San Antonio's Female Film Photography Meetup Encourages Women to Find Community in One Another

Ari Ortiz is an analogue photographer and visual artist from San Antonio, Texas with a vision — she wants to encourage women who shoot film to find community with other women of the same interest in a safe and creative space. Her solution to this was starting the Female Film Photographer meetup events that she hosts for all levels of female film photographers to meet and have fun.

The most recent meetup took place this past January at Denman Estate Park in San Antonio. It was another successful event for the group, and afterwards Ari sat down to tell us all about the day and share some of the participating photographers' work!

Photo by Koasis Media

Hi Ari, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?

Hi! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk to you guys. My name is Ari Ortiz, I’m a self taught photographer and visual artist who loves experimenting with film of all formats. I shoot everything from portraits, to concerts, to landscapes, but I find the most fun when I’m shooting film using abstract techniques like Intentional Camera Movement or using experimental film stocks. I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX which is known for its culture and arts. This city plays a huge part in why I stay inspired to keep shooting and tell stories through my work.

Photos by Ari Ortiz

Can you tell us about what the Female Film Meetup is?

The Female Film Meetup is an event I host to encourage women who shoot film or who are trying to find a creative outlet through photography to come meet other women who also love photography as well as just have fun. You don’t have to be a professional photographer. It’s no pressure, no competition, all skill levels and styles are welcome. It’s just a field day of creative women and their cameras. It’s a space to make new friends, connections and learn from one another. Sometimes we invite models to come out or we will model for each other if we’re taking portraits.

Photos by Makenzie Rainone

What inspired you to start the Female Film Meetup?

My close friends and I are always out shooting on film when we’re together. I figured why not have all the ladies who shoot film come out and meet each other finally instead of being strangers online. There’s a lot of talented film photographers in San Antonio, but I noticed the lack of women coming out to photo walks and other local photography events, even though I had connected with so many women online in my city who also shoot film.

I feel like men have been the face of the photography scene for a really long time and sometimes as a woman it could feel intimidating, so I wanted to create a safe space for women to be encouraged and show off their skills without any judgement. I believe it’s important for women to support each other and stick together.

Photos by Hannah Harbour

Can you walk us through the day of the most recent Female Film Meetup event?

I hosted this most recent meetup at Denman Estate Park, it’s a hidden gem in this city with a beautiful pond and Korean structure. I had everyone meet at a certain spot in the morning and as soon as there was enough of us, we all ventured off and shot our photos. There were a lot of people meeting for the very first time. The owner from our local film lab was there as well and they had their media team come out to record our day and take group photos. It was really special! I always leave feeling ten times more inspired.

Photos by Theodora Winter
Photos by Rose W.

What was your favorite part of the recent photo walk?

My favorite part, aside from shooting with some of my closest friends and favorite photographers, was simply seeing how fun everyone was having taking photos together, talking about photography and just being creative together. People who were just visiting the park probably had no idea what was happening at first but they started to get curious and ask what we were doing and they loved the idea of the event and wanted to spread the word about it.

Photos by Norma V.
Photos by Lauryn Hyde

What made you decide to shoot with Lomography film during the event? How did it compliment your vision?

I’m a big black and white shooter but when it comes to color film, Lomography is usually my first choice. I love experimental films like LomoChrome Metropolis and Lomography Redscale. The tones are very unique. It’s something that cannot be replicated through editing. I knew this event and location was gonna look best using those film stocks and the results were better than I expected. I am obsessed!

Photos by Lacy Long
Photos by Ashley Flowers

Why focus specifically on film for the group?

I normally only shoot analogue since I started photography seven years ago. I love the slower and more thoughtful process. I saw more people growing interested in film in the last few years. It’s no secret why so many people love to shoot film now. It’s a special way of doing photography and I felt like it was necessary to showcase and encourage female film shooters to be a part of this group.

Photos by Amber Shannel
Photos by Gloria Bueno

Where do you see the Female Film Meetup going in the future?

I see it growing, I see new faces, maybe people who have never picked up a film camera can try it for the first time. I hope to see other female creatives in different cities inspired by this and maybe make it something that happens across the world.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I'd just love to say that if you are a photographer, support your local photography community and create spaces for others to feel welcome and a part of something. If your city doesn't have a big community, be the first to start something new.

If you're interested in attending a future Female Film Photographer Meetup event, make sure to follow Ari's Instagram. For other future events, check out our events calendar!

written by eloffreno on 2023-03-02 #culture #news #people #photo-walk #international-women-s-day #photo-meet-up #lomowomen23

LomoChrome Metropolis 35 mm ISO 100–400

This film comes with a unique chemical formula specifically developed in our Lomography film manufactory, which desaturates colors, mutes tones and makes contrasts pop.

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