Emma Parla-Aziz on World-building with the ActionSampler and Lady Grey Film3 7 Share Tweet
We recently came across film photographer Emma Parla-Aziz's work featuring mystical shots taken on the ActionSampler loaded up with Lady Grey B&W Film that look straight out of a silent film.
Emma uses their creative direction to world-build within their photographs, creating a magical, otherworldly vibe. They shared with us their process behind making as well as some tips and tricks for those also interested in picking up the ActionSampler.
Hi Emma, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your work?
Thank you for having me! I’m a Creative Director and Film Photographer based out of the East Coast. I use photography as a way to tell stories visually, and draw inspiration from mythology, fairytales, spirituality, psychology, and nature.
Can you tell us about your most recent shoots with the ActionSampler and our Lady Grey B&W film?
I love these two paired together. You can pretty much create small individual silent films with each shot using the ActionSampler and Lady Grey film. This most recent shoot, a friend and I wanted to create a story about a haunted queen. In these photos you can almost feel how heartbroken the Queen is thanks to the way the ActionSampler and Lady Grey captured the scenes. You felt her energy through the photos as if it were your own.
Do you feel like the ActionSampler helps emphasize your interest in storytelling through photography?
I enjoy using the ActionSampler as a way to help enhance the visual story. It simultaneously creates a dreamy and haunting reality. It feels almost like you’re stepping into someone’s mind and witnessing a new reality from their perspective. It adds insight to the story that the viewer might not have been able to see or sense before.
Do you have a favorite photo from your recent shoot?
I’d say this photo (below) is one of my most recent favorites using the Lomography ActionSampler and Lady Grey. There’s something that just naturally draws me to photographs that don’t have a face to them. It lets your imagination run wild. Who is this person? Are they happy? Sad? Longing? Excited? It leaves you guessing and wanting more of the story. For this photo in particular I loved the delicate posing of her hands along with the flowers being held tight to her body as if she’s waiting to give them to someone but can’t quite let go yet. I feel as though the collar bone gently popping out and her shoulders ever so slightly bent forward gives a melancholy feeling with help from the soft but contrasting black and white film. The wrinkles of the dress with the subtle shine from the silver jewelry gives for a dreamy energy while the dark stones with thorny vines behind her leaves you feeling cautious.
The four photos wrapped together perfectly thanks to the ActionSampler. It makes you feel like you want to reach out and ask her her story but the black and white almost makes her feel unreachable in a way. Overall I’m really proud of this photo and extremely thankful to the model, Jessie Alisha, for helping bring the vision to life!
Why shoot film over digital?
For me personally I could never connect with digital the same way I’ve connected with film. I never was fully satisfied with the results of my photos when I worked on digital. When I photograph on film I feel like I’m able to visually express the thoughts in my head in a more meaningful and impactful way than I was able to achieve with digital. Everyone has their own way with art and it just so happens that film is where I feel most creatively free.
What is your process like when doing planned out shoots?
When I’m planning shoots with a specific concept it could take days or even years before I fully execute my vision. I’ll spend time on creating mood boards, researching locations, picking the right wardrobe, thinking of different hair and makeup designs, finding the perfect props and accessories, and calling on the model(s) I think would best portray the role I have in mind. Sometimes I do open my space up more where the model and I will collaborate together on the idea to bring it to life.
What inspires your world-building and storytelling approach to photography?
Being an avid reader from a young age taught me to build imaginative worlds around me and to never stop trying new ideas. I was always trying to find different ways to express myself and share my thoughts with others. As I got older I found comfort in using photography as a way to cope and to speak for me visually.
Do you have any tips or tricks for shooting with the ActionSampler?
Honestly just experiment. That’s the best advice I can give when it comes to any matters of photography. I’ve achieved some of my favorite photographs by messing around and trying something I might not usually try. Creating art isn’t about making something perfect, it's about making something that evokes emotion or leaves the viewer asking questions or wanting more. The ActionSampler is great for both still shots and movement so just going out to shoot and trying different approaches will land you results that satisfy you the most.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share with us?
I actually have two photographic series, one based on Astrology and one based on Greek Mythology. Both are series that I have worked on separately for three years and will finally be finishing and releasing fully this summer! You can stay up to date on those project releases via my Instagram or my website.
Is there anything else that you'd like to share?
Thank you again for this opportunity, and thank you to all those who took the time to read my interview!
If you're interested in keeping up with Emma and their work, don't forget to check out their Instagram and website!
written by eloffreno on 2023-05-21 #gear #people #action #storytelling #filmmaking #worldbuilding