The day my four year old niece ran to my LC-A+ to see the photo I had just captured of her on the back of the camera, I knew I had to show her a thing or two about photography, and more importantly, direct her towards a world of dreamy abstracts and swoon inducing vignettes that only film photography can guarantee her and steer her away from the mundane digital shots she was so already used to.
I have photographed my niece, Isabelle, on film for four years now, since her birth, and think she is the best subject I can ever capture. Beyond her ridiculously cute chubby legs, she is brilliant to photograph because she has a honesty to her that grown-ups lose to age. Because Isabelle is still very young, she hasn’t one gram of responsibility or levelheadedness inside her tiny self and these admirable qualities lend themselves to myself, the photographer, or should I say, Lomographer.
Photographing my niece extends beyond her being a guaranteed great shot, it also gives me the chance to invite her into my Lomography lifestyle. When Isabelle thought my LC-A+ would immediately reveal the shot I had just taken of her on the back (like the digital cameras that have photographed her over her short life), I decided to [slowly] teach her about analogue photography, otherwise I feared she would become quickly adapt to the digital world of picture-taking.
As Isabelle is only four (and still stringing together bizarre, jumbled up sentences) I cannot go into the great depths of why I prefer analogue over digital but I can conjure up excitement in her by jumping up and down (which she copies so elegantly) and yelling “I wonder what that photograph will turn out like!?”. Just as I eagerly await my developed film returning from the lab, Isabelle now gleefully tells her little gaggle of followers (aka family members) that “we have to wait and see”.
I encourage my fellow Lomographers to photograph their younger companions, whether it be someone like my cheeky niece or the little dude down the street who has bags of style at the age of six. Not only will it guarantee you some awesome, happy shots, but it also introduces the tots to the Lomography movement, something which I wish I had been part of at a younger age. I joined the Lomo world when I was nineteen, but I shall be nagging my Isabelle to pick up her first Holga (a good “first camera”, I believe) in a couple of years time, after she has learned how to sign into Lomography.com of course…