Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finally here! Sit back, grab a coffee, relax, and read on – welcome to the THE SARAH SHOW!
There’s always an interesting story to every Lomographer – what would be your Lomo story?
Believe it or not, I found my Lomo LC-A in 2002 on the shelf of an electronics close-out store in Canton, Ohio (my hometown). It was just the camera and the “What the Hell is Lomography” pamphlet, which directed me to the Lomography website. The rest, my friends, is history.
What is the reason behind your Lomo name?
“The Sarah Show” has been my screen name since I was 9. It’s what I used to (and still) call it when I am keeping myself amused.
Why analog? Why not digital?
To me, the reason to shoot analogue instead of digital lies in our obsession with the “object.” Analogue photography is a way of taking the intangible — an image — and making it tangible — on film. For the entire span of civilization, we have known visual art to be an “object,” and the persistence of this viewpoint into the digital age bespeaks a certain kind of romanticism.
For me, I think of my photos as trading cards… taking a picture, and putting it in my box of pretty things to keep and look at later. Most people I meet, or things I see become trading cards (and many of them become a whole series of trading cards). Is it a highly reductive way to live your life? Yes. But the more you do it, the better you get at capturing your own subjective experience, so that it might become accessible to others of, at the very least, the flavor of the life you lead.
But, I won’t lie… I’ve gone digital in the past year, and I can see the merits of digital as well. It’s (wildly) less expensive, far more malleable, and allows you greater precision. But I don’t think it should be called photography, because without the creation of the art object, it’s not exactly the same art form, now is it?
Can you tell about your best Lomo shot. What, where, and why this photo?
You’re asking me to choose between my children? What is this, Sophie’s Choice? I’m just gonna go with the first one that springs to mind. I was visiting my family in Ohio last winter, and about 5 minutes from their house is honest-to-God farm land. Since I was able to drive, I would go out to this triangle of roads through the farmland with my friends just to hold a sort of mobile salon. And now, whenever I visit, we do the same thing, because it sure beats sitting in a Starbucks. Anyway, last winter we were driving around sunset, and I took a photo of the sun setting next to a snowy farm as we were going past. I guess it’s not that exciting of a story, but to this day it’s one of my favorite photos, because it has very deep personal resonance for me.
If you were a Lomo camera, what would you be and why?
Not to be too obvious, but I’d say the LC-A. Small and unassuming, with great versatility and easy to understand. And then, yielding fantastic, unexpected, and sometimes bizarre results.
What is your Lomo style?
My Lomo style is as it has always been: carry usually one to three cameras on me at all times, and make it up as you go. The camera is just an extension of the eye, so you have to learn how to see things, and through trial and error (and lots and lots of internet surfing) you increase your technical skill to match your standard of vision.
If there is anything I can impress on others, it’s that the only important Lomography Rule is Number ten – forget about the rules. If you want to line up your shot in the viewfinder, do it. If you want to take several photos to make sure you got a good one, do it. If you think purposeful multiple exposures are a corruption of the spirit of “street photography,” don’t use those features… Lomography is a brand name, and they’ve done a nice job of defining what should be undefinable: personal style.
If you want this hobby to have any longevity for you, you have to enjoy developing your own way of doing things because trust me, you will get bored of artistic photos of your feet. And Lomography has become prevalent enough that “Lomo style” is already pretty trite (they can replicate it pretty accurately on an iPhone). So, if you don’t want these expensive cameras to sit untouched on your shelf, you have to personalize the experience.
The Lomography staff is reading this interview right now, and I’m sure they’ll be very interested in your suggestions – what else do you want to see in the “revamped” Lomography website? Your own lomowall in your lomohome, perhaps? Monthly free piggies? Anything! Remember… they are reading this right now.
I think it would be nice to have a link on your individual photos to take you directly to editing them in the lab.
There’s a Lomo Legend that a forgotten Genie Bottle is lying around the world somewhere out there. If you find this, you only get to choose three Lomo wishes – a Lomo camera that you currently do not own, any film of your choice, and your dream location. What camera? What film? And where in the world would you spend these Lomo wishes?
I used to own a Horizon, but I had to sell it. But, it’s a gorgeous camera. I would love a Horizon Perfekt with some Fuji Astia, my new film of choice (Actually, I love Agfa CT Precisa, but I have enough of that to last me through a nuclear holocaust, so I don’t think I need any more). I have always wanted to visit India, and I would LOVE to go during Diwali, the festival of lights, or Holi, the festival of color. Just the fact that these holidays exist in India makes me think they have the right idea.
Hold on, there’s a fourth wish – who among our fellow Lomographers would you like to collaborate with for this “wish project”, and why?
It’s hard to choose, I’ve seen so much brilliant work from people over the past 8 years. I’ve done a couple rolls of doubles with Jeabzz, and I think he has a great eye for color, and a style very complementary to my own. Also DoomGloom, who works at the Lomography Embassy in NYC. She is a really incredible analogue photographer— Lomo and otherwise— and I think her photos of water are absolutely stunning.
Just for kicks – - Does your Mom know that you like smelling films and that you’re into Lomography?
My mom found my first LC-A, so yes, she knows. Both my mother and father are pretty into photography themselves. We had a darkroom in my house growing up. Once I got into Lomo in my late teen years, I rebuilt the dark room and started developing my own black and white photos (You can see them in an album called Self-Service on my Lomohome). It’s harder and harder to find a dark room these days unless you’re enrolled in a photo program, but I cannot recommend this highly enough. If you really want to be a dedicated analogue photographer, it’s crucial to understand every aspect of the photographic process. Besides…being in a darkroom by yourself is a very zen activity. I’ve missed it a lot.
Wow! That definitely was worth reading, aint it? So what are you waiting for? – head on to Sarah’s lomohome, and visit here photostream!