For those of you who loved our feature on Lauren Field and her "Faceless Lovers" series, then you shouldn't miss out on our quick chat with her! See what the young and talented photographer has to say after the jump.
Her no-fuss approach to photography and clean shots made us appreciate shooting with film even more. 20-year old Portland native and New York transplant Lauren Field gives us a piece of her mind on her works and a whole lot more. And for those who are just catching up now, see our feature on her intimate series Faceless Lovers.
You may get this question in a lot on interviews but still we’d like to ask: how and when did you start shooting on film?
I began shooting b/w film in 2009, when I was 15 years old. I convinced a teacher at my high school to let me use the darkroom, despite it only being available to upperclassman. By 16, I had started to experiment with color 35mm film as well. I still shoot both equally!
What makes analogue photography special for you? Is there anything specific about shooting on film that makes it particularly stand out?
I love the aesthetic. The potential for grain and errors. On a foggy or rainy day, film will pick up the moisture in the air and change the images as a result.
What makes your approach to shooting with film different from shooting with digital?
I don’t shoot digital! Though if I did, I imagine I would be much more snap happy. Film requires that I spend time adjusting the framing or waiting for the perfect moment. It’s so much more rewarding when you get a good image because it means you clicked the shutter at the perfect time. Intent and thoughtfulness are important elements of a good photograph. Because we live in an era where we are constantly recording images; thoughts, places, etc. with our iPhones, we have the tendency to approach photography (referred to in the classical sense) in the same way. Film forces you to be patient and thus enter the creative flow that all artists yearn for.
Your series “Faceless Lovers” evoke that feeling of young love. Can you talk more about it? What was going through your head when you were shooting for the series?
The series has been an ongoing project since 2012. While I often don’t actively shoot for it anymore, I still have a predilection for photographing people in love, and I often use it as a subject matter for other projects (a shoot I did for Converse for example).
Can you talk us through your creative process when you were shooting your subjects? How do you envision your photographs even before you look into the viewfinder?
Tough question! I guess it depends on what I am shooting. I want to have a deep connection with the people I shoot and I want the nature of our relationship to come thru. Recently I’ve been telling my models to look into the camera and think about something they know that I don’t.
How was it like shooting scenes that were so intimate? How was your work dynamics with your subjects?
I mostly shoot people I care deeply about. I can only hope that the intensity and intimacy of the moment is evident in the photograph.
We really like the way you shot these photographs. Everything just looks clear and crisp, everything is on point. It’s no-frills analogue photography. Were you really gunning for that feel in your photographs?
Despite shooting in film, I tend towards cleaner photos, avoiding really grainy high speed films or broken cameras. I like my Polaroid to be polished too for the most part. I would shoot in slide film all the time if I could afford it…it’s smooth and rich and perfect.
What do you want your audience to take with them when they look at your work?
I want people to look at my work and see an ongoing collection of lonely and moody youth shot with film in New York City and Portland.
Any specific camera and film combo? Please share them with our readers.
Impossible Polaroid film (600 & SX70), 800 Portra or Tmax 400.
What is your take on photography as an art?
My History of Photography professor at Barnard College believes we are long past this ‘pictorialist’ argument. I would agree with him.
Which artists inspire you in your work? Any artists that we should follow?
I am inspired by: Ryan McGinley, Jeff Luker, Parker Fitzgerald, and Theo Gosselin. I would love to work with them if given the opportunity. Follow my roommates Wilson and Vanessa/ Wiissa for beautiful film shots of the sea and sun.
Have you ever tried Lomo cameras? Any favorite Lomo camera worth mentioning? What do you like about it?
Four years ago I wandered into a Lomo store while visiting Le Marais district in Paris. It was when I was just beginning to fall deeply in love with photography. I still remember how enthralled I was to have found myself in that store. I’ve been meaning to buy a Lomo camera to this day…
What’s next for Lauren Field?
In a week I will be driving from Portland, OR to the canyons of Southern Utah for a shoot for Pendleton Wool Mills. I am beyond excited to collaborate with them! They have such beautiful blankets and flannels. I will also be joined by my brother and best friend. Expect twenty somethings sitting on the roof of a car, running down empty streets, and brushing up against canyon walls with Pendleton blankets as their capes.
You can head on over to Lauren’s website to see more of her amazing works on film.
Liked this interview? You might want to check out these interviews with other great artists:
A Quick Chat With City Space Photographer Clarissa Bonet
A Quick Chat With Pinhole Enthusiast Barend Mossing Holsteijn
A Quick Chat With Washi Film Creator Lomig Perrotin
A Quick Chat With Dreamscape Photographer and Ladytron’s Reuben Wu