Presenting Colleen Pesci of the NYC Lomo Community

2014-01-29

Originally from the Midwest, Colleen now lives in New York and is one of the most active photographers in our community as well as one of the most ardent patrons of our LomoLab.

The first time I saw Colleen, what caught my attention was the huge volume of film she brought for developing in our LomoLab. I asked her why, and five minutes later I realized I had made a good friend. She has a cheerful and friendly disposition and shoots a lot, so it’s really hard not to like her and her pictures.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am originally from the Midwest. Traveling a little here there and everywhere I ended up in New York City, a place that I never imagined myself. I work as a manager of a wholesale cookie company but spend most of my days dreaming of my next travel adventure and my next roll of film. Lomography is my sanctuary in the city. It is where my memories go.

How did photography become one of your favorite hobbies?

When I was in middle school my family took a trip to the mountains for the first time. While we wound around these magnificent rock forms, I felt for the first time engulfed in beauty. My mother bought each of my siblings and me disposable cameras. Everywhere I turned I wanted to capture some of this awe, I wanted to stow it away so that maybe, when we returned home, I could come back to this newness. But the tragedy of reality is that the mountains can not be captured. When the pictures were developed and I paged through them, I was disappointed at how small everything seemed but the memory lingered. From then on, I wanted to be an intricate part of the memory, like I was the first time I saw the mountains.

Why do you prefer to shoot film over digital?

I have gone back and forth between film and digital. In high school I took a photography class and found my happiness in the dark room. The smells, the process, the image coming to life slowly before your anxious eyes. In college, due to convenience sake I turned to digital. There was something empty in the constant manipulation of the moment, the checking of the image on the back of the camera and the lack of satisfaction when the moment didn’t appear how you had imagined it to appear. Cleaning out my parents’ house one break, my little sister found my dad’s old film camera. She excitedly called it her own, shot for a week and quickly became bored with her new hobby. So I became the owner of the camera. I wanted again to be part of the moment, to not depend on the outcome of the picture to define my memory. I shot with film again because I wanted to be a part of the risk. The risk that image may not turn out, that the image may be blurry, that the roll may be exposed, that you may have to rely on your own memory in the end. With this risk, I have found that my photos have once again, turned back to an undefinable authenticity. Because once again I am participating in the moment.

How did you end up shooting in the middle of Africa?

I went to Zambia, Africa to visit my best friend from high school who lives there volunteering through the Peace Corps. She lost her camera the first week she was there. I am her only friend/family member that is going to visit her during her term in Africa. I felt incredibly blessed to be able to document her life and the beautiful relationships she has made with other Peace Corps volunteers and her neighbors in the village where she lives.

What’s been your best picture yet?

That is a super hard question to answer. I have my camera on me always. Some weeks I shoot three rolls and other weeks I shoot one frame.

This picture changed the way I view photography. I was in the mountains in Perú in a really remote impoverished village. A traveler came through years before and left his violin for the people who live there. This man taught himself how to play. The moment I shot this photo I realized that photos are not taken, they are given.

This other one is of my little sister a couple years back. There is something mystic about the photo that I love.

But in all honesty… I could send you 20 photos that answer this question…

What’s your next adventure?

My next adventure is Mexico City! I will be in one of my best friend’s wedding. I cannot wait to be in the bustling city.

Can you give some advice to those who are just starting to shoot?

Live with an acute awareness and the photo will be there.

Follow Collen's blog and don't miss any of her pictures.

written by antoniocastello on 2014-01-29 #people #35mm-films #analogue-photography #art #lomoamigo #analogue-cameras #colleen-pesci #color-negatives

More Interesting Articles

  • In Medias Res: Photography in Motion

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-04-23
    In Medias Res: Photography in Motion

    The key to great and lively photography is to shoot not in the beginning or the end but in the middle of things. Let these photographs from the community serve as examples.

    2016-04-23 2
  • Outstanding Petzval Portraits from the Community

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-12-14 #gear
    Outstanding Petzval Portraits from the Community

    We're proud to present some of the newest, most beautiful portraits captured with the New Petzval Art Lens 85, sourced straight from the Lomography community.

    2015-12-14 5
  • Memorable Quotes From Our 2015 Photographer Interviews (Part I)

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-12-19
    Memorable Quotes From Our 2015 Photographer Interviews (Part I)

    In 2015 we had been fortunate enough to talk with photographers, with practices and insights unique from one another, from all over the globe. And not only were we able to see their works; we were also able to dig a little deeper and find out what makes each one of them tick. In this special recap, we present a handpicked selection of insightful quotes from some of our most memorable interviews this year.

    2015-12-19
  • Shop News

    Introducing the Lomo'Instant Milano

    Introducing the Lomo'Instant Milano

    Named for the Italian city situated in the Lombardy region, overflowing with art and culture, say hello to the colorful aesthetics of the new Lomo'Instant Milano, the latest member of the Lomo'Instant family!

