NYC-based photographer Rhianydd Hylton took our CN 400 film for a test run. Check out the beautiful results from her two shoots here.
Hi Rhianydd! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! My name is Rhianydd Hylton and I am 19-year-old New York City-based photographer. Focused on fashion and portrait photography, my work aims to explore conceptualizations of beauty and identity. I am currently a student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, pursuing a major in photography. After falling in love with the pages of my mom’s National Geographic magazines, I got my first DSLR camera when I was 12 years old. I started out doing a lot of self-portraiture, using whatever materials I had around me to create a concept. That slowly grew into doing shoots with my friends, and from there my love for portraiture grew. My interest in fashion soon became intertwined with this love, and it now plays a significant role in all of my work.
You have two separate series here. Can you tell us a bit about what each of them is about?
For these shoots, I really wanted to play around with bold color and contrast, as the Lomography Color Negative 35mm ISO 400 film is known for such qualities. The first one came to life when my friend Dawn, the model in the images, purchased an amazing pair of shoes that she just so happened to have the perfect outfit to pair with. As soon as we saw the look, we knew that we had to plan a shoot around it. The inspiration for the setup came from some photographs that Dawn found of model Salem Mitchell in a similar outfit. Knowing she was going to be in all black, I thought that red would be the perfect contrast for a backdrop. Once everything was planned, we got up early one morning and set up a makeshift studio in our living room—aka we stuck a giant piece of fabric to our wall using painters tape. I am really pleased with how the photos turned out!
The second shoot was actually quite spontaneous. The day it occurred, I had just found out that I would be able to access a rooftop that I had been wanting to shoot at for a while—you can see it from my living room windows. It had bright green turf, so I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to use the Color Negative film. With this in mind, I wanted to keep the outfit fairly simple but knew it still needed to have some sort of pop of color. I dressed my friend Zayira, the model (and also a fellow LomoAmigo), in a color-blocked sweater knowing that the green and red would work well together. This shoot was quite different from the first one, as I didn’t go into it knowing exactly how I wanted the pictures to turn out. I took it as an opportunity to play around with different ideas, but definitely aimed for a more minimalistic look.
What was your experience like photographing these subjects?
I really enjoyed both of the shoots, and can also appreciate the fact that they are so different from one another. My shoot with Dawn was meticulously planned out; I selected and bought a backdrop, created a mood board, picked a specific outfit, makeup look, and hairstyle in advance, and went into it already knowing what poses I wanted to experiment with. This was fun because I was able to watch my initial vision come to life. My vision for Zayira’s shoot, on the other hand, did not arise until I was actually in the setting and physically photographing. While quite different from my approach with Dawn’s shoot, sometimes it is nice to go into a project with less expectations, as it allows you to just do whatever comes to mind and have fun with it (not that you can’t do this with a more planned outshoot, but it definitely presents itself in a different way). The Color Negative 35mm ISO 400 film was the perfect pairing for these shoots, as it really accentuated the colors I chose to work with. The boldness really helps the photos to stand out, and I can not wait to shoot with it again!
Pick a photo and tell us the story behind it.
This is one of my favorite photos from Dawn’s series, as it exudes strength and power in femininity. Dawn’s gaze makes direct eye contact with the viewer, asserting her dominance and communicating her confidence. Her pose is firm and unwavering, establishing a sense of stability in the image through the lines and geometric shapes her body creates.