We've teamed up with five photographers, who took off to Mexico City for a weeklong street photography adventure. Equipped with tons of Lomography Film, the analog crew explored the streets and culture Mexico through their lenses and are now sharing their results and impressions with us, one by one. Self-taught photographer Lauren Roche has been shooting for about twelve years now, came along with her friends and fellow photographers Adam Powell, Tyler Woodford, Cat Byrnes and Christian Linares on the trip to Mexico. The series she shot is a continuation of an ongoing leisure series based on tourists that she has been focusing on since 2010.
Where did your interest in photography/street photography first begin?
I always loved photography and knew I wanted to shoot from a young age. I shot with a lot of Polaroids, disposable and point-and-shoot digital cameras in my teen years; shooting a more diaristic approach of documenting friends and family. I remember discovering Lauren Greenfield's book Girl Culture in high school; they were the first series of photographs that actually gave me chills when looking at them. It was then that I realized how powerful a photograph actually could be.
I got into street photography when I went on my first road trip with two friends across the U.S. in 2010 at that point strictly shooting only 35mm and medium format.
After that summer I moved to New York City. What I love about NYC is that it's so visual; there's constantly something going on around you. It's definitely the best city to shoot street photography.
You are completely self-taught. How do you think that has changed the way you approach photography?
I was never "classically trained" with a degree but learned a lot on my own from trial-and-error and experimenting.
I have a lot of talented friends who have taught me so much over the years. It's so important to surround yourself with others who have a similar taste in photography and who inspire you. I feel I am constantly growing from my peers and I am so grateful for that. I am very interested in what others are working on and I feel it inspires me and pushes me to try new things and to look at my work in a new light.
This work is part of a larger series about tourism. Tell us more about this project. What initially drew you to this subject matter?
My road trip in 2010 instigated a fascination with the predictable behavior of tourists. On my road trip, we hit up a lot of historical and touristic spots in Vegas, L.A., Austin, Roswell, and Grand Canyon. I am interested in how people from different parts of the world all seem to interact within a foreign space in a similar demeanour. I love to travel as well; so part of it is reflective of myself. There is a sense of liberation when traveling and being a tourist. It makes us realize how similar we all are. Since then tourism has always been part of my photography.
How did this series from Mexico fit into your larger project? How was this experience different than when you shot the other photographs in the overall project?
This series fits in as another tourist spot on the map. I shot at the Teotihuacan pyramids for two days. The difference here was that I spent two days in one area. Often I only spend a few hours within a touristic spot.
Do you have a specific photo in the group with a memory/story attached to it? Tell us about it.
When I got to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun I hung out there for about an hour. I realized everyone started making these movements of lifting their arms up in the air (like they were trying to reach for the sun). Some people looked like they were dancing and others looked like they were praying. It was interesting to see everyone's' reactions at the top. The boy with his arms raised looked like he was floating. He seemed so free.
Film changes the look and feel of this series of photographs. Why is shooting on film so important to you?
Shooting film is important to me because of it's respect to the roots of photography. In a digital age where shooting can be so mindless with our phones (which I do a lot of) ; shooting analogue keeps me connected to the core of photography. When shooting film I definitely pay more attention to composition and subject matter. It's definitely what my body of work is based around. Also, atheistically it's my taste. I'm an old soul.