images to various tests and processes. Tamara's done almost everything we can think of, from film soups, MX shots, expired films to odd emulsions. Moreover, what we love about Tamara is how she takes everything in her own hands, as we can read in her personal writings. In the process, she becomes two steps ahead of everyone. We managed to have a small chat with Tamara on being a Lomographer in the Community.

Credits: pearlgirl77

How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

For me, there is no difference between my being as a woman photographer versus being just a photographer. I never have problems being a woman photographer. I do what I want and don't hear anything negative about being a woman photographer.

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

Really? You all know how many pictures I made the last years right?! Haha!. So I take one from the last year what I really love. I take a roll with my LC-A 120 in the holidays at Bochum.. and at home I see the battery was too low to let the camera work well... so I put the film again in the LC-A 120 and take pictures from sunflowers.. and the whole Film was full of great double exposures from industry and sunflowers. This is what Lomography is for me too. To do the best from errors and make something unexpectedly wonderful!

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

Mhmm, I really love the work from Emily Soto.. a fashion photographer.. but not really Lomographer... so a woman Lomographer, I really love the pictures is @smolda! She has a good eye.. make experiments.. and know what her gear can.. so perfect combination for a Lomographer.. hope someday we will see us!

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?

Do what you want! Don't let somebody say to you, you can't do something! And TRY TRY TRY.. with all the fails you will learn a lot and some fails make wonderful pictures like my favorite one!

Diana's Favorite Darling, Asumi Mizuno

The truth is, not everyone can fully grasp and conquer the iconic 60's camera, the Diana. The tricky, moody and mercurial camera only bows down to the worthy few. Asumi Mizuno, more known as orangebird, already a Lomography camera master herself (as seen in her analogue albums, is one of the few tamers of the Diana camera. A painter through multiple and double exposures, we'll never forget her iconic double exposure shot of a cat's silhouette against the horizon. We asked Asumi how she's been so far as a longtime woman Lomographer.

Credits: orangebird

How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

I'm keeping taking pictures of favorite things and people in my daily life.

Have you ever experienced struggles on being a 'female" analogue photographer? If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

I always shoot freely. I have never taken a picture with a consciousness of gender.

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

Here are my favorite shots. The first one, because I was able to shoot a good moment with no viewfinder. The second, because the film's age has been 10 years ago, and I got really unexpected colors. And lastly, the third one – Because this photo was taken naturally in which there are happy smiles of my loving family.

Credits: orangebird

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

Julija, a.k.a. @neja! She is my Lomo friend. She enjoys photography life. I want to see her.

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?

Simple: don't think, just shoot!

The Scenery Illusionist Célia B.

When it comes to visualization and composition, no one beats Lomographer Célia B, a.k.a. umeshu. WIth a LomoHome curated with the only the best shots in analogue, the French photographer has the instinct and intuition of a dreamer, being able to create unique, distinct shots of landscapes, streetscapes, portraits, and even macro shots. Even with the simplest and most ordinary subjects, Célia can breathe magic into her pictures. We ask her how she's been as a woman photographer here in the Community.

Credits: umeshu

How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

Considering there was a time when female photographers published their work under the name of their husbands or male colleagues... I would say that nowadays, life is good! More generally, everything goes fast and many people have a chance to become a photographer. That's the good side, but on the downside, this big competition is worsening the conditions of professionals, affecting equally both genders.

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

Not especially "struggles". I attend and organize many photo-walks where I join with fun Lomo cameras. It was never expressed with words, but I sometimes experienced that people thought that I was not "serious". OK, I take pictures for fun but I also have a lot of practice of analogue photography. After showing the images of these photo-walks, I felt that I gained some respect. Just my impression, I may be wrong...

If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

Well, I am easy-going so I did not consider that as a problem. Also, I am not seeking for consideration or anything, for me the challenges that I have been set by myself. How can I improve my images? How can I make some progress and how can I show what's in my head?

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

Of course! I choose to show this image of a friend met during a photo-walk. For me, who started not confident at all, it shows a big evolution: I could get the image I had in mind, by choosing a location, placing the subject and this one was taken with manual settings. On top of that, the film was developed by myself!

Image by Celia B taken with Nikon F100 and Kodak TMax100, XTol

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

Interestingly, this question made me realize that I am actually following a lot of male photographers! Among the women that I follow, I would mention @Xsara whose pictures make me feel in peace. Her work shows less famous part of Japan, interesting art exhibitions, architecture, plus, she has good a sense of geometry. I would also mention @waggrad00 for her cool polaroids and of course my friend @blackfairy whose writing the blog "analogyou".

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?

Indeed, gender should not define the quality of art! Well, I would recommend all women to follow their own path, be confident and trust their great power!

Lean Lui, the Wonderchild Storyteller

Lomographer Lean Lui, a.k.a. leanlui is already going places with her passion for film and storytelling. Lean's rich inner world is seen through her photographs, and she tackles delicate topics of self-identity and introspection. She's already making us proud with her ethereal series <19.29>, a visual coming-of-age diary. We believe there's no other way but up for her art, and we can't wait for the upcoming stories she'll tell us through her images. Here's what's going inside Lean's mind right now as a young woman Lomographer.

