If we would analyze this woman's years as a Lomographer, it would be as old as a high school student, a teenager who's starting to have crushes, and someone who's old enough to take the train by him or herself.
Thirteen years — that’s definitely a long time coming. A decade and three years if we would chop the numbers off. That’s how long Julia, or more fondly known as neja, has been a Lomographer, shooting memories through analogue photography.
With these numbers she became a truly experienced Lomographer — trying to immortalize in Lomographs every tip she comes upon, meeting Lomographers from all over the world, and keeping and sharing the analogue love in our Community. Without any other further introductions, let us know more about neja, this week’s LomoGuru.
Name: Julija Svetlova
Lomography Username: neja
Location: London, United Kingdom
Number of years as a Lomographer: 13
Number of years in the Community: 11
Tell us something about your LomoHome’s name.
My first ever boyfriend came up with this nickname for me when I was 17. So when the time came to create my LomoHome it came back to my mind and I decided to use it.“Не Я” in Russian could actually mean “not me.” Just a silly game of words/sounds. Its rather pronounced /neya/ but I don’t mind either way.
Share to us your most memorable experience in the Lomographic Community.
That would have to be a trip to the Lomography Congress International in Beijing back in 2004. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect anything like that to happen to me. I was the cloud 9 when I won that trip. It was my first and only trip to Asia and I was so impressed with everything.
Meeting 120 Lomographers from around the globe was fantastic. There, I made friends for life. We are not in touch as much as we used to be, but those people will always stay in my heart. That trip has changed the whole course of my life afterwards.
Have you actually met people in the Community that you now consider as close friends? If yes, name at least one of them.
Carmen De Vos carmendevos, Paule Saviano, Robin Sprong agentsprong, Andreas Hoeller lexi, Alexander Botkov — none of them are active in Lomography anymore, but still. Then, there are few people I have never met in my life but who are very dear to my heart, such as Marcelo Sta Rosa maceu from Brazil who has actually donated a Horizon Kompakt camera to me when he won it in one of Lomography’s competitions. Every time I shoot with my Horizon, I think of Marcelo.
Do you think you’ll still be taking Lomographs in the next 5 years? Why?
I am sure I will! I just love to shoot on film.
What is your favorite Lomo camera and why? Do you have any memorable experiences while using this camera?
I love shooting with the LC-A, LC-A+, LC-Wide, as well as Horizon Kompakt. I used to adore the Holga, but now I have moved on and am trying to master the Lubitel 166U.
As for the memorable experience – there have been so many! I guess the most incredible thing is when someone actually hires you to do a job using your Lomography cameras. Last year a very famous cocktail mixologist, Dre Masso, hired me to photograph 50 cocktails he has created for The Social club in London. I did it with my Colorsplash camera and LC-A with Colorsplash flash. They have used those shots for the cocktail menu.
Please share your most favourite Lomographic photo that you took and explain why.
OK, I have chosen this picture because it has the biggest amount of “likes” in my LomoHome:
I love it because it was shot with my favorite film ever — the Agfa Precisa (old version, not the modern one which gets green as opposed to blue) and because it combines few of my favorite topics: street art, portraiture and flowers. I took it during my first years in London so I guess it signifies a new beginning for me, too.
Please share a Lomograph you wish you took and explain why.
Any of the photos by hodachrome! Seriously, he is a genius. Just look at that!
Lakandula is another hero of mine. Not only he is extremely creative, but he is also very involved with many projects trying to make the world a better place through art and education.
What’s the best Lomographic or photography advice you think you have given?
That would be the Golden Rule of Lomography, no. 10 — Don’t worry about any rules.
If there’s one song or movie that best describes your Lomo life, what is that and why?
Hmmm that would be M.I.A.’s Bad Girls! Makes me moves every time I hear it and also cheers me up.
Is there any advice you can give to new analogue shooters?
Shoot, shoot and shoot. Only time and practice will help you to develop your own style and open your eyes. Also, scan your films yourself if you can!
Do you think you’re qualified as a LomoGuru? Got something to share in our Community? Then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and you might become the next LomoGuru!