UK based student photographer Ezekiel Santos has been using the Lomography X-Pro 200 film for his project titled Cry For Me, which addresses the mental health issues of young men.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
A complex queer human being, who takes his influences from contemporary art, film and fashion with an undeniable thirst for success and a need to inspire others. I would identify myself as an artist, who comes from a first generation Immigrant family; Born in the Philippines, raised in Brighton and now based/living in the city of London. Now at the age of 20, I am currently studying a BA in Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion.
You’ve been shooting with the Lomography XPro film, what made you want to shoot with this film?
My work has always been highly saturated, I definitely favor the use of striking color palettes and strong contrasts; I wanted to take my aesthetic to a whole new level and realized that this could be done with your X-Pro 200 film. My ongoing project ‘Cry For Me’ focuses on an issue which touches on mental health amongst young men. As a photographer; I had to think of a new/interesting way to photograph something that you can’t necessarily see. Through extensive testing and research, I realized that mixing a variety of colored lighting with the use of your X-Pro film, would be the perfect way to capture mental health.
What did you choose to shoot?
As mentioned before the project focuses on a mental health issue amongst young men; specifically exploring the struggle for male youth to create in depth/substantial relationships with one another due to the negative, sexist and homophobic associations that come along with this. So throughout the project, I have been street casting and using young male, heterosexual subjects; either in pairs or on their own. I very much wanted to photograph my subjects in an intimate and vulnerable light. In order to truly create a sense of emotion within the photographs, I thought it would be fitting to have the subjects go topless.
Why do you choose to shoot with film?
Well, my infatuation with film photography actually started at around the age of 11 when my parents handed me down their old semi-automatic Minolta film camera from the 90’s; that camera came to every family holiday. At the age of 16, when I started studying photography I kind of had the realization that this is what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. When it comes to shooting in film, there is an undeniable realism that you capture, which you just can’t do with digital photography. Film photography also forces you to genuinely consider the shots you take, because there is a limit. I also really love the excitement of developing film and having my photographs as a physical object and not just on a screen.
What’s coming up in 2017?
This year, I plan to continue the ‘Cry For Me’ project which will hopefully end with my first solo exhibition. I also have my first features in a few print publications this summer, which is very exciting. Apart from that, I plan to just keep on working, perfecting my craft, doing what I love and hustling. (Haha)