Creating art with his paintbrush is what he normally does, but he was soon intrigued at how he can play with light and shadows. So without any reluctance, he then swam deep into the analogue world that is Lomography and it seems like he’s enjoying the adventure thus far!
Name: Jonathan P. Russell
Location: West Hollywood, California
Number of years as a Lomographer: 1 Year
Number of years in the Community: 1 Year
Share to us your most memorable experience in the Lomographic community.
I am fortunate enough to live 4 blocks away from the West Hollywood gallery store. I follow them on Facebook, so that’s how I get my updates on the local fun events and parties. Out of all of the gatherings, I would say I most enjoyed The Button Making Social. Satomi brought her button maker machine and we all got to print out some of our favorite photos from our Lomo homes and make buttons using those images. I thought it was a pretty nifty idea and was fun to see my photos displayed in a different way. Now when I wear the buttons, it creates a nice conversation into the story behind the image and questions arise about the lomography community.
Have you actually met people in the community that you now consider as close friends? If yes, name at least one of them.
The staff at the West Hollywood Lomography store have all been a huge help to me. They’re a bright young group who at first were able to help me with every little question. What is the difference between 35 and 120? How do I get this photo more red? Now, I would say I have become more buddy-buddy with a number of them. I do my laundry a block away so I always wander over to hang out and chit chat while my clothes are being dried. One of the employees, noe_arteaga, has been a great resource for me in and out of the store. I’m not the quickest when it comes to computers so he really has helped guide me in the process of uploading photos in the online Lab as well as creating LomoWalls. Also, Satomi who is pretty popular in the community has been very inspiring. Her work is so fantastic! I think her least popular photo has like 234,500 likes or something. Aside from being an inspiration, she can also fix any glitch with the camera. She’s like a Camera Whisperer. This fine group of people have really made my Lomo Journey fulfilling thus far.
Do you think you’ll still be taking lomographs in the next 5 years? Why?
Heck Yeah! This past year has been great learning more about photography. I’ve been an artist my whole life and studied painting in college. I have always been interested in photography but always felt I should spend more of my time painting. I’ve learned that notion was completely ridiculous because when it comes to the arts, if you are curious about a way of creating you need to just go for it and see what’s there. Before, I would have just labeled myself as a painter, but now I can confidently say that I am a photographer as well, which feels great! If you are interested in seeing my other artistic creations, check out my site www.jonathanprussell.com. I’m pretty excited about the site because I have recently started to display my favorite lomographs.
What is your favorite Lomo camera and why? Do you have any memorable experiences while using this camera?
Favorite camera and experience?! Oh man, well I’m the type of person that whenever I get something new, it instantly becomes my favorite. Kind of like how whenever I get another roll of film developed a new favorite photo is found. But if I had to pick, I think I’ll actually have to go with the Krab. Now I know it’s not an actual camera, instead a Lomo accessory, but it really has been so amazing to use. I have been a competitive swimmer my entire life and I am currently a swim coach. The Krab accessory combines my two biggest loves, swimming and art! This past July I was able to coach a swim meet out in Hawaii so you better believe I was gonna take the Krab along. One of the days I went out for a swim at Kaimana Beach with my Oakland swim buddies Steven and Erik. I got some super fun shots during the swim but I think it was the gorgeous location and great company that made that shoot more memorable. Thanks to the Krab, I know have great images to help remember it all.
Is there any advice you can give to new analogue shooters?
My advice would be to make use of the online community here. Seriously! I can’t stress how much that has helped me. Here you are able to search results on what certain cameras can do, I have been able to distinguish which cameras I am more drawn to as well as certain films. The examples are endless! It’s partly the reason that got me to buy my first Lomo camera. Other camera products show photos that some amazing photographer took and the photos that are also photo shopped to death. I wanted to know what I was realistically capable of capturing when I picked up a certain camera. Lomography shows you what the everyday user is taking. I must say, it’s smart marketing on their part but more importantly it has helped speed along my understanding of the film and cameras I have collected. Also, more advice would be to step out of your daily routine. Go to the places you have always been curious about and take your camera along. There are areas I always drive by that intrigue me but I never stop. I have made an effort to explore these destinations using my cameras and the end results have always been successful. Bring a friend, your cameras, and explore!
They are the ones whose passion transcends not only by what they do and say, but also with what they see and capture with their film cameras. And with such attributes aforementioned, they are what we call LomoGurus! Every week, we get to ask questions and reveal some insights with the most talented and productive of all Lomographers from the Community!