As a beginner in the creative field, you may often be encouraged to discover your unique style. While finding your style is a crucial part of your creative journey, it is equally important to continually evolve by incorporating new inspirations and ideas.
Laetitia Heisler (@laetitiaheisler) is someone who is constantly evolving, starting out with intimate personal portraits shot with the Lomo’Instant Wide Camera to exploring 35 mm and multiple exposures, and now exploring the natural world with daring and dreamy portraits. Her recent albums are some of her most interesting and creative work yet, shooting films such as the LomoChrome Turquoise, LomoChrome Metropolis, and LomoChrome Color '92' in tandem with the LC-A+, even taking it underwater. Today we catch up with Laetitia to talk about the process of her new work and how she stays inspired.
Greetings Laetitia! It's been a while since you were featured in the magazine! Can you reintroduce yourself and tell us what you've been up to since we last spoke to you?
I'm Laetitia Heisler, a 31-year-old French-German experimental analogue photographer. I grew up in southern France and now live in northern Germany. I primarily work with double exposure techniques, using instant, 35 mm, and 120 cameras. Since the last time we spoke, a lot has happened in my photographic journey. I've experimented with many new techniques, learned how to develop and print my negatives in the darkroom, had an exhibition, conducted workshops, tried soaking my films (something I had never done before), and gained more confidence in my photography skills.
You've always dabbled in double exposures, and recently most of your work has revolved around portraits, flowers, and other natural things. Was there a conscious decision for this theme?
It is true that my double exposures look a bit different from those I shot years ago. At that time, I was primarily focused on instant self-portraiture, where my body or face appeared twice. Today, my focus has shifted towards combining nature with portraits. Generally, there is no conscious decision in my art; it's something I cannot control. It's as if a supernatural force is guiding me, and I have the choice to follow it or not.
Quite often, I have a dream or a vision of a highly detailed multiple-exposure picture. When I wake up, I attempt to sketch it and then bring it to life. This vision compels me to express things I may not even be aware of consciously. It's challenging to put into words, but I believe many artists can relate. In reality, I'm expressing my thoughts and emotions through images because I can't articulate them in words. My pictures result from a mysterious process, and I don't overthink them. I let them unfold. It's all about 'being in the moment'.
Yeah, I even recently used the new LomoChrome Color '92. I'm not particularly fond of conventional approaches because my aim is to illustrate the intangible reality, the invisible. By using different colors than those we perceive with our eyes, it becomes easier to access our imagination when looking at a photograph. I don't adhere to strict rules, and I've always held a rather unconventional belief that even colors are subject to objectivity. This is why I'm strongly drawn to Lomography's film stocks. The LomoChrome Turquoise is my absolute favorite. It imparts a fantastic and psychedelic quality to my compositions. When you view a photo shot with Turquoise, it opens up your imagination to psychedelic ideas, allowing you to perceive things from a different perspective.
Can you tell us about your process when composing double exposures?
Composing pictures is crucial to my photographic work. As I mentioned earlier, I try to follow the vision I already have in my mind by planning the first frame and then the second one. It's rare that I don't plan at all. Most of the time, I can already envision the entire picture while capturing the first frame. I typically shoot the entire roll of film at once, and then, sometimes even months or years later, I capture the second frame. Occasionally, the resulting image may look somewhat different from what I initially expected (that's the magic of analogue photography!), but it still closely conveys the message I intend to communicate.
Can you tell us the story behind your underwater shoot with the Lomo LC-A+?
I love shooting underwater, but I definitely need to train more to master it better. I have a specific image in my mind that combines the underwater world with the world above the surface. To me, this could express the most paradoxical aspects of what we're accustomed to seeing in our material world, which is why I'm so eager to bring this vision to life. I'm not finished with this 'underwater shooting' project yet. I'm not satisfied with the initial results; they don't quite match what I envisioned. The underwater lighting is significantly different, and it's a bit more challenging to adjust all the settings down there. Nevertheless, I've had the opportunity to work with excellent models, one of whom is a close friend and an art critic, and the other is my mother, as we embarked on this project.
I come from southern France, along the Mediterranean coast, where the water is crystal clear and blue, perhaps not as pristine as the Caribbean, but still remarkably beautiful. I had the vision to combine the underwater world with terrestrial vegetation. This paradox is a tremendous source of inspiration for me. I believe it can be applied to human beings as well—rooted but submerged.
Where do you find your inspiration?
As I mentioned earlier, I don't actively seek inspiration, it comes to me naturally. I believe I'm fortunate to receive a lot of inspiration because I allow myself to take time to do nothing, immerse myself in nature—often in the forest—listen to music I adore, and spend quality time alone every day. This enables me to listen to my feelings and emotions.
The passage of time, the changing of seasons in nature, inner turmoil, but also inner peace through spirituality, all contribute to nurturing my receptiveness to inspiration, I believe.
Among your recent photos, do you have any favorites you can tell us about?
The first photo is a double-exposed self-portrait with LomoChrome Metropolis: Gap between Fantasy and Reality. Before developing it, I soaked the film in a homemade film soup solution, creating a vintage effect. This picture explores the feeling of loneliness even when surrounded by many people or within a love relationship. Despite the presence of love, one can still feel misunderstood and isolated. However, this very feeling can lead to a perspective of rebirth: allowing oneself to be vulnerable and express through a chosen art form. The inclusion of the flower symbolizes the joy that follows this process.
The next one is another double-exposed picture with LomoChrome Turquoise: all the lovely people. In this image, two individuals are depicted. The vibrant colors accentuate the fantastic nature of their relationship and how the two protagonists are connected while also letting go, granting each other freedom. Their expressions as they gaze at their intertwined hands convey this message. To me, it serves as an ode to the beauty of a healthy and loving partnership.
Do you have any words of advice or things you want to share with the rest of the community?
First of all, I want to express my gratitude to you and everyone here who is dedicated to keeping analogue photography alive. Secondly, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for the interest and support people have shown in my work. It means the world to me. Lastly, while I may not be an expert at giving advice, I do have one piece of guidance for anyone looking to explore their creative abilities: Don't be constrained by rules or concerned about others' opinions of your art. Avoid overthinking it. Grab that camera, that pen, that pencil, that instrument, and don't let the judgmental voice in your head control the incredible artist within you!
How has your photographic style changed over the years? Tell us about your story down below!
written by rocket_fries0036 on 2023-11-08 #gear #people #places #nature #portrait #flower #multiple-exposure #dreamy #double-exposure #germany #france #film-soup #lomochrome-turquoise #lomochrome-metropolis #lomochrome-color-92