Romy Soda shares her latest photographic project with us, developed during the past summer and shot entirely with a range of Lomography cameras. Enjoy her experimental journey!
Hi Romy, could you introduce yourself to the readers of our Online Magazine?
Hi, I'm Romy, I was born in Argentina and I'm currently living in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. I work as a freelance photographer in different fields but my specialty is surfing and water photography.
Tell us about your background. When did your journey into photography start?
I have always been interested in photography, seeing the results from developed films has always filled me with enthusiasm since I was a child. But, considering that I am from a different generation, the first time I had a digital camera a different world of possibilities opened up. Seeing the image in the moment and thinking about the unlimited quantity, put me in another place. I remember that when I went on a trip alone at the age of 15, and, by playing with the camera, I began to understand about composition and how to capture all those details that always captivated me. From then on I developed a sensitivity for images and I specialized in both analogue and digital photography.
Where does your passion for analogue photography come from?
Analogue photography runs in my family, and when I started to discover the artistic expression of images, my aunt gave me her Canon Rebel XT1, and that's when the fascination began. Film photography brings me back to the essence of why I take pictures. It concentrates the magic of the process, the waiting, the awareness of the shot, being in the present moment and letting go of the result. In the vortex of today's world, I find it indispensable to go back to those roots.
Tell us about this fantastic photographic series? Where was it taken?
The photos were taken in Fuerteventura, a natural setting full of magical corners, and I chose eight friends to be part of it. I tried to project a bit of my extravagant vision of each of them in portraits and though a series in the water where the ocean somehow equals us all. The whole sequence is themed around my two passions: surfing and experimental photography.
What soundtrack would accompany these photos?
I love this question! The music always accompanies me and for this series it would be Coast to Coast by The Jesus and Mary Chain.
These photos were taken with several Lomography cameras. Why this choice and with which one did you have the best time shooting?
The main idea was to experiment. Having several cameras gave me the possibility to try more than one film in each session and to obtain images with different effects in each case. Each Lomo camera brings its own peculiarity and I preferred not to choose, to use them all! I loved using the Simple Use for the possibility of using it in the water, the Diana for the format and the accessories, the Fisheye for its nineties feeling and the SuperSampler, the most unpredictable. I still can't choose!
This photo project, developed during this summer, will culminate in a Photo Exhibition on September 14th. How important is it for you to exhibit your printed photos to the public?
It means a lot to me. For many years showing my art has been a issue to overcome. Even if I have been a photographer for over 10 years, when it comes to showing personal projects, there is a lot of vulnerability involved. I love being able to culminate this project in this way, it's empowering and I can't wait to show it to the world.
Please tell us more about this amazing project. How did it start and where do you want it to bring you?
The project started partly out of my personal quest to keep my creativity awake, my photography away from routine, and back to basics. The idea was also to make something experimental, to give me the space to play, to test and to let go of control over the perfect results. I wanted to be aware of every moment, to observe in detail, to find my angle and shoot without double checking. Feeling free to shoot again was magical. Also positioning myself as my own art director and trying to replicate what was in my head was a great learning experience and reaffirmed me very much as an artist, proud of her own stamp. I think that, without knowing it at the beginning, this project was a great test for myself, a closing of a cycle and a beginning of a new me.
What are the challenges you encounter when documenting the surf scene on film?
Well, obviously there were technical difficulties, since digital technology in many cases makes things easier, especially with the famous burst, which without it requires a very specific timing. Also, the changing light conditions on many occasions during the same session is one of those difficulties. But in the end I really enjoyed it, learning to breathe and choose the moment, being conscious of each shot, is rewarding. This reinforced my initial idea of being open to experimentation and moving away from perfectionism.
Any suggestions for someone who would also like to develop a long term photographic project?
First, always try! Start even if you don't know where to start. Sometimes you will fail but at the end of the day we learn from everything. Then organize, plan what you want to do, try to be as realistic as possible about the time you need and even plan for setbacks. Find yourself a support group, a community. In my case I am infinitely grateful to my friends who kept me motivated on those days when it was a bit harder. And most importantly, remember to sometimes stop the world and enjoy the journey you are on.