To be honest, she didn’t like her maiden shots when she was still starting out taking pictures, but through the Lomography Community, she realised it’s not all about taking the conventionally perfect picture, rather it’s those mishaps that can make a Lomograph an epic one! Here’s Laura, our Lomoguru!
Name: Laura Su Bischoff
Location: Berlin, Germany
Number of years as a Lomographer: 2.5 years
Number of years in the Community: 2 years
Share to us your most memorable experience in the Lomographic Community.
Well, first of all I’d like to say that I’m really super surprised and happy to be featured as a LomoGuru because I’ve always thought that only the most accomplished and most popular Community members would be picked as Gurus and I didn’t really think I was that popular. I do get a bunch of likes every time I upload something, but it’s nothing compared to others. So I guess, having been picked for the Lomo Guru feature is my most memorable experience so far; only second to having been picked for the Lomography Berlin City Guide. That was quite a big thing to me because I had just started the whole photography thing and really only considered myself a humble beginner back then (I guess I’m intermediate now.) Besides from winning a couple of rumbles, I got selected for the international LomoHome of the Day three times!
Have you actually met people in the Community that you now consider as close friends? If yes, name at least one of them.
Actually, not really. I have always been a bit of a loner (although I do like to talk – is that a paradox?) and the odd one out. Because even when I was little, I preferred reading books or just vanishing into little fantasy worlds in my head (I could do that for hours and while I was daydreaming I didn’t even notice people approaching and talking to me – and that’s kind of weird for other children I guess) rather than to fight with other kids for toys. I still like to be by myself or with a handful of very close friends. This kind of explains a bit why I haven’t met any of the Community members in Berlin yet, even though I have talked to some on here.
Oh wait, I once applied for a job at the Berlin Gallery Store (Two years ago, shortly after I had registered,) but I didn’t get the job. But I did meet some of the staff there. Also, bloomchen mentioned me in his LomoGuru feature a couple of months ago because we have been trying to exchange cameras for ages now. Haven’t been successful until now either, but it’s never too late, right?
I have also talked to wilfbiffherb quite a bit because we’re both into BW printing and we talked about how to set up a darkroom and stuff like that. Then, there are those who regularly visit my Home and look at and comment on my stuff: people like bloomchen, mikahsupageek, alex34, aanum, clickiemcpete, rik041 or kdstevens – the latter helped me with my very first Polaroids quite a bit. Albeelee, earlybird, lawypop, stratski, itisanormalname, mafiosa, schemerel, marcel2cv, emkei and grazie (to mention just a few, it’s just impossible to name you all) have also dropped by a couple of times in the recent past but I don’t know whether they actually remember. And probably others I just don’t seem to be able to think of right now even though I’m trying really hard (I hope you noticed that by my efforts to name you) and even though this text is getting longer by the second – SORRY!!! So even if I might not be writing a thank you note each and every time, I do notice and I do care a lot about your attention! Also, besides from talking to bloomchen, I’ve had some very nice conversations with the already mentioned mikahsupageek. My “real life” friends are not that much into social networks, and Mikah’s often among the only one or two who leave any feedback on my photo uploads on Facebook. Considering that a lot of people seem to care a lot about the number of likes they get (high school popularity contest, yay! Oh well, I never was that popular back in high school either, haha) I always find it kind of funny that it’s often only this one person on Facebook. In fact (he might not even remember this,) it was his Polaroids which actually made me buy my first Polaroid SX-70 because he was just so kind and answered all my questions although he didn’t even know me back then. Thanks for that, Mikah!
Do you think you’ll still be taking Lomographs in the next 5 years? Why?
Absolutely. I can’t let go of photography. Ever. It’s just such a big part of my life. I started a bit over two years ago after I had tried some other creative things like painting, even puppetry. I was never really satisfied with what I had come up with, but then I tried photography. And I got hooked. It wasn’t that I particularly liked my first shots. Actually, I didn’t like them at all, but I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it. And I sort of fell in love with the process itself, too, so that’s why I wanted to push through. You know, I’m really such a control freak and perfectionist, and I never give up and I push myself all the times, so I booked two classes on analogue photography (one on film camera and one on darkroom printing techniques,) taught the rest to myself and that was basically it. Ever since, I have constantly tried to improve, experiment and be critical with me and other people’s stuff because that’s the only way how I can get better every day. And it brought me quite far I think. Not to forget that I’m having soooooo much fun (ha!) I just forget everything around myself when I take pictures. Almost like when daydreaming back in my childhood. It’s just that today I put those daydreams into my pictures.
What is your favorite Lomo camera and why? Do you have any memorable experiences while using this camera?
My Holga! I just love it because it’s easy to handle, not heavy at all and I can drop it as many times as I want to (just for your reference, I drop my mobile phone at least once a week so having robust gear is crucial to me.)
I mainly use it to do BW stuff. I have a darkroom at home, so I like to print my Holga shots in there in order to put them into nice frames and hang them up my walls. You should see my place, it’s full of my handmade prints and my Polaroids!
Is there any advice you can give to new analogue shooters?
Actually, I’m going to say something really boring now: When you take pictures, try to think as much as you can if you want to be able to improve and to re-shoot something which has worked out before. Meaning: try to consider what you want to accomplish, which message you want to bring across and choose your subject, your camera, your film, your composition, etc. accordingly. It may also help to try some concept shootings, because by staging a subject you will have ultimate control and by minimizing the factor of coincidence you might be able to recognize way better what can help you to get a good shot. This, in turn, will help you improve your spontaneous candid shots as well. Afterwards, analyse your shots for flaws and look for things which worked out and for things which didn’t and ask yourself: why is this so? Also, don’t hesitate to ask others for advice, I bet everyone’s going to feel very honoured by you asking them how they managed to get a certain shot because they will certainly feel how much you actually appreciate their work by asking. However, if all of this happens to be too much fuss for you, forget about what I just said, follow your own approach and try to have as much fun as you possibly can. I myself always try to do both, be super conscious while taking pictures and have loads of fun at the same time. Just never give up, and always remember: it’s failures which teach you the most after all – and there might be people out there who actually like your “failures.” :)
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!