Lomographer Cris Miranda, a.k.a. crismiranda is one of the Community's most compelling portraitists. Through her imagery of women and breaking down expectations, she leads the future of women in photography – both photographer and model – into the future.
Cris is no stranger to the issues against women not only in art and photography but in all aspects of daily life. Success in the photography realm itself is also dominated by men. If you're a female model, there's already a high chance of being disrespected and dehumanized. These are things that propelled her to make some changes.
It all started out by simply wanting her own girl friends to feel empowered and be freed from the standards of magazines, social media and just media in general. Apart from fighting aesthetic expectations and ideal body proportions, she also wanted to champion the matter of mental health by showing that there's no such thing as perfection when it comes to the human body. Instead of expecting this, we should all embrace our uniqueness and value ourselves more. Cris wants to give that confidence, especially to women.
"I believe we still live in a world where women are seen an objects, not as human beings. Models are portrayed as sexy in their perfect desirable ultra-thin bodies, perfect curves and I believe it’s because they are photographed by men’s eyes. And sometimes men’s eyes are vicious and sexist. My models and I try to show some truth on our work and avoid that we think a male’s gaze appealing. And again, it depends on what my models want as a result for themselves. Last but not least, we are always working on the idea that a naked body must not be seen as a 'yes' to the male’s gaze. A naked girl is just a naked girl and it must not be related or connect to sex at all."
To achieve this, Cris prefers to shoot on film. When it comes to depicting candidness, rawness, and realism, nothing beats the analogue medium. Analogue photography implies no editing or post-production being involved and that's what makes her works so special. A portrait taken on film is already a story itself – no captions needed. Cris also prefers natural lightning over anything – never using flash. Often, she will shoot in the daylight using 100-400 ISO films. If indoors, finding a natural light source, usually windows will suffice. If not, she'll be using ISO 800 films, and sometimes push films two stops when needed. Cris also rarely uses a tripod and prefers to shoot from different angles – a huge part of her visual storytelling.
"Every photograph, every frame is unique and this is exactly the same when it comes to women’s beauty: every one of us is unique, special and marvelous. We don’t need to put filters or edit our faces and bodies to feel right. We just need to look ourselves in the mirror every day and celebrate what we are, just the way we are."
Nowadays, Cris is shooting more with black and white film with her portraiture and hoping she'll be able to try out one of the Petzval Art Lenses soon for more bokeh.
Thanks for sharing your work and spreading the inspiring message, Cris! May every day be Women's Day! How are you celebrating Women's Month in analogue? Share your own stories by commenting below!