London based photographer Lilly Creightmore has been following the psych revival movement over the years and recently documented the Liverpool Psych Fest using a selection of film cameras. We talked to her about her love for film photography and her documentary called TRIP.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a photographer, filmmaker, and Mother, I grew up in an alternative community in Ashdown Forest, I moved to London when I was sixteen, with time also spent in Paris, Austin, Los Angeles, Cape Town, Berlin and more recently Toronto, I feel quite split focus and personality most of the time. My Grandmother was a keen photographer and painter, she bought me my first camera when I was five and I would love going to our local camera store and staring at the shelves of film. I bought a Canon AE1 for a school project in 1999 and I am still shooting with the same camera nearly twenty years on, as well as a Hasselblad ELM (when it works) and a Canon 810 Super 8 camera (when I can afford to). I left school and started modeling when I was sixteen and all the pros still shot on Medium Format Camera's, the photographers would come into my agency and we'd choose the best from a shoot, circling the images with a chinagraph pencil on a contact sheet.
As a teenager at the turn of the Millenium, I was tomboyish and uncomfortable in front of the camera and the fashion was awful! I was more interested in goofing around to deflect attention from my developing womanhood or being behind the camera, so I did a part-time photography course when I was eighteen at sixth form college whilst working bar jobs and occasionally as a model, I think I was the last age group to learn darkroom at that level.
Why do you choose to shoot with film?
It's the medium I learned to take photos in. I continue to shoot film as I enjoy the methodical learning process, being forced to consider each shot, paying attention to the light and settings rather than just snapping 10 shots and hoping for the best or fixing it in post. I really want to get back in the darkroom and learn to make beautiful prints, as that's something I've missed in the advent of digital, it's so easy to do everything from your laptop but I was recently reminded that learning how to print your work should be as much the process of an analogue photograph as the film or camera you use.
Tell us about these photos?
I was asked to shoot Liverpool Psych Fest this year for Fuzz Club Records, who I work with regularly. This was my fourth time at the festival which has become an annual pilgrimage for myself and many of my friends in today's alternative music scene. Personally, the year up to that point had been all work and little fun and a dark cloud had been hanging over us as Londoner's from a socio-political standpoint, so I was elated to be back in mighty Liverpool surrounded by great music and friends, being paid to do what I love. Documenting moments like that makes the weeks or months of no work and surviving hand to mouth, all worth it.
What did you shoot with?
What's coming up for you in the new year?
For the past ten years, I've been shooting an experimental documentary and series of stills which I need to turn all my energies into getting finished. It's called TRIP and it's my own account of the resurgence of the global Psych Rock scene, featuring Roky Erickson, The Black Angels, Spacemen 3, Brian Jonestown Massacre and more, you can find out more about that here. I have also been working with my boyfriend's company phototechnica.ca He has developed a really exciting new flash lighting technology, which you will hear more about any day now... So all going well next year is looking like it will be the busiest yet!
For more information visit www.lillycreightmore.com.