Petzval_header_october_2014_en
Have an account? Login | New to Lomography? Register | Lab | Current Site:

A Quick Chat with Tamara Lichtenstein (NSFW)

We were awed by photographer Tamara Lichtenstein's analogue photos focusing on "fashion, femininity, and youth" so much that we contacted her for a quick interview. Read on to find out more about her work and creative process after the jump.

We’ll get straight to the point. If you still haven’t heard of Tamara Lichtenstein then we strongly suggest you see our previous feature on her work here. And if you already do, learn more about her work and read what she has to say about analogue photography in our interview. You can thank us later.

For starters, what keeps you shooting film in this day and age? What is it about analogue photography that appeals to you so much? And also, what is your weapon of choice – film and camera combo? Do you have a dream camera and film that you’d like to shoot with?

I don’t see how people don’t shoot film. You can’t replicate the quality of film with any digital camera. There is something nostalgic and beautiful about film and light. I have always been a nostalgic person, not in a negative way at all either. I feel that film helps me express everything that is going on in my mind in just the click of a button. I usually use a Nikon N80 and my point and shoot, Contax T2. Also, can’t go without any kind of 35mm Portra film.

You’re a young photographer who already has so much under her belt when it comes to photographic body of work. What are the ups and downs of being a young photographer in the business?

Yes, I am very proud of all of my accomplishments, but with the ups comes the downs as well. Being freelance is difficult for anyone when they are starting out. You have to always find a way to make yourself stand out, and you have to promote yourself everywhere. No one else is going to do it for you. Financially, you have to learn how to manage your money so you don’t run out if you have a dry spell. You’ll be glad you have some savings if you don’t get a job for weeks at a time.

We have lots of readers who would want tp follow your footsteps as a film photographer. Can you give them some tips on how to put their work out there?

People are always afraid they are going to sell themselves out if they put themselves out there. If you want to make it financially, you have to advertise, because no one else is going to do it for you! Be nice to everyone you meet, be consistent with your work, and just love what you do.

We see this passion about film and it definitely shows in your photographs. What can you say is the “Tamara Lichtenstein” brand or style in a photograph?

I always describe my work with three words, “fashion, femininity, and youth.” Sometimes people are surprised that I don’t dress very feminine or stylish though. The only way I know how to express those things is through my photos.

We’re curious about how your creative process works. Can you walk us through a day of shooting with Tamara Lichtenstein? How and when does your creative process start and end?

I’m usually super spontaneous, which is why I like shooting with my friends. Planning puts too much pressure on things, unless it’s for commission. I’ll wake up, look outside, enjoy what I see, and call a friend to see if they want to shoot. That’s not always what happens though, but I make sure to always have fun with it. Making friends with the team helps a lot too, you HAVE to make it fun! Throw in some margaritas.

Do you think you’ve shot your favorite photograph? If not, what do you envision it to be?

I have a few favorite photographs, but I still feel like they can always be better. I think all artists are overly critical of their work though. That’s what drives me to take more photos.

What is your favorite technique in photography? Do you have a surefire technique to get the photo you want? Do you have a personal rule that you apply when you shoot?

I don’t really have a specific technique. If you’re feeling uninspired, just take a break and make friends with whoever you’re shooting. Also, always think of what you can do next. Keep your creative juices flowing.

What do you want your viewers to take away from your work? What would you like them to see in your photographs?

I hope that when viewers look at my work, they’re getting to know me too. Sensitivity, femininity, love, light, imperfection. Photography is therapy for me, and I hope that if someone is ever feeling negative or down and they look at my work, I hope that it lifts their spirits.

We’ve featured some photographers who cited you as an inspiration in their work – artists like Lindsey Lee, Dennis Auburn and Clara Araujo. We’re curious about who are the artists that inspire you when you work?

So many artists inspire me! To name a few though, Lina Scheynius, Ryan Mcginley, Helmut Newton, and Alison Scarpulla are up there.

If you’re given the opportunity to work with an artist or photographer, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Helmut Newton, hands down. His work is indescribable. I love every single photo.

What is the perfect photograph for Tamara Lichtenstein? Is there any specific photograph that struck you the most that it changed the way you take photos?

I don’t think any photo can be perfect. Usually the most imperfect are the ones that grab my attention. Any photo that has beautiful light, and makes me feel some type of emotion, strikes me.

Have you ever tried Lomo cameras?

I never have! I usually just stick to what I use just because change is scary. Definitely open to trying one in the future though.

What’s next for Tamara Lichtenstein? Any upcoming projects or stints? Please feel free to invite our readers. Also, do you have any last words to tell them?

I recently published a book with Editions du LIC called “Between Us and the Sea,” and you can check it out here

Also, expect to see T-shirts with my photos in the near future.

Thank you very much for this interview!

Would you like us to feature your favorite artist or analogue photographer? Drop us a hint and we’ll do the rest! In the meantime, check out these other artist interviews from our Magazine:
A Quick Chat With Lindsey Lee
A Quick Chat With Susan Burnstine
A Quick Chat With Dennis Auburn
A Quick Chat With Washi Film Creator Lomig Perrotin
A Quick Chat With Dreamscape Photographer and Ladytron’s Reuben Wu

written by cheeo

1 comment

  1. clownshoes

    clownshoes

    Very cool read!

    5 months ago · report as spam