Singaporean creative Nidia Marissa got her hands on the Lomo'Instant Automat and documented Singapore in instant snaps. She showcases her feminine and somewhat meditative aesthetic in this interview.
Please introduce yourself to the Lomography community and the readers of the Online Magazine.
My name is Nidia Marissa. I’m a graphic designer by profession, and an avid photographer all other times.
How did you get started with photography?
When I was very young, my family and I would travel and whenever there wasn’t anyone who’d be able to help us take photos, we’d always take turns and my mum and dad would tell me the photos I took were nice. I guess at a very young age, that kind of compliment sticks with you and that somehow sparked my interest in photography. Afterward, it mainly progressed as a hobby in my teens.
How would you describe your style as a photographer?
My main subjects in most of my photos capture architecture and the essence of the current city I’m in. Occasionally, I’d take portraits. I usually play with a lot of vibrant colours in my photos to not only give out a sense of joy but to evoke some curiosity and purpose but somehow still leave a bit of familiarity and relation.
What/Who do you consider as the greatest influence in your craft?
I do love Sarah Bahbah’s work. I’ve followed her photography since her Raisedbythewolves days. She was one of few photographers that I admired who got me pushing forward with my own craft. She went from festival photography to storytelling emotions so well and precise. Hopefully one day I can be as great of a photographer as her.
Other than that, traveling is one of the greatest influences in my craft. I’m quite a city person and many would rather not visit another city because the whole purpose of traveling is to escape from one anyway. I’ve visited so many cities and even though it may be similar to my own country, it’s still somehow always a different experience for me – different people, different language, different buildings, and different culture. So, I try to make sure I capture that in my photography.
How do you develop your skills?
Observation and a lot of practice, especially when post-processing images. When I first started getting serious with photography, to frame an image was important, but mastering a certain style or look was equally as important to me because I wanted to create an identity. I wanted someone to be able to look at my photos and be able to identify me and say, ‘Wait, did Nidia take this?’ Also, post-processing images actually helped improve the way I shoot because I’d think even more about how to frame an image, the lighting and what colours there are in the shot.
Can you share with us how it was like using the Lomo'Instant Automat?
It was really fun. I leave the camera in my bag so that I’d have it with me wherever I go, just in case, there was something I could potentially take. I usually shoot digitally but I also occasionally shoot with my Polaroid 600. Even though I’ve had experience with instant film, the Lomo’Instant Automat was a totally fresh experience for me because I had more lens and settings to play with which made waiting for the outcome of the image more thrilling.
Can you tell us more about the shoot?
I didn’t know what to expect when using the Lomo’Instant Automat. I used a lot of films to play with the camera so I could understand the settings. The settings needed a bit of getting used to especially when it came to really bright and dark lightings but because of this, I took a different approach in my images than I usually do digitally – which was to properly shoot light and shadows. I’d observe the sun when the light would seep through the buildings the best for me to take a shot. Unfortunately, during the month of this shoot, it kept raining, so my luck with the sun was very limited. But that was when I could play around with double exposure, which is one of my favorite features of this camera.
Do you have ongoing or upcoming projects that you would like to tell the community about?
Not at the moment but I’m super keen on trying the Lomochrome Purple Film because I think it’s time to bring out my dusty Diana F+. But other than that, hopefully, I’ll be able to cook up a new series! I’m still brainstorming. (: