Of Multiplicity: LomoAmigo Ellen Stagg (NSFW)

2017-07-01 3

Ellen Stagg is an artist and avid film photographer who uses multiple exposures and the irreplicable character of film to her advantage to create captivating compositions and patterns in her photos. Her masterful eye and trust in the medium allow her to make something no digital camera could ever replicate.

Can you please introduce yourself to the Lomography Community? Tell us a bit about you and your work.

I'm Ellen Stagg, a working photographer for 18 years and started studying photography in 1994. I started really getting into the Lomography cameras 10 years ago, when I started shooting more digital for work but wanted to still play with film. I'm mostly known for photographing women of dress and undress, but with my film/analogue work, I shoot multiple exposures of naked women and nature.

We understand that you're a fan of Lomography cameras ... which are some of your favorites to use so far and why?

I use a Holga 120 and 35mm for my fine art work that I show in galleries. I also love the Lomokino and I have made many short films I have shown in galleries and made stills from. But I love my 35mm Diana and my Lomography Fisheye for snapshots on vacations and nights out. I also use the Lomo'Instant Wide and Lomo'Instant Automat for instant photos. I tell all my friends that they're the best instant cameras to buy, and I love that the lens cap is a remote control.

What sparked your interest in analog photography?

I started studying photography in 1994, my junior year of high school when digital wasn't a thing. I went to the School of Visual Arts to get my BFA in photography from 1996-2000 and all I shot was film. It is how I learned photography. I have always loved film, there are colors and things you can get with film that you will never get with digital. It's beautiful and forgiving, digital is too "perfect". I love multiple exposures, which I guess you can do digitally, but it will look fake and contrived. Doing it in camera is so much more exciting, because it's always a surprise when you get your film back. There is nothing like it.

What are you inspired by in general?

I'm inspired by nature and sexuality. I'm also inspired by surrealism and beauty. Salvador Dali, David Lynch, Guy Bourdin are big influences. I try to make my work all about that. The sexuality in my film work isn't sexual, it's just strong beautiful women being naked and owning their bodies. Then mixing it with nature.

This body of work you shared, with the women and florals, is vast and complex yet holds together visually in a really wonderful way. We'd love to hear more about the project, its evolution, what it means to you, etc.

I started shooting a roll every time I shot a naked woman and was just shooting wherever we were (mostly indoors). But I realized that shooting outside in nature with naked women made me the happiest. I started trying to find locations where naked women could be outside, and be free and then working more in that way. I shot that digitally and then brought my film cameras with me. There is something taboo about naked people outside, and it's also very natural. Plus nature has the best colors.

What's the most important thing you try to capture when working with a model on a certain shoot, if anything?

This sounds really simple, but I just want to make images that are beautiful and keep the viewer staring at them, having a bit of mystery in them. The models don't have to be classically beautiful, I think all women are magically beautiful in their own way if they own it. I just want them to be comfortable and free with themselves. Those are the best shoots.

Which is more important to you in your process: a developed plan, or a fleeting impulse?

I will think about my shoots beforehand a little bit, however, there are so many elements that can change your plans. So fleeting impulse is more important. If I plan out a shoot too much and I don't get what I wanted I'm disappointed. But if I stay more spontaneous I get lucky surprises that I would have never thought of. It's so much more freeing and easier to work with your models that way.

What's next for you, any exhibitions or special projects coming up?

I'm showing at Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ, June 24th through July 30th, 5 large pieces. And working more outside with models as the weather is nice right now.

Let's close with your advice to another photographer, but only in ten words.

Shoot once a week, never stop practicing your craft.


We are lucky to have Ellen Stagg joining us July 13 at 6:30 PM at the Lomography Gallery Store NYC for a special presentation of her work and discussion about her techniques. Save the date, see you there! You can find out more about her in this video and on her website .

As it turns out, most of Ellen's favorite cameras are our favorites too! Shop camera bestsellers in the Lomography Online Shop.

written by Katherine Phipps on 2017-07-01 #gear #people

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3 Comments

  1. doormanrocks
    doormanrocks ·

    Awesome compositions!

  2. charlie_cat
    charlie_cat ·

    Waw this is amazing

  3. hannah_brown
    hannah_brown ·

    love this

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