I recently got a chance to meet Keith Vaz, live guitarist for indie RnB/jazz outfit, Tropics. He's a lover of photography and a very lovely person, so continue after the jump to see how he got on with the La Sardina.
Can you do a quick introduction of yourself for our readers?
Keith Vaz, probably best known as the live-show guitarist for UK recording artist Tropics, as well as a music producer/ photographer/ & videographer under the pen-name of my solo project With Joyful Lips.
Have you shot much film photography before? How did you come across Lomography?
Sure, I became quite accustomed to film when I started my ‘FILM_’ photo series which documents the behind-the-scenes perspective of travelling from country to country whilst on tour with a band, which also panned out to be a perfect platform to exhibit my love for film photography. Half the fun is that I’m still (and always) learning around the technical aspects of shooting with film, but what better place to learn than hands-on and whilst on-the-road!
I first discovered Lomography when a handful of my friends started shooting with Holga and Diana F+ cameras. Naturally I was intrigued by such beautiful equipment, and even more-so by the character and grain of which they produce.
How analogue is your day-to-day life?
I live a fairly digital life (it’s hard to avoid) because I love new technology and how it has brought the art/media industry together in a great place of networking and collaboration. That said, nothing can beat the nostalgic warmth of analogue over digital: vinyl over mp3. acoustic over electric. film over digital. in-person over online. They all leave a warmer, organic, timeless feeling that may take longer to achieve, but is all-the-more worth cherishing because of it.
Can you tell us a little about what you shot for us?
I knew I wanted a wide-angle lens for the aeroplane and travel landscapes, as well as a heavy-duty flash for the club festival environments we usually perform in. Lomography helped me pick-out the La Sardina Camera & Flash Cubic, with a selection of Colour and B&W 400 ISO 35mm film. I deliberately chose the loudest design I could find as it enhances what in my opinion is the greatest aspect of shooting with film cameras: peoples’ reactions. I find it naturally persuades the fun-playful-poses for the cameras’ subjects that hopefully you can see in my photos!
The rolls of film were captured in the space of one-week; with the colour film showcasing Tropics on the road for our last shows of the year in Istanbul, Barcelona, and Lisbon. The Black and White film captures us landing back to a London studio whilst we get recording for the next release, plus a good old fashioned cook-up with great friends, and a little house party we had to celebrate Tropics’ birthday.
I’m going to post one Tropics song right here—what do you want it to be and why?
‘Tropics – Popup Cinema’ – When we performed our last show in Lisbon the reaction to this song was perfect with a crowded festival show, a brilliant audience singing along, and a beautiful view of Lisbon via the balcony next to us: it was quite a moment. I also helped out with the planning of the Popup Cinema video concept (that’s before all the hard work of filming and editing were actually carried out). Oh, and when I think of Lomography I always reminisce the joys of analogue cameras and equipment; and this video concept is all about that!
What’s coming up for you in the New Year?
As the Black & White photos depict we’ve been busy working in the studio for the next Tropics release. I also have an extra-special collaborative project for my next FILM_ photo series due in the next couple of weeks on my With Joyful Lips Facebook page, as-well as new music, videos, & photo releases for the New Year.
Get ready to sail the high seas with our new La Sardina collection! These 35mm cameras are equipped with spectacular wide-angle lens, multiple exposure capabilities, and a rewind dial—everything you need for fun-filled and thrill-soaked escapades. Get your own La Sardina camera now!