Rachel Gist is a photographer and filmmaker based in Orange County and Los Angeles, California. Inspired by dreams and their surrealistic nature, she recreates these otherworldly scenes through analogue photography. Here, she shares some of her favorite images taken with LomoChrome Purple and LomoChrome Turquoise films.
Hi, Rachel! How did you get started in photography?
I picked up an old film camera in high school and never really stopped shooting. My brain goes a million miles a minute, shooting keeps me in the moment. I love connecting with people. When I photograph someone I try and capture their inner essence—those unique and individual qualities that make us human. It’s always in the eyes.
Who are your favorite photographers and why do you like them?
Marta Bevacqua, Shae DeTar, Amanda Charchian, Davis Ayer. I’m completely engulfed by their creativity and experimentation. Especially mixed media film photography. I’m in awe of their work.
Do you shoot film exclusively, or do you shoot digital as well?
I shoot both but I’m more passionate about analog photography. I love pushing the boundaries of film since you are essentially shooting blind. By trusting my intuition, I feel a deep sense of connection to the images I’m creating. I like to be in the moment, and shooting digitally pulls me away from that spontaneous human energy - constantly checking the viewfinder, scrolling through my photos, etc.
No matter how much experience I gain with this medium, I'm always surprised at the outcome of the developed film. Some of my favorite photos were created by light leaks and mechanical glitches. This process is exhilarating, and it’s why I gravitate more towards the physicality of film.
What's your favorite camera and film?
Canon AE-1. It may not be the greatest but it’s the first film camera I traveled with and holds a lot of nostalgia for me. It’s also a beast, I’ve dropped that thing off of motorcycles and it still works just fine.
What do you like about LomoChrome Turquoise and Purple films?
The dreaminess of the purple stock - It’s moody and unnerving. The color palette is unlike any other stock I’ve experimented with and I can’t get enough. It looks completely different in every single environment.
If you could name your photographic style, what would you call it?
Not sure if I’ve honed in on my personal “style” just yet, but I love painting with light and color. I'm incredibly inspired by dreams – their surrealistic nature – and experimental film-making. I've experienced visceral and haunting dreams since I was young, and I think it has shaped my perspective. I try and echo a bit of that warped, surrealistic, and otherworldly vibe in my portraits.
What's the most memorable shoot you've had so far?
Shooting in the desert near the Salton Sea with some creative souls and lavender sunsets.
Follow Rachel on Instagram.