Virginia, New York City, Saudia Arabia, Memphis Tennessee, London, and Phoenix Arizona: there isn't a place where photographer Haya Zoubi hasn't explored. Growing up around photography with parents owning a photomat, cameras and film came second nature for Haya. With a passion for fashion, editorial, and still life, Haya loves to build a narrative on which she can photograph and let her creativity travel wild. With some LomoChrome Metropolis, Haya shot the behind the scenes of a fashion campaign she was working on for Jeffrey Campbell, with the model Kirra Hughes, stylist Brigitte Campbell and makeup artist Victoria McGrath, We talked to Haya about her blog Gone Bazar , her passion for photography, and her work with the LomoChrome Metropolis!
Hello Haya! It’s great to have you here at Lomography. How did you get into photography, especially film photography?
In the '80s (in Phoenix) my parents owned a photo mat shop called "Speedy Sam 1 Hour Photo" which was named after my mom, Sam. So from a young age, I was exposed to the film cameras of that era, film processing machines, and darkroom equipment. I grew up with hundreds of hard copy, printed photographs of my childhood unlike the kids of today whose photos are all digitized. In high school, I took film photography class because that was the only option in the '90s and once again learned to shoot, develop and print my own photos.
And then there was a period of time in my life that was completely undocumented because I stopped taking photos altogether. I didn't have a film nor a digital camera. It wasn't until I got my first iPhone in 2011, that my love for taking photos was reawakened. I started to snap everything -- from my travels around the world to places such as Shanghai, Sydney, Berlin, etc to random flower gardens and I would constantly post it all to my blog and social media. When I lived in London I met a boyfriend who loved taking photos with disposable and 35 mm film cameras. And that reawakened the film photo lover in me.
How did you create “Gone Bazaar”?
It started as a travel blog shared between myself and two friends in Brooklyn back in 2014. We named it after a slang used by Dean Moriarty's character in "On the Road". After about a year, one of my friends ended up moving to Thailand and the other friend got married. They let me keep the blog and I currently use it as a portfolio for my work -- both photography and writing.
Can you tell us a bit about this shoot?
The model for the shoot was Kirra Hughes (seen in the images accompanying this photo diary). I had worked with Kirra twice in the past when I shot her for Jakett New York and an editorial that was published in Sticks and Stones Agency. When the opportunity came up to shoot this campaign for Jeffrey Campbell I almost immediately thought of Kirra for it; however since she lives in NYC and the shoot was in LA, we had to do a little extra to make it happen. But it was so worth it in the end because I am in love with the outcome of the shoot.
For this campaign, we had a talented stylist, Brigitte Campbell -- who pulled 10 looks to go with 10 different shoes. The overall vibe we were going for was "90's Supermodel" but each look was so different from the next look that Kirra almost took on completely different personalities to go with each look. The Makeup artist, Victoria McGrath was also super complimentary to this vibe, changing up Kirra's look with each different outfit. We had a small team of four women and we all practiced safety precautions by wearing masks all day during the shoot and everyone was tested before the shoot.
It seems you had a lot of fun shooting it! Do you like being on set?
It was so much fun. There was a terrible blip in our original location being canceled literally the day before the shoot. So just one day before the actual shoot, I went driving around LA to scope out potential locations. We finally settled on a hotel in West Hollywood that offered panoramic views of the city and balconies styled as if the hotel setting could be in Monaco or Monte Carlo and not LA.
How did the LomoChrome Metropolis complement the BTS and what you had in mind?
The grainy look of the Metropolis film perfectly complimented a dreamy "behind the scenes" look in contrast to the sharper images of the actual campaign. Metropolis is my new favorite film stock! I love it!
Do you have a favorite picture from the batch you sent us? Can you tell us the story behind it?
I love the two pinky, red and blue balcony photos. The one where she is alone on the balcony is so dreamy and romantic. I love that the photo looks like it could be a painting.
Do you have any advice for anyone trying to build a career in photography?
I highly recommend starting a blog to document everything you shoot. I know that it's easy to post things on Instagram and share it with as many people as possible but posting on your own blog can help you create a brand of your own, separate from social media. Having a blog with your photos and your own narrative is like having your own magazine which you can share as a portfolio as well.
written by tamarasaade on 2021-02-28