Photography doesn't ever really stop for Toni Muñoz. Even when onstage with her band, she still manages to take beauty in the blur and hurriedness of the world. To her, there's more to taking pictures than just getting the perfect shot. It's more about the experience, the process, and the memories that come with every frame. In this interview, Toni shares with us her views of the world taken with the Lomo LC-Wide. Seeing her work and reading her words is simply inspiring. “Notice the beauty around you, even in the most mundane of things.” We'll try our best to always remember that, Toni.
Hi, Toni! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. What do you do and what got you started on your photography journey?
Hello! I am a musician currently playing percussions for Ben&Ben.
My journey started in high school when I signed up for an elective on black and white photography, which was the one art class where I was not required to give a performance. It was also then that I found my father’s old camera in a box under the bed, untouched for many years. I was hooked by the time my first roll of film was used up, and more so when I learned how to develop film and print negatives on my own.
But I had to pause my passion when it became too expensive and inconvenient to process film and, like everyone else, I switched to digital photography. It was only last year that I got myself a new film camera for Christmas and rekindled my love affair with film photography. Nowadays, I almost never go out without a camera and extra film rolls in my bag.
What do you like most about photography? Why choose film in this day and age?
Time stops the moment you press the shutter button, and that exact moment is captured in the frame—along with all feeling, thought, and emotion that went into taking that shot. For me, a photograph is not just a visual representation of the world but also a memory that carries with it tiny pieces of my spirit.
Shooting in film lends more depth to the act of taking photos. In this age of instant gratification, film photography has taught me patience, trust, and acceptance of failure. It has shown me that even mistakes are beautiful, and flaws add to perfection. And because I cannot see what I shot right away, I learn to live in the moment and just be.
What inspires you to create?
Film photography is a multi-sensory experience — working with your hands to develop film, hearing the distinct click of the shutter, even the smell of freshly processed negatives give me joy. I’d like to think that the photos I take reflect how I see the world at that precise moment and in that exact light. In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, the decision to freeze and frame that very moment was made by only me.
How was your experience with the LC-Wide?
For the first days since I got it, it never left my side. It’s compact and very easy to use — you only have to think about two focusing options and you’re ready to take the shot. I even take it with me on stage to take shots of my bandmates and the crowd in between songs.
What did you like about it?
Aside from the multiple format options, the focal length is what I love the most. It lets me include more in the frame, which is both fun and challenging — the more you put into the frame, the more you should think about how they are placed in your shot.
What do you think is the best way to enjoy the LC-Wide?
The best way to enjoy the LC-Wide is with an open mind, and with the spirit of experimentation.
We love the photos you took with the camera. How did it compliment your shooting style?
I really like taking photos of things above me, which makes the LC-Wide’s 17 mm lens ideal. It helps me showcase the grandness of the world as I see it. It is also perfect for both landscapes and indoor shots in tight spaces. I also gravitate towards double exposures, and I love the results I got from this camera.
Any tips you could share with people who are just starting with film photography?
Be in the moment. Let go. After you’ve taken your shot, stop worrying whether you did it right. You’ll learn about the things you have to improve on when you see your shots. Observe the place you’re at, look at the people, and just take it all in through different points of view. Then make your memories and share your photographs with the world.
What is your favorite image from this shoot? Why?
A silhouette of my father taken on our street, double exposed with the concrete walls of the house where I grew up. I got my photography genes from my father, so taking photos of him is a form of gratitude. The other layer of this shot is a reminder of the textures and patterns of my childhood.
How does a perfect day look like for Toni Munoz?
It starts with a good cup of coffee or tea and me looking out the window to get a glimpse of what the day holds. Then I load my bag with films and cameras and leave the house for work or to spend time with the people I love.
Any last words for our readers?
To me, photography is therapy, almost like a form of meditation. It’s a palate-cleanser, especially when things get hectic as they often do in my profession. Taking photos is my way of “stopping and smelling the flowers.” Focusing on the world outside and getting out of my head brings a certain kind of peace. I want other people to experience all these, too. Whenever anyone asks me what camera I used, or how I took a certain shot, I always hope that it is because I have sparked in them an interest in photography and the light it brings into our life. But whether or not you are looking at the world through a viewfinder, be sure to notice the beauty around you, even in the most mundane of things.
We would like to thank Toni for letting us feature her images in the Magazine. Toni is a long time fan of film photography and is also the percussionist for local band Ben & Ben. You may follow her on Instagram to see more of what she does when she's not making music.