To celebrate the season of hearts, we're featuring Lomographer, journalist, and filmmaker Brett Allen Smith a.k.a. brettallensmith on his experience in capturing Aaron and Tirzah's loving relationship.
Aaron and Tirzah's love sprung and melded beautifully despite both coming from very different cultural backgrounds, and Brett felt he needed to capture their amazing, contrasting yet complementary dynamic. Though photo-reportage and documentary photography are Brett's forte, he turned Aaron and Tirzah to be his muses and document their little love story and history. The three planned a photo shoot around Tel Aviv and Jaffa, as those places hold significance to the couple. Almost every place stored different shared memories between Aaron and Tirzah.
To capture their story, Brett used the Daguerreotype Achromat Art Lens to materialize the romantic atmosphere between the couple.: "That Daguerreotype is pure magic. What a mystery! I always get something unexpected out of that lens. That gentle, ethereal glow you get with the bokeh is perfect when you're trying to capture intimacy in a certain kind of portrait. I'm obsessed with the way that the lens transforms light."
He also used the Sprocket Rocket camera to imitate the old movies in which the sprocket holes peek out. Being a huge experimentalist and Sprocket Rocket fan himself, Brett would make sure to get some happy accidents on every shoot. This photo shoot also happens to be the first time he used it for portraiture. Brett also used the Lomography Color Negative 100 and 800 and tested his hands on Dubblefilm Moonstruck.
Though equipment and tools certainly make the magic, for Brett, it's the photographer's rapport and chemistry with their muses that make the best shots. Brett himself is still new to this kind of shoot (and admits he isn't accustomed to it at all), but it was thanks to Aaron and Tirzah's positive energy and vibes that make the photo shoot look so effortless, as the two were naturally passionate and wonder-eyed for each other.
"The most important detail when capturing love, I think, is accepting the idea that love is wonderfully shapeless. Sometimes it's an enormous gesture, other times it's a teeny detail. Sometimes it's cliché. Sometimes it's utterly personal. So maybe capturing love requires you to open up your own heart a bit as well."
As the photographer, it was his job to make his subjects comfortable of his camera and presence. Like in all relationships, photo shoots are also about building the trust. Getting to know the subject days prior to the photoshoot helped Brett more to create the chemistry between the couple and his camera. He shares:
"If you can find a way to meet up with your subjects a few days before the shoot, even just for coffee or something, it is absolutely worth it. You will simply end up with better photos. It's been said before, but creating any kind of connection with who you're photographing will help them open up to the photographer... If you need to take a break or loosen up your subjects during the shoot, do it. One time I had a subject who was really self-conscious, so I handed her my camera and we took turns taking each other's photo for a bit. Those few minutes ended up saving the entire day... I was kind of shocked (and relieved) by how much Aaron and Tirzah's natural energy to just play around ended up fueling all kinds of inspiration."
In return, Brett was gifted with painterly romantic photos:
The reaps of loving and making connections does pay off, even for Lomographers. So make sure you have something planned out for Valentine's Day, whether you're planning out for a dinner or simply being the personal photographer of your couple-friends, get a date with your camera and get on with Day of Love!
What are your Lomographic plans for Valentine's Day? Make sure to save the memories with you and stock up on your film and upgrade on your lenses, all available at the Online Shop and gallery stores worldwide.