USA-based Community newcomer Roxanna Angles (@roxannalog) sees photography as a form of therapy that encourages her to be more present and embrace each day with an open mind. Having learned all the basics of film photography — from shooting to developing the negatives — she feels freer to capture fleeting moments into cinematic snapshots. In this interview, she talks more about the role of analogue photography in her day-to-day life.
Hello, Roxanna! Please tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am a school counselor by day and an analogue enthusiast the rest of the time. I get to spend my working days teaching kids mindfulness, kindness, respect, and a plethora of other life skills. I spent so many years giving to others that I forgot to take care of myself. When I found analogue photography, I also found my own mindfulness. The entire process of film photography — from taking the photos to developing — has become an enriching part of my life. I love it so much!
How did you find the Community and who/what convinced you to join?
I found the Lomography Community while researching on how to get started with shooting film. I was hungry for something different — something original and artistic. I read various articles and found that not only should I be shooting film, but also developing it! After figuring out the basics, I looked for a film that replicates infrared film and its surreal tones. I was obsessed with Lomochrome Purple the moment I stumbled upon it! I also found so many great photographers, techniques, articles, film stocks and so much more. Every time I go to the Lomography website, I go down a wonderful rabbit hole of analogue fun! It was a no-brainer that I had found my tribe.
As you have read the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, what rule do you apply in your everyday life?
I love the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography! Rule No. 3 (Lomography is not an interference in your life, but a part of it) is by far my favorite. It encapsulates the feeling that I have every time I pick my camera. I feel immersed in my environment and the beautiful moments within. Part of that mindfulness is taking in each moment and appreciating the life around you.
There is nothing more exciting than developing a roll of film and discovering all the photos that you've taken. The experience of getting your images back after development gives you the power to relive those moments by capturing the feelings, moods, and desires. It is truly reviving beautiful moments all over again. I just started making the effort to print my work, and that has elevated this experience to a new level! I love making photo books or even printing 4 × 6 photos of my friends and family. The excitement it brings is like no other. Photographs have a different presence when you have been part of the process from start to finish.
In this digital age, why still film?
So many reasons! I actually never shot too much on digital. I always felt as though the photos look too perfect and too crisp. It’s like having one camera and one film stock, without any variants (unless you count Photoshop, which then puts you behind the computer screen for hours).
Before discovering analogue photography, I used Hipstamatic to give my phone photos more texture. I was browsing YouTube one day when I found a web series called Analog: Stories of Film Photography. I was completely fascinated. I started to research what I needed to start shooting on film and came across the Lomography Community.
Shooting film is more than an art to me. It’s my therapy. I can take my camera anywhere. As soon as I start shooting, my shoulders drop, my muscles relax and I feel good again. The mindfulness required for shooting film makes you slow down and take each shot with intent. I believe in embracing the imperfections of life. I love not knowing what I got on my roll of film. It’s like Christmas morning everytime I develop a roll!
Your favorite analogue camera as of the moment? Why?
This is a difficult question! I am a complete camera hoarder. I think I may be addicted to buying cameras. I love my Canon AE-1. I love that I can easily do multiple exposures with it and it will always give me amazing results. My Rolleiflex TLR is another favorite. Looking down into the waist level viewfinder is a wonderful way to capture candid shots. My Diana F+ and Holga create such beautiful, dreamy effects that I could not possibly leave them out. The Lomography Simple Use Film Camera is a great one as well! I love that you can reload it and use different color gels to throw splashes of color on my subjects.
What is the Lomography camera you’d like to own someday?
The Diana Instant Square! I can’t wait to get this camera. I actually already ordered it when it was on Kickstarter. I am impatiently awaiting its arrival. I can’t wait to play with the lenses and the multiple exposures function! There is a special magic with instant film.
Any song, book, or movie you live by?
Any Wes Anderson movie. I am completely obsessed with his cinematic style. The color palettes he uses are brilliant. His symmetry and patterns are mesmerizing. I watch his movies over and over, hoping to somehow emulate even just a piece of his style. His movies invoke a sense of nostalgia that I would happily wrap my artistic self into.
Share your current favorite photograph, could be yours or a friend’s. Why?
This photo is so dreamy. @alewino does amazing work with her photos. She uses techniques that are just beautiful.
Any Community member you look up to? If so, why him or her?
There are so many that I love! I think one of my favorites is Radka Smolikova (@smolda). She has a style that I admire. She uses beautiful film stocks and enjoys being part of the film community.
What are you looking forward to in our Community?
I am looking forward to learning more techniques and building this Community with like-minded individuals around the globe. I enjoy all the inspiration that Lomography provides. It feels like home.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and welcome to the Lomography Community, Roxanna!
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