She may have lost her favorite camera, but this unfortunate incident led her to forge connection with fellow film photographers. Dive into Alanna Durkee's amusing anecdote and other musings about analogue photography in this Newcomer of the Week interview.
Name: Alanna Durkee
Location: Currently in San Diego, CA
Please tell us something about yourself and what you do.
Well, to put it short and sweet, I’m an amateur film photographer who wants to turn the world on through my vision of art and photography. I spend a lot of time fantasizing about set design, models, lighting, and locations for my future projects. Over the last year I've become comfortable and confident with shooting film and now I am starting to book small (but awesome) jobs and that makes me the very happy!
By day, I am an artist for my family’s company called Studio M. I do custom canvas paintings and murals. Most of the time I paint portraits, animals, and landscapes. I enjoy using my photographs to reference my paintings.
How did you find the Community and who/what convinced you to join?
I really fell hard for film photography when I fell for my soulmate and lover. (He’s a professional photographer and has won like 3/4 of the Lomography competitions he joined in. Wow my hero!).
Three years ago, before meeting him, I was buying throw away cameras all the time and paying to get prints from CVS. This was mostly because I never had the patience to take the time and learn the mechanics behind a film camera. But like in a relationship, I learned to be patient, and then fell head over heels for it. He is the one who taught me everything I know and the one who introduced me to this wonderful, dreamy, photo community. Can we all just live in one, big Lomography commune together?
As you have read the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, what rule do you apply in your everyday life?
I would say Rule #3 (Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of It) is the one I use in my everyday life the most. “Your camera is an extension of you and your desires.” Spontaneous photo shoots are my favorite, I live for it!
In this digital age, why still film?
I am a stubborn person, ask anyone, I'm a Taurus. I am very protective over film, and between you and me, I could care less about digital photography. When everyone's iPhone can take a professional looking pictures what's the point. I’m lucky enough to have access to develop all of my own film in a darkroom, as well as have my own scanner. Overall, I am an artist and every photograph has its own unique existence; formed from the moment the shutter closes, processed through the film, into the chemicals, and scanned on the computer or printed in the darkroom. The physical process of photography makes it something I live for.
Your favorite analog camera as of the moment? Why?
Well crazy story, two weeks ago my car was broken into and my entire camera bag was stolen. Like I said from the beginning, I'm an amateur so I didn't have extremely expensive professional equipment, but it didn't matter. Those cameras, lens, filters, and films were part of me. They were the cameras I learned on and traveled with over the years. My favorite camera that was stolen was my newly acquired vintage 8mm Braun Nizo camera. It was loaded with its first roll in it, about half of which was already shot, never be seen again! The twist of the story is that I was on the news (because my neighborhood has a car theft problems), and a couple of retired photographers reached out and offered me their old film cameras! I got an AE1 and a Nikkormat, which are great. And for the record, I ended up doing trades to both the people who gave me the cameras. One I painted a landscape for, the other one, a family portrait shoot. So it worked out in the end!
What is the Lomographic camera you’d want to have someday?
An amazing point-and-shoot medium format camera: LOMO LC-A 120 or something else!
Any song, book, or movie you live by?
Yeah right, I'm already writing too much in this interview! I could write another page about my daily inspiration from music or books or movies. But rapid fire I'd say- anything old country or heavy metal is where I get my mojo.
I've been trying to shoot 8mm videos and who else to get inspiration from other than Rob Zombie or Quentin Tarantino?
For books, I go to my local library every week and read through old art books to find inspiration for my next shoot or painting. I really recommend it, people!
Share your current favorite Lomograph, could be yours or a friend’s. Why?
I just developed this LomoChrome Purple photo I took from a hike I recently went on. I love shooting with the LomoChrome Purple!
Any Community member you look up to? If so, why him or her?
My main man, Steven Levas. Look him up at @stavard!
What are you looking forward to in our Community?
Learning, growing, living, loving, sharing, and inspiring.