Credits: leanlui

How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

I would say it’s getting better. Although feminism has been on-going since the last century, only a small fraction of it has been brought to the public’s attention, only people who have been following the issue closely or artists are more exposed to it. But recently we can see “girl-gaze” campaigns have been appearing in fashion magazines and in the art industry.

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

On the contrary, I feel that being a woman of this time is bliss. Maybe what we call “girl gaze” and “female gaze” have existed for a long time, it’s just that they never got the tunnel to be published. But it is different now. With the development of the internet, we only need an electronic device to share our works to the world. Male’s and female’s point of views vary greatly in my opinion, as an example, while shooting a woman, male photographers will mainly focus on the structure and the curve of a woman’s body; while females are more prone to the details, for example, the emotions shown in the eyes, the back of the ears, back of the neck, goosebumps, pores… Female’s view brought surprise and freshness to the world dominated by the men’s view.

If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

I would make even better use of the innate extremely sensitive heart and detailed perception of a woman (or mine). And because I am a girl, the models (both male and female) won’t have as big a vigilance as I shoot them, so it is easier for me to get the chance to shoot closely; besides, the femininity of a female makes the models relax easier. It is an important part of my shooting process as well.

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

Like I have always said, I don’t have a “favorite” photo, only what I like best at the moment. It’s like food, I think, there will be a different “favorite” depending on the date, mood, season and scenario. However, as for this moment, I have this one in mind. This is a person who had affected me profoundly, but he has absolutely no idea. it doesn’t matter at all though, because I know. Compared to making the audiences resonate with me, I care more about if the picture can become the embodiment of personal thoughts.

Credits: leanlui

Another reason for picking this is that it would be very interesting if he ever finds out. It seems more like performance art. Photography is one of the many ways to express, but one should not be framed and make it the only way. Like what I have said in the very first interview I had in Lomo, I value rule No.10 – Don’t worry about any rules.

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

I see many good photos, but not a specific photographer.

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?

Maybe I am exceptionally lucky, but I have not experienced any sexism by far. But if anyone is suffering for it, I will say to her: Just do it as long as you like it, no one has the right to control your life but yourself.

Flâneuse and Lomo-Look Master Julija Svetlova

Lomographer Julija Svetlova, or more popularly known as neja has been a Lomographer ever since. As a globetrotter, she makes sure to make her street and travel shots stand out through color and composition. The majority of Julija's works are shot with Lomography cameras, especially with the LC-A and LC-Wide, thus creating her signature look of seamlessness. Having one of the most enviable curated LomoHomes around, from the outside looking in, Julija's photographs look incredibly difficult to take – however, her true secret to her Lomographic journey is to uphold a worry-free philosophy, a.k.a. the Golden Rule of Lomography No. 10. We ask Julija how she's been as a film shooter.

Credits: neja

How's life as a woman photographer nowadays?

Thanks for asking, same old, same old. Photo London's Curatorial Committee just announced the increase in the number of exhibitors featuring focused solo presentations of the artist that they represent: 12 solo exhibitions, 12 male artists, 0 female artists, and this is in 2019! Les Rencontres d'Arles 2018: barely any women photographers on show. MAST's BIENNIAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY OF INDUSTRY AND WORK in Bologna: zero women photographers.

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

One only needs to re-read Linda Nochlin's seminal essay from 1971, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" to understand that not much has changed. In this essay, Nochlin explores the institutional – as opposed to the individual – obstacles that have prevented women in the West from succeeding in the arts.

How did you overcome the challenges?

Sometimes it is worth stepping back and focusing on doing something that really gives you pleasure, without seeking the external validation.

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

I really love this recent photograph I took of my niece Daria on Albufera lake near Valencia in Spain. Kids grow so fast and I don't see her often enough, so this capture of the precious time we spent together is very dear to me. I also love the colors of the expired Kodak slide film, as well as the classical Lomo vignetting.

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

I admire all creative women, whatever it is their medium. Life is hard enough to find time to do something creative, especially when it involves spending money on film and processing.

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?

Be yourself but be alert and remember, this world is made by men, for men, from stab vests to car crash protection and new giant iPhones. Don't try to battle men in their field, whatever it is, just do your thing and try to stay positive.


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

7 Comments

  1. smolda
    smolda ·

    @pearlgirl77 ♥ Thank you for your beautiful words! We are definitely meeting one day! Can't wait! :)

  2. pearlgirl77
    pearlgirl77 ·

    @smolda ♥♥♥ yes we will do this one time!

  3. neja
    neja ·

    thank you so much for asking me what I think! My conclusion was a bit rushed but if you care to find out what I meant, please read this book or at least some interviews with the author on that matter. https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/5/18251570/caroline-criado-…

  4. neja
    neja ·

    here is the link to the book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invisible-Women-Exposing-World-Des… 'A powerful, important and eye-opening analysis of the gender politics of knowledge and ignorance'

  5. neja
    neja ·

    @orangebird thank you for choosing, me I feel honoured

  6. orangebird
    orangebird ·

    @neja I love your photos. ;)

  7. neja
    neja ·

    @orangebird :)) thank yyouuuu

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