We welcome Parker Hill to the LomoAmigo family. A true New Yorker, Parker's love for analog spans over moving image and still photography as well. The dynamics her photographs take on have a comforting feeling that makes us feel warm and cozy. Parker shares with us her roots in photography and how her love of motion picture and analog photography combine to achieve these amazing photographs.
Hi Parker, we're super excited to have you at the magazine. Can you introduce yourself a little bit?
My name is Parker Hill and I'm a writer and director born and raised in NYC. I studied film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where my undergrad thesis film, ONE GOOD PITCH, held its world premiere at the Tribeca film festival in 2016. I also co-wrote and produced the shorts BANDITO (Tribeca, 2015) and WHERE THERE'S SMOKE (Tribeca, 2017). My latest narrative short HOMING IN was a selection of BFI London Film Festival 2017. I'm currently directing fashion films and music videos as I develop a feature film.
What do you love about photography?
I'm a filmmaker who fell in love with photography, so one of the first things I was drawn to was how freeing photography was for me. I didn't need a huge budget, a big crew and tons of equipment. I could go out whenever I wanted and make images, just me and my camera.
Once I started looking at a lot of photography and making my first images, I also realized how much storytelling can go into a single frame. This might sound obvious, but coming from a motion picture background, it wasn't until I started taking stills that I appreciated how question-begging a frame can be.
Who or what influences you?
TONS of photographers influence my work. At the moment, I look at more still photography for references for my film work than I do movies. I have tons of favorites but a lot of them fall into a similar category of American photographers.
I'm a big fan of New Topographics photographers including Stephen Shore and Robert Adams. My others favs include Todd Hido, William Eggleston, Doug Dubois, Tina Barney, Lise Sarfati, Philip Lorca DiCorcia, and Wim Wenders.
Your compositions are so cinematic and beautiful, can you take a us a little bit through your framing process?
I studied film and am a motion picture director, so cinema I'm sure influences my still photography work. I like finding places where I think a scene would happen. You can picture the two characters talking outside a bar with the red glowing neon on them, or the late 2am gas station after a long road trip. I can't really speak to 'how' I frame, because I just like what I like, but I guess I'm a fan of wides, seeing a whole place, feeling a setting and hopefully making it eerie or familiar in some way.
Have you worked with instant photography before?
I have not. The Lomo'Instant wide adventure was my first time working with instant film.
What attracts you to shooting film?
I got into photography exclusively through analogue photography so to me they are one and the same. I love the imperfections of shooting on the film, and the grain. I like grain. I also love how natural and tangible it all is. There are images you can't get digitally, and I just love that.
What did you enjoy about working with the Lomo'Instant Wide?
Working with the instant wide was a lot of fun. Because I only shoot with analogue film, I seldom get to be in the same place as the subject and location when I see the photos. I know digital shooters get to do this all the time, but it was very interesting for me to look at the photo while I was still there and assess if I needed to take it again or move on.
How did your photo process change working with something as gratifying as instant photography?
I got to see what I was shooting when I was shooting. this was helpful with portraits because the subject and I could look at them together and see if we wanted to change anything or try something else. With portraits, I really loved how the instant wide handled highlights. They bloomed a lot and made it look kind of dreamy. Sometimes so much so that we retook it, but I enjoyed the process.
What advice would you give to upcoming photographers?
My advice is to keep shooting. Follow your inspirations wherever they take you. Sometimes I go on a kick, and I can't quite articulate why I'm interested in something or why I feel like I need to shoot it, but that's the most exciting time. Just follow it, and the work will show you why later.