Newcomer of the Week: Shelleybelley


She's as cute as a fairy and as sweet as a pack of candy! But don't her external persona fool you for this week's newcomer sure has a package of analogue goodness under her belt!

She has migrated to places and changed interests. But still, her love for film photography remains. Like an addiction that’s too hard to get rid of because it’s there and you can’t just stop it! It’s all about nostalgia and a confession of love for the 60s beauty with shelleybelley, our featured newcomer of the week!

Name: Shelah Mariz Danao
Lomography Home: shelleybelley
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Current film camera(s): Lomography Diana Mini

Please tell us a little something about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Philippines. My family has recently migrated here in New Zealand and I’ve fallen in love with my new found home. I have always had an interest in photography. I also love to travel and experience different culture – I like the smell of adventure. I am optimistic, contented, and grateful with everything that I have. And I am a firm believer of destiny – if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be, but in the midst of the mix and mess of the world, our choices will truly define who we are.

How did you find the Community and who/what convinced you to join?

I found the Community way back in 2011 while I was browsing through the internet looking for an analogue camera. It was really interesting to know that despite the demands and the rise of technology, there’s a community of film photographers out there. And I am really blown away and amazed with their photos! From that moment, I visit the website from time to time, read all the articles especially the Tipsters that are really creative. That made me so inspired and convinced to join the Community and pursue my interest in film photography. Now, the dream is over because I own a Diana Mini, my first Lomo camera, and is happy to be part of this Community!

As you have read the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, what rule do you apply in your everyday life?

Can I mention three rules? Rule nos. 6, 8, and 10. I can say that these three rules are so me!

Rule # 6 – Don’t think. Just shoot! (William Firebrace)

I love being spontaneous and random. I shoot whatever I like and whatever I see around me. I just click and click and let my mind wonder. I don’t think, I just go with the flow!

Credits: shelleybelley

Rule # 8 You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film.

There’s no "preview” button in an analogue camera where you can delete your awful shots. I love the fact that in analogue, you can’t control everything. Like in real life, I can’t control everything; I can’t delete my mistakes, problems, and misfortunes and there’s no turning back. I had lots of mistakes in life, but I don’t regret it. They served as a lesson for me and they even made me stronger.

Rule # 10 – Don’t worry about any rules.

”Don’t listen to others – their opinion doesn’t matter anyway as long as you remain true to yourself, follow your inner voice and never forget that not all that glitters is a golden rule.” – I confess, most of the time, I worry a lot and I overthink. But one thing I learned in Lomography, set free your innermost desires. I open myself to any possibilities and uncertainties that life may offer.

In this digital age, why still film?

During the 90s, I still remember that my family used to have film cameras (now I regret why I did not keep all of them, including the Polaroid). And as a kid, I am always excited to see the developed images. My mom would customize an album with stickers on it. During that time, pictures are really treasured. Time flies and time also changed the way people live. Everyone can take pictures everywhere, anytime with smartphones and with DSLRs. And in a snap, you can upload it in Facebook and Instagram and add some nice filters without any hassles. I think the lack of challenge and excitement made me go back from where it all started – FILM. In this digital age, film still makes an impact because it is an epitome of history – the beginning of photography in a sense. Digital is nice, fast and useful, but somehow I feel like it doesn’t hurt to go back to our roots once in a while. And it feels very nostalgic.

Testing out half-frames!

And why still film? – Honestly, it’s because I don’t like edited or photoshopped photos. I still go for film, because of its originality – no edits. You can feel the soul and the truthfulness of the image. In film, everything is full of surprises and happy accidents where imperfections and blurred lines are perfect. I enjoy capturing moments in film and being able to see them on print is a whole new experience for me. Using film in this day and age is sort of like a tribute. A thank you, if you will, to a field that is continuously emerging.

Any song or movie you live by? Please share.

I’ve seen heaps of movies, but there’s one movie that I live by. The Green Mile, starring Tom Hanks and Michael Duncan. It was based from a novel written by Stephen King. The story depicts that each of us has a unique personality that separates us from the others but we people, sometimes base our judgments on stereotypes.

This movie is really interesting. It will leave you with a strange feeling. For those who haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you bring tissues with you! (Yes, I cried.. I cried a lot.) The story will show you that good will overcome evil in the end.

What are you looking forward to in our Community?

As a newcomer, I’m looking forward to more film adventures. I am also pleased that this Community really welcomes and appreciates newcomers. I have never felt out of place from the moment I joined the Community. I have received warm welcome messages from other Lomographers and I am so happy that everyone here are so nice and willing to give an advice.

Your favorite analogue camera as of the moment? Why?

Diana Mini, of course. Since it’s the only analogue camera I have as of the moment. But the Holga 135BC and Recesky TLR are on their way to join the Baby D. I can’t sleep out of anticipation waiting for them. Haha! Going back to the Diana Mini, my first and favourite camera because it is really versatile. You can make wonderful pictures depending on your creativity and imagination. So far, from the moment I started using this camera, I’ve had no problems with loading and unloading, winding and rewinding the film, and changing its frame.

Credits: shelleybelley

What is the Lomographic camera you’d want to have someday?

Oohh, I actually want all of them!!! But I’m drooling for an LOMO LC-A+ and a Lubitel 166+. The images from these two cameras are fantastic and beautiful. I also love panoramic images that’s why I wish to have a Horizon Perfekt someday! I wish, I wish!

Your favorite section or page in our Lomography site?

I enjoy scrolling down the Shoutout box. My favorites are the Analogue Lifestyle and Tipster pages.

Share your current favorite Lomograph. Why this?

Credits: shelleybelley

My favorite so far because this was my very first shot from my Diana Mini. So the happy tension and excitement was there! I can still remember my first day of exploring my Diana Mini, from loading the film, where I wasted one film because it wasn’t loaded properly so I needed to load another one. Went for a hike, and everyone’s staring at me, thinking maybe I’m insane, because I’m taking pictures with a “toy." But some would stop by and appreciate my Mini — “oh that’s a cute camera!” But, even if it’s cute, it can capture dreamy images and lovely multiple exposures.

Are you new in this Community? Wanna say hello? Then drop me a line at and you might just be our next Newcomer of the Week!

written by mayeemayee on 2013-08-25 in #lifestyle #shelleybelley #community-interview #newcomer-of-the-week


  1. mayeemayee
    mayeemayee ·

    Thank you for this interview, @shelleybelley! :)

  2. shelleybelley
    shelleybelley ·

    Salamat po @mayeemayee! :) XX

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