Mirella Cardoso is typically a self-portrait photographer based out of New York City. However, she switched her subject this time to be behind the camera to try out the new Diana Instant Square! Working with a model, her soft and vintage aesthetic still shined through. We spoke with Mirella about the camera and new projects she's been working on.
Hi Mirella, welcome back to the magazine! Tell us, what have you been working since we've last spoke?
Hi! I’ve been working on releasing two films that I made this past year.
You work primarily with medium format film and cameras, what has been your experience with that, what do you like about it and what's your favorite format and why?
I primarily shoot with my Rolleicord which is a medium format camera. It captures light and depth so beautifully. Some of my favorite photographers have shot with medium format cameras including Diane Arbus, Vivian Maier, and Ed van der Elsken just to name a few. Their work definitely inspired me to start shooting with it.
Have you ever worked with instant photography before? If so, what's been your experience, if not would you want to explore it?
I own a SX-70 which I love! It’s a wonderful camera but I personally don’t shoot with it too often because the film is a bit pricey for me. If the film was more affordable I would definitely be shooting with it more!
You tend to have a vintage aesthetic with your photos, what are some of your favorite eras that you're influenced by?
Thank you! I would say I’m primarily influenced by the sixties but really, I’m inspired by many different eras even if it’s not obvious in my work. I currently have a copy from the library of Lauren Greenfield’s book Girl Culture. It was published in early 2000’s and is completely different from my photo work. As an artist I think it’s important to explore as much as possible.
What has your experience been with the Diana Instant Square, how'd working with the camera effect your compositional thinking and/or strategy?
I’m used to shooting square format so I didn’t have to change my compositional thinking at all. I usually shoot in low light interiors but since instant film produces better results in daylight I decided to shoot daylight exteriors...it also was a wonderful excuse to go to a park.
What was it like not being in front of the camera, did you feel more or less in control as the director?
I love collaborating with other people. When I’m shooting with a subject I try not to control them too much. I give them direction but I want them to also be a part of the work. Bella, my model for the Diana Instant Square shoot, was so wonderful to work with. I sent her mood boards and we virtually went through her closet for styling ideas. It was a fun collaborative process for us both.
You always seem to have this soft quality to the women you photograph, did you think that translated in the instant photos?
Thank you! I think it definitely did.
What advice would you give to future Diana Instant Square users?
Embrace the softness.