I read a quote somewhere recently that said something like, if you want your photos to look like they’re film shots, then get a film camera.
Fortunately, I have an ever expanding collection of Holga’s, Diana’s and assorted vintage 120 film cameras so all of my photos look like film shots. Square format is my film of choice and works particularly well for the sort of portraits that I take. I use close friends as my models as there is already an element of trust and intimacy built up between us and, luckily, most of my friends are musicians, artists, vintage or burlesque artists or performers of some kind.
For this series of portraits I used my old Holga 120S (Holga don’t make these anymore, they’ve been updated with the 120N), Fuji Neopan 400 film (also shortly to be extinct I believe). My personal preference is to tape up each and every light leak in a Holga.
We did this photo shoot in a beautiful penthouse in the Docklands area of East London – which you can catch a glimpse of out of the window in the bath shot. I love the “film noir” starkness of the black & white Neopan combined with the Holga vignetting. I wanted a series of photographs that looked like stills from an old silent movie.
My model and muse is my friend Lawrence Gullo, who is himself a very talented artist. Lawrence, being a natural born performer, already knows how to pose and I envisaged these portraits as peepholes into his persona which is bold, humorous, provocative and sexually ambiguous.