What pulls Sofi Mdivnishvili (@warholsofi) into shooting film is its slow, meditative process. From loading the film, capturing the scene, and developing the negatives, each step requires a thoughtful approach—a mindset that's utterly visible in her soulful portraits. Get to know more about the artistic process of our featured Community newcomer from Tbilisi, Georgia in this short interview.
Name: Sofi Mdivnishvili
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
Please tell us something about yourself and what you do.
I am 21-years-old amateur photographer from Georgia. I have started taking photographs with a film camera about two years ago, but it’s just a hobby, I capture everything I consider beautiful or interesting. I study English language and literature at Tbilisi State University. My desire is to become a translator one day. I work as a tour guide for more than a year and it's very amusing to meet new people, enjoy their cultures, and share different ideas to each other.
How did you find the Community and who/what convinced you to join?
Lomography films are not very popular in Georgia, but one day I found a Georgian page of Lomography shop. Then my friend told me about the Community so I just uploaded my pictures. Also, I sent my pictures to Lomography Georgia, they liked them and gifted me a Lomography film. I want to thank them again for that.
As you have read the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, what rule do you apply in your everyday life?
For me the first rule is the most important "Take your camera everywhere you go.” Sometimes, it is really hard to take your camera with you because it is heavy, but when we are somewhere in the street we accidentally see something we want to capture. We all know that unplanned photos are always the best and natural.
In this digital age, why still film?
Many people consider film as old-fashioned and that it’s better to get a digital camera because it’s easier to work with. You can Photoshop a picture and give a look you like. In my mind, the main thing in photography is the naturalness and film gives you this chance. Another thing is the steps to undertake until you have a result. After taking pictures you need to develop and scan the negatives, which is also very interesting. You have only several shots which must be treated very carefully. I have never taken photos with a digital so I can firmly say that film taught me how to find the main key when I want to capture something. And at last I want to say that everyone who tries to shoot with analog camera will never give up.
Your favorite analog camera as of the moment? Why?
When someone asks me about my favourite camera the first thing that comes to mind is the Canon AE-1. First of all, I love its appearance. I always say that if I am a camera, I would be this one. It works manually and for some people it is boring because you need some time to check everything until you take a photo but I think it is more interesting when you do everything on your own.
What is the Lomographic camera you’d want to have someday?
When I was a child we had an old Polaroid at home and I still have the pictures from my childhood. Lomography cameras are pretty cool and fast to capture moment. They are not expensive but we can’t say the same about the films. I like the Diana F+ because they it has a great price and looks fashionable, so if I ever decide to buy a Lomography camera I will buy that one.
Any song, book, or movie you live by?
I’ve read too many books in my lifetime. I have my favourite author but it’s hard for me to talk about my favorite book. Each book inspires and makes you see everything from other side. I have moments when I finish a book and I still think a lot about it. The thing I found in myself is that when I am in the street or in a public transport I try to read the thoughts of other people, if they are happy or not. Of course songs and movies have a big influence on me, too. They are not made only as something to watch or listen to, you'll also need to "read" them to understand why the author created it.
Share your current favorite Lomograph, could be yours or a friend’s. Why?
This is my favorite picture that I took with my first Lomography film. It was an accidental picture and I love the buildings in the window. They were built in Soviet times and there’s kind of a contrast in times, because there were many censorship in USSR so I mixed them in this picture, at least I believe it to be like that.
Any Community member you look up to? If so, why him or her?
From modern photographers I adore pictures of Can Dagarslani because he knows how to mix colors, people, and architecture together. You will think that they are one thing and not separate from one another. He is a real inspiration for me.
What are you looking forward to in our Community?
One of the main thing in photography is to show your work to others so they can share their ideas to you, what they like or dislike. I think others’ opinions are very important so I think your Community will help me to improve my skills and find amateur photographers like me. I like that it has a shop where I can find current news about cameras and films. Also, I like the idea of competitions, it gives you the desire to take something new and become a part of a community.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Sofi. Welcome to the Lomography Community and we're all looking forward to seeing more of your work!