  • 10 Memorable Articles by Community Members in 2015

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-12-18
    10 Memorable Articles by Community Members in 2015

    Lomographers are the lifeline of this community, their words and photographs bridging gaps and differences and opening entirely new worlds to their fellow lomographers. In this recap, we handpicked 10 of the most memorable articles from this year's archive penned by no less than our community members.

    2015-12-18 1
  • Stalking the City: Ricardo Lozano

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-10-20 #people
    Stalking the City: Ricardo Lozano

    New York is an infinitely photographable city in spite—or because—of its innate chaos. And even when the medium is film, praised nowadays for the virtue of slowness, the photographer must keep up with the city’s pace. Ricardo Lozano, 35mm photographer and Lomography community member, managed to do it for the series OK Commuter, now a book by A Love Token Press.

    2015-10-20
  • Photo of the Day by marta1901

    written by lomography on 2015-11-12 #news
    Photo of the Day by marta1901

    One of the most respected portrait photographers in the community makes a comeback with yet another stunning shot.

    2015-11-12 2
  • Shop News

    Great discounts abound with the Great Fisheye Sale!

    Great discounts abound with the Great Fisheye Sale!

    See the world in a whole new way with our Lomography Fisheye cameras! Selected editions now on sale at 20% off! Fisheye cases at 50% off! Order within the month and get a free Fisheye keychain with every camera, and a free Circle Cutter when you buy a Fisheye case with your camera!

  • Top Photo Uploaders of 2015

    written by lomography on 2015-12-30 #news
    Top Photo Uploaders of 2015

    Most of the community's activities and discussions center on photographs. All throughout 2015, we were treated to hundreds of thousands of wonderful images. We'd like to thank everyone who graciously uploaded and shared their snapshots with the community! These dedicated lomographers, however, deserve special recognition for setting these skyrocketing numbers. Meet our top photo uploaders of 2015.

    2015-12-30 14
  • Awesome Albums: Blizzard 101 New York

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-01-28
    Awesome Albums: Blizzard 101 New York

    What would stop photographers from taking pictures? Based on this evidence, not even the wrecking ball of a blizzard that hit New York in January 2016.

    2016-01-28 2
  • The Borough of Staten Island in the Lens of Alice Austen and Christine Osinki

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-08-30 #news #places
    The Borough of Staten Island in the Lens of Alice Austen and Christine Osinki

    The works of a 20th century photographer and a contemporary photographer take a duet in documenting the daily life in one of the five boroughs of New York City.

    2016-08-30
  • Shop News

    Introducing the world's most advanced automatic instant camera, The Lomo'Instant Automat! Back us on Kickstarter!

    Introducing the world's most advanced automatic instant camera, The Lomo'Instant  Automat! Back us on Kickstarter!

    We’re proud to be back on Kickstarter to present: the Lomo'Instant Automat! Meet the world's most advanced automatic Instant Camera. Focus on being in the moment and let this baby capture everything and anything every time! Back us on Kickstarter now!

  • Top Shoutbox Users of March 2016

    written by lomography on 2016-03-25 #news
    Top Shoutbox Users of March 2016

    Aside from browsing through beautiful photographs and reading interesting articles, hanging out in the shoutbox is another worthwhile activity to do in the community. Not only will you get updated on the latest in photography, you’ll also have a chance to share ideas, tips, and stories with fellow shutterbugs across the globe. The shoutbox is always brimming with entertaining conversation and it's all because of these Lomographers.

    2016-03-25 3
  • A Salute to the Masters: Gypsies in Como (A Tribute to Josef Koudelka)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-10-31
    A Salute to the Masters: Gypsies in Como (A Tribute to Josef Koudelka)

    This article is dedicated to the Czech photographer, Josef Koudelka, and his book, "Gypsies," a classic in documentary photography. "Gypsies" contains a series of images Koudelka took between 1962 and 1971 in the former Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, France, and Spain. Here, he was able to masterfully depict the simplicity of the gypsy lifestyle, never presenting their situation as a social problem but instead showing their lives as a mix of joyfulness and wonder, sorrow and mystery.

    2015-10-31 1
  • A Salute to the Masters: Bare Soles in Como (A Tribute to Christopher Anderson)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-11-07
    A Salute to the Masters: Bare Soles in Como (A Tribute to Christopher Anderson)

    The young artist and Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson published on his agency's website an awesome photo series, one of the images in it a great symbol of freedom, joy of living outdoors, purity, innocence, candor, and girlhood: the bare sole of a female lifted up, taken at the Central Park in New York. Like many other great Magnum photographers, Anderson explored this interesting body part through photographs. For this tribute, I chose a series of bare feet images I took along the promenade of the lake Como. Take a look!

    2015-11-07