Its been almost a month since we first introduced you to the work of young fine art and portrait photographer Ana Mercedes. We recently got in touch with her through an e-mail interview, where she opened up more about herself and her work.
Hello, Ana! Please tell us about yourself.
I am a 22-year-old female from a little town in South Texas. From a young age, I had the fortune of traveling which opened up my eyes to beauty that I felt was lacking in my hometown. I found a great deal of inspiration when I traveled, and my longing to capture it all only grew though it became very limiting. I slowly started to believe that beauty was something I had to travel far distances to find when really, beauty is everywhere. This has become a big part of my experience not only as a photographer, but also as someone who tries to see the good in each person and experience.
How and when did you first dabble with photography? Why do you choose to shoot film?
I developed an interest in photography many years ago and felt that I had a natural instinct for it, though I only dabbled in it through several fits and starts in the beginning. It took me a very long while, but in the last year I’ve gradually begun to trust myself and in my vision more, and that has made all the difference.
As for why I shoot film, I fell in love with what it produced instantly… film just has a very special, effervescent quality, and somehow the world looks a little more beautiful through it.
What/who are your favorite subjects?
My favorite subjects tend to be girls around my age. I find it easier to connect just based on that fact. I’m still a little shy when I work with new people but I’m learning to trust in the process more, allowing my intuition and appreciation for beauty lead. me
How would you describe your photographic style?
I tend to gravitate towards natural beauty, delicacy, romance, and nostalgia… I think this definition of magical fits best: “beautiful or delightful in such a way as to seem removed from everyday life.”
We see that you’re a member of our community (@anamercedesphoto)! Please tell us about your experience with taking photos using our Lomography cameras, if any.
I’ve actually never worked with a Lomography camera before, but I’d like to get my hands on one someday!
What are the cameras that you use? What’s your favorite, if any, and why?
The SLR my sister gave me is a Minolta X-700. I love it. I’ve contemplated looking into other cameras, but I always resort back to my Minolta. It’s special to me.
What inspires you? Also, who are the photographers and/or artists that you look up to?
I’m inspired by many things. I adore the play of light, soft color palettes, antiques, old-timey films, and anything floral. A few of my favorite, young female photographers include Tina Sosna, Hana Haley (Honeyuck), and Eylül Aslan.
What’s your favorite project that you’ve done so far? Any interesting and memorable story? Please tell us about it!
Most recently, I set out to a town nearby with a dear friend and stylist, Shari Gerstenberger, and a new friend, Lily. It has been a while since I last shot photos, but on this perfectly cool fall day, with these two lovely ladies, everything just felt right. Inspiration was high, and our composite energies made for one of the smoothest and loveliest shoots I’ve had in a while.
Aside from photography, is there anything else that you do?
I am currently working towards a degree in psychology.
What has been keeping you busy these days? Any ongoing/upcoming projects that you’d like to share with us? Exhibitions you’d like to promote?
I keep busy with school and work, but am always kept inspired by others’ art and look forward eagerly to when I can create some of my own.
Any advice that you could give aspiring photographers?
Trust in your vision. What you see in the world is a unique reflection of yourself, and it is a gift to share it with others.
Any last words?
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy. – Anne Frank
All photos in this article were taken and provided to Lomography by Ana Mercedes.
Related article: *Analogue Portraits by Ana Mercedes*.