Originally from Los Angeles though a true New Yorker at heart, Dylana Suarez is a content creator who loves film photography, fashion, and storytelling based in the Big Apple. The blog she started in 2009 "was the beginning of everything," she explains. "It’s where my path towards creative freedom and being able to make a living of what I do started." She got into photography when she had given her a DSLR camera that she would use for her blog pictures.
Early in the summer of 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic, Dylana picked up a film camera after shooting digital for a long time. She recently tested our LomoChrome Purple and LomoChrome Metropolis films for some fall and spring shots of New York. We asked her about her favorite film, her future projects, and any tips she can give to first-time film shooters!
Hello Dylana! It's great to have you here at Lomography! First off, can you tell us why you still shoot film?
I still continue to shoot film because I love how free I am to be in the moment with it. I used to get really frustrated shooting digital because I find myself always overanalyzing each shot to try to get the vision exactly as it is in my mind. It got a bit tiring and repetitive, and I needed a change. I love that film has totally changed my perspective on how I see things and want to photograph moments. I feel so much freer and less stressed, and what I love the most is the unexpected nature of it all. Waiting to get my film back from development is so exciting. It’s fun to wait for a little and get back these moments to relive again later. I appreciate so much how film has changed how I approach photography and just experiencing life in general. And with film I’ve gotten so much better at trusting my own gut when it comes to creative direction and how I visualize the shot, especially when I’m handing my camera to my husband or sister or a friend to take a shot of me, and they only have a few chances to get something great. I’m always able to show the person with the camera in hand what I visualize and just trust the process of creation. The best part with film is that sometimes the mess-ups are the greatest shots!
Do you have a favorite type of photography?
That’s a hard one since I love to photograph everything, but my favorite would definitely have to be fashion and travel combined. I love the composition of beautiful, unique clothing against an amazing backdrop. I’m always looking around my environment to see what suits my wardrobe. Or maybe it’ll inspire me to try something new with what I wear. The two go hand in hand.
How does a day of shooting look like for you?
A day of shooting for me definitely depends on the light, the weather, my mood, what I have in particular to shoot like a work project, or if there is a particular piece of clothing or a special location that sparks my imagination. It really changes every single day, but that’s how it always feels fresh and not boring for me. Some days I’m in front of the camera, some days I’m behind the camera photographing what is around me. I love the mix of both because it really brings a peek into the things that I love and cherish the most, alongside my personality and personal taste.
Can you tell us more about the pictures you sent us?
These pictures are special to me because they feature the city that inspired my dreams, the city that I love the most, and the city that I currently call home and will most likely call home for a lot longer. Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge are defining NYC iconic spots that I always visited when I first came to NYC in the first place, so they hold a soft spot in my heart. And every time I visit them, I like to find new things about them that I didn’t notice before. And now I can capture them on film to remember forever and look at them in new ways.
How was it shooting the Metropolis and Purple? Do you have a favorite one?
It was really cool, because I wasn’t sure what to expect color-wise from them since I shot them on a point-and-shoot film camera, but waiting to see the result was fun. I love how the colors add a totally different mood to the images I captured. Metropolis was amazing to shoot in Central Park in the fall because it accentuated the yellow tones. And then I went out of my way to shoot Central Park again in the spring with the Purple, because I really wanted to see how all the greens would look coming out against the pink cherry blossoms. I was not disappointed. It brought to life this dream nostalgia that NYC always gives me.
Do you have any tips to share with our readers who are trying this film for the first time?
I would say just don’t overthink too much, and really just shoot for yourself. Looking around you and continue to shoot many tolls of the same film and take notes on what catches your eye about what you see in your developed film. It’s all about practicing and doing until you figure out your groove. Over time, you will see how different films work, and how different cameras work, and how you can achieve so many different results. The unexpected nature of film, and with these, in particular, is something that has taught me to just go with the flow. So that’s my best tip. Go with the flow! Find the extraordinary in the ordinary. This film definitely brings that out.
Do you have any projects we should be on the lookout for?
There’s always something new coming out! I’ve always had the chance to work with really amazing brands on a long-term basis, and there will be more of that shortly.
To follow more of Dylana's work head over to her Instagram .
written by tamarasaade on 2021-07-25