New York Fashion Photographer, Brian Boulos, takes the Lomography Diana F+ around and shows us what he's really made of. His constant search for creativity proves to be a trait to be admired.
REAL NAME DUH
CITY NEW YAWK
COUNTRY UNITED STATES
How long have you been a Lomographer for (or are you new to this whole thing)?
I hadn’t even heard of the company until there was a sale at the store just after it opened, in early 2009. My photo producer friend Marissa invited me along and I grabbed one. I rarely ever shot with film before that, except for when I was first learning on an SLR, so I thought it would be fun. I knew nothing about it. I started to see some friends with them and all of a sudden I got linked up with the company.
Describe the Diana F+ in five words
Cute, easy, basic, original, tasty (with ketchup)
The strangest, funniest, or hands-down greatest photographic/Lomographic encounter that you have ever had?
Oh man, there’s always something strange or funny. I guess it was funny one time in Florida, as 3OH!3 arrived for me to shoot them, I slammed the rental car door shut as I went to greet them, and then realized all the doors were locked – with all the equipment and cameras inside (except my Diana camera actually haha – there is a shot in the gallery from that day!). They went to lunch and I got a guy to get it open, and it all worked out. One of those things that’s only funny in retrospect.
If your photos shown here could have a soundtrack of three songs, what would they be (song title & artist please)?
Pretty much anything by Sigur Ros, I think. Each photo would have a different song I guess, but that also would depend on my mood. So I’m just going with Sigur Ros.
How was your experience with the Diana World Tour? What was your most memorable experience?
That was awesome. I was excited to be a part of that and be acknowledged by the company that has allowed me to pursue a new avenue with my photos, and be shown along with the homies Dave Ortiz, Elijah Wood, Alexandra Klasinski, etc.
How often do you bring your Lomographic camera with you?
Whenever I’m going to be outdoors or in interesting places, especially when it’s sunny, I throw it in my bag with a couple extra rolls of film (usually Kodak VC or NC 120, always 120), or on a regular photo shoot. If I’m being lazy or without a bag and don’t feel like carrying it (even though it weighs next to nothing), that’s always when I see the best shots that I could have taken if I had brought it with me.
You work a lot with fashion. What is your personal fashion style? Who and what do you like to wear?
I guess I try to be stylish, but in a subtle way. It’s definitely influenced by NYC, and there are small flashes of punk/hip-hop/skate and snowboard culture that I’ve always been a part of. I never want to look like I’m in a costume, so it’s usually more dark (lots of black). Stylish but simple. Nice quality details like sunglasses, a watch, and materials go a long way without being trendy or screaming for attention. I could care less what’s on the label as long as it’s a good medium fit and looks good!
Your pictures showed that you traveled to another country. Where did you go and what was your most memorable part of it?
Well I’ve been to a few countries in the past couple of years! But you are probably referring to a few taken in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. That was a definitely a trip. My grandfather was born in Haiti and lived there until moving to Brooklyn when he was 12, and I have some cousins there, who were quite fortunate to have been spared of personal devastation – and were also heroic after the earthquake in organizing and working at a nearby hospital. I felt compelled to go and a week or so later flew into Dominican Republic, and made my way to Haiti via a car through some connections they had there. My goal aside from the physical work, was to do a photo show with proceeds to the hospital, which never came to fruition – but hopefully will at some point.
The most memorable part, as cliché as it sounds, was making the kids smile. Despite immense language barriers we were able to connect and enjoy each other. The spirit of these children in the face of such immense loss for their country and their own personal lives was incredible. Also, spending time with my family there was quite nice, albeit under unfortunate circumstances.
If you were to have One Superpower, what would it be and why?
The superpower that let’s me have more superpowers, of course! Or does that only work for wishes? Probably the ability to hear every conversation ever. And it’d drive me fuckin nuts.
As a photographer, what is your favorite backdrop for your photo shoots? Also, do you have a secret spot to shoot?
Backgrounds are really important to me for the most part. It sets the tone for the photo. Counter to what seems to be the trend these days, I hate shooting against white walls, unless it’s for commercial work in a studio or something. I don’t necessarily not like looking at it – it just doesn’t work for me personally. I love natural backgrounds, grand buildings, anything that in a picture will work with the subject and not be too specific to any exact location, but more of an ambiguous and beautiful setting.
My secret spot? That’s a secret. And you’d probably end up with your car towed and a trespassing citation.
You currently live in New York City. What is your favorite part of living in the urban jungle and why?
My favorite part of living in NYC is access. Access to my family and extended family, the deep roots of friends from different places and completely different lifestyles, access to delicious food, access to the most random and unique events, from high-brow to low-brow in one night. The seasons (I love them all). A lot of people toss around “only in New York” with things that could happen anywhere, really… but a lot of times, they’re right – and it’s in the details.
If you were to do a photo shoot for any fashion designer, which 3 fashion designers would you pick?
I would love to shoot the almost in-accessible and dreamlike gorgeousness of high-fashion brands like Valentino and McQueen. I also have a soft-spot for wanting to hang outdoors and shoot with brands like Roxy and catalogs for Urban Outfitters. I think I work best in those settings.
Your advice to future Diana F+ photographers.
I’m gonna blow Lomography’s mind with this one, but my advice would be almost the opposite of the “don’t think, just shoot” idealogy that Lomo has fostered – so it really depends on what’s right for you and your subject.
I like to think a lot when I use the Diana. Since the film is limited and sensitive, I take my time – I think about the finished product, as opposed to firing off 10 frames and then looking at the back of a screen as I would with digital. Take your time, think about the shot, the light, the prior exposure (if you are shooting more than one on a frame) – and then shoot. When shooting digital it’s easy to just snap away, but if you breathe for a second and think about the light and your subject you can make something amazing. With that said, there is something to be said for snapping away with abandon, because you can get some fun, surprising, and often beautiful results. Do what works for you.
Take a closer look at his gallery bellow:
Check out more of his work here