Philadelphia based photographer Troy Memis has been on our radar for quite some time, shooting vibrant portraits, night life, and street photography Memis's love for their environment comes through in every photo.
Hey Troy, welcome to the magazine, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I'm 29. I am a painter from Philadelphia who dabbles in so many other medias. I do work a few days a week at Urban Outfitters as a production assistant to bring in the bucks and Saturdays at Indie Photo Lab as a film processor to save some bucks.
What inspires you?
The simple answer to that is “life.” I had a very hard year last year, and I realized at the end that I needed to get back to the moments that were happening right in front of me. I slipped, big time, and was so caught up in both the future and the past that I forgot how to relax and enjoy what was all around me.. the simple things. I guess that means this year will be a wild experience full of new inspiration since I feel like I am living almost as a new person. I miss taking walks, so I’m going to get back to that.
Being in Philadelphia, what's your favorite part of the city?
If this is a geographical question, I really love West Phila. Big, older houses, friendly neighbors who have lived there for decades, TREES. It’s nice out there because you’re close enough if you wanna be anywhere else, but far enough to have an excuse if you want to just stay in and work or watch a movie.
If this is not a geographical question, then I would have to say the accessibility to artistic people sharing their talents. We have both a great art and music scene, so there is usually something good going on if you know where to look for it. Lots of talented and loving people to be around.
You seem to also be very interested in the music scene in Philly, can you speak more about that?
The music scene in Phila. is something to be hold. Lots of people with basements wanting to put on shows for their friends, featuring other friends. It’s really great. So many talented people who are just so driven, it’s mind-blowing. My favorite spot to go to shows is actually a batting cages place by day (shout out to Dave at Everybody Hits for always giving us a great place to see great acts) and has shows by night. Dave also organizes a baseball game every year from people from across the scene to mix it up and do something that keeps the music community tight in ways other than the shows. It really great. Some of the bands I photographed are Nah, Mannequin Pussy, Clasp, Littler, Empath, and Control Top.
What's your creative process?
Uhhh, I mean, when it comes to photography, I just shoot. I shoot film to make sure I don’t worry too much about getting the “perfect shot,” because I just want the memory anyway.
How'd you enjoy working with the Diana F+?
It was a little weird to get used to at first. I’m pretty rough and tumble, and having such a light camera definitely threw me off. Luckily I go through cameras left and right, so I could adjust very easily.
How did the 1:1 square ratio change the way you photograph?
Oh, I actually prefer square formatting. I was pretty devastated when polaroid 600 film was no longer readily available. At my local cvs and stuff. I like to take a lot of portraits, so I like that I don’t have to worry about awkward body or negative space with the square format.
What advice would you give to any artists wanting to get into photography?
I really like what you all put on the rolls of 120. “Don’t think, just shoot.” I mean, clearly, think about it.. but don’t think too hard. You don’t wanna get caught up in yourself. Shoot what you think looks nice, shoot what you care about, and shoot when you’re drunk.
You can follow Troy on Instagram @tinyhummus
You can purchase the Diana F+ Flash in the Lomography Shop
written by sarahlindsayk on 2018-02-06