The Diana Mini Half Frame Format as a Narrative Medium: Interview with Sara Belmonte


We got to know Sara Belmonte when she was selected as a contributor to the recent zine, Somos Paisajes in collaboration with Etereo, shot entirely on Lomography films. Today she's back on our Online Magazine with a photographic series shot using our Diana Mini and a roll of Redscale XR 35 mm ISO 50–200. Check out her results below!

© Sara Belmonte

Hi Sara, welcome back to our magazine! Can you introduce yourself?

Hello! I'm delighted to be here. My name is Sara Belmonte, I'm a photographer and creative director born in Valencia and currently living in Madrid.

When did your journey in the photography world start?

I became interested in photography at a very young age, my first memory was trying a semi-professional camera when I was 15 years old. From that moment on I became obsessed with taking portraits of people around me, until I started working on my first professional shoots with models at the age of 17.

© Sara Belmonte

You often shoot on film. What are the pros and cons compared to digital photography?

It's true that in general for professional projects I tend to work more in digital, more than anything else because of the feeling of security it gives me when it comes to controlling the results. So I think that for me that would be the disadvantage of analogue photography – the uncertainty about the final results.

On the other hand, I think one of the beauties of analogue is to expect the unexpected, and to undergo the process of waiting for a developed film. One of the biggest pros of analogue for me is the colour range it achieves. It beats many digital colour ranges hands down.

© Sara Belmonte

What is the best advice you received? And what advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career as a photographer?

Thinking off the top of my head now I would say that the best advice I have been given so far is to have patience, trust in my work and believe in the process. For my part I would advise any photographer, beginner or professional, to never stop learning new things. When you get out of your comfort zone you have many more possibilities to get to places you had never imagined. And also, think less and do more. It's never going to be "the perfect time" to do that concept shoot you've always wanted to do, or send that email. Do it with fear but do it anyway.

Tell us the story behind these wonderful shots.

The story of these photographs is quite simple. I wanted to experiment, to play with analogue, and I had no better idea than to go back to my origins – to take photographs of my friends in their daily lives. I mentioned this idea to my friend Carla, and one morning I went to her house to capture her routine, from preparing breakfast to working on the computer.

© Sara Belmonte

You shot this series with the Diana Mini and Lomography Redscale film. How was the experience with the camera?

The truth is that at first the experience was a bit strange, mostly because I had never tried a camera with the features of the Diana Mini, but in the end it was fun to try it. I liked the results quite a lot, and I'm fascinated with the Redscale film!

All photos are shot as half frames. Is there any particular reason why you decided to shoot in this format?

I chose this format because of the narrative necessity of the idea itself. I mean, I wanted to create comparisons and a connection between all the pictures to develop the morning routine of the protagonist.

Would you share with us the name of a photographer you admire and the reason why?

Right now one of my favourite photographers is Cho Gi-Seok. I found his work recently. One of the things I liked the most was his ability to create new visual universes through the careful selection of each element in his images, and the originality of the concepts he works with. I will also make special mention of Petra Collins, who has been one of my references from the beginning.

© Sara Belmonte

If you could say something to other female photographers around the world, what would it be?

Well, the first thing is that I would like to be able to talk to all of them over a cup of coffee, because I'm sure we would reach many points in common. But as I see that as very complicated I would say to them: in an industry full of men in which a high percentage of students of visual arts are women while a low percentage of women end up working in it, above all protect your energy and your motivation. It is unfair, but to get up every day and continue to strive for our work makes us powerful.

© Sara Belmonte

You recently founded Templanza studio. Can you tell us more about this project?

What an exciting question. Templanza Estudio is an audiovisual production company founded by myself and my colleagues Alejandro Van Arcken and Roberto Rodríguez. We recently launched the project with our first video clip, and we currently offer audiovisual services for artists/brands, from video to 3D animation. Right now we are working on some still image projects, and developing other ideas for clients.

© Sara Belmonte

Any upcoming projects you would like to share with our readers?

Well, I don't want to spoil too much but I'll just say that next month a personal fashion-related project I'm working on is coming out, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it. There are also other things I'm working on that I'm really excited about but I can't tell you much about them yet. You'll have to follow me to see everything in the future!

© Sara Belmonte

Check out all Sara works on her Instagram profile.

written by melissaperitore on 2023-04-03 #gear #redscale #spain #diana-mini #lomodiana #ladydiana #sara-belmonte

Lomography Diana Mini & Flash Half-frame & Square Camera

The Diana Mini shoots 35 mm film and produces dreamy, lo-fi shots. The camera lets you choose between half-frame and square frame shots. It also features a Bulb mode function which allows you to take long exposures and crazy light streaks!

More Interesting Articles