Truth be told, I have always been the kind of person to keep count of everything. You know, the OCD type. Always making sure everything is in proper order, making sure I keep track of the money I’m spending, saving it, and contemplating that I don’t waste it in things that aren’t necessary. This all changed in February 2010, the day I met Lomography.
I was wandering about in an Urban Outfitters store, when I stumbled across a section of Lomography cameras. The box alone was calling out and catching my eye so I just went and grabbed it. I was unsure about buying it, since I had never owned a film camera, and knew absolutely nothing about it. Plus I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay $30 or $40 on a toy camera. But I was on vacation, and I hadn’t really ‘treated’ myself to anything I really wanted, so I set aside my strict, money saving personality, and went ahead and bought it. Since then, nothing’s been the same.
Lomography opened my eyes to the world that surrounded me every day. I quickly started noticing details in routines that I had never been aware of. Having my cameras on me, ready to shoot all of the time, actually changed my routines. I started visiting places I would always pass by, but never go in to find out what treasures were hidden inside. I started traveling around my own town, as I liked to call it, becoming a tourist in my own country. I started enjoying nature, and going on road trips with friends, and all because I wanted to have shots of my country to share in LomoLocations with the rest of the world, through Lomography.
This philosophy of ‘Don’t Think, Just Shoot’ and ‘Don’t Worry About Any Rules’ really gets to you. There is a freedom that you feel when you’re holding a Lomography Camera, loaded inside with your favorite film, waiting to be cross processed, and have unexpected results blow your mind. As opposed to having a digital camera and being obsessed about how every single shot you take looks at the moment, and erasing it and taking it again, and again, and again – Shooting film gives you so much more freedom in that sense. You can focus on taking one shot, and actually enjoying what you’re shooting, instead of worrying so much if the photograph will turn out right.
Another way I loosened up in life thanks to Lomography was with my shyness. The need to capture all those random moments in life that make the perfect picture, snapping away all the time, from whatever position you need to get yourself into, not caring about what other people are thinking about you at the moment, is something that cannot be replaced by anything else. I’ve also managed to feel free enough to go up to strangers, and ask them if they mind having me take their picture in what they’re doing at the moment, regardless of their reaction.
But mostly, I love how everyone else looks at me when I pull one of my Lomography cameras out of my bag, especially if I’m surrounded by a bunch of folks with ‘real’ and ‘professional’ cameras. I know for a fact that I am enjoying photography much more than they are. Not having to worry about anything, just taking my shots as they come. Being free. This is How I Let Loose with Lomography. How do you?