Anne Ludwig Talks Film Soup and Motherhood


Experimentation in film photography has always been one of the biggest elements of Lomography. It has made the community what it is today. We talked to Anne Ludwig about one popular experimental technique, film soup. This is when you soak your film negatives with different liquids in order to create unknown effects on the final image. Introduced to us by another Lomographer, @theofromgreece, who we talked to a few months back, Anne was also part of the group berlinonfilm and specializes in using film soups. Besides this, she is also a mother of two and is currently balancing her life taking care of them, while still finding time to create some amazing photos.

photos by @annelutzie_analog

Hello and welcome to Lomography Magazine. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you started film photography.

Hello Lomography! I’m Anne, a Lomo lover born in the former GDR (German Democratic Republic) in 1989, now living a creative life between three European countries, mom of two small kids, and I’m behind the Instagram account annelutzie_analog which has existed almost as long as the time I rediscovered film photography. In 2014 my best friend gifted me her old analogue Canon EOS 50e SLR for my birthday and I instantly felt a fire igniting inside of me to try this big lady out.

I need to mention that we would be very late to switch from analogue to digital photography in my family so I would still take my point-and-shoot to our family holidays back in 2007 and have the photos developed in a drug store later. So, in theory, the 7-year digital break doesn’t sound like a long time, but in practice, it felt like unveiling an ancient holy practice while loading and shooting my first film with lady Canon. Every shutter release made me feel as joyful and excited as a kid in a candy store. So many memories would come up from how viewing and sharing photos, aka visual memories, used to be, with never before seen prints in your hands with your loved ones next to you sharing the moment. I was hooked back to film photography from that point and in the same year also purchased my first Lomography camera as well, the Actionsampler, which is probably still my favorite Lomo camera.

What is your go-to gear when shooting?

During the years I have collected well over 50 cameras bought mainly on fleamarkets, a lot of them point-and-shoots that I would find aesthetically pleasing but also a bunch of soviet treasures like the Zenit. My go-to camera would be the Minolta X-300 though, probably for its lightweight and easy-to-use features. For more creative practices such as my beloved film soups, I am using automatic cameras with a strong motor to wind the film such as the Canon EOS 50e. I love using expired films mainly because of the unexpected range of creativity they hold.

photos by @annelutzie_analog

How would you describe your style of photography?

My photography depicts in essence me and my life, whether it’s people dear to me, the city I live in, the forest I wander through, or the melancholic me I’m taking a film selfie of. In the early years, my photographs would be very object focused and later I began to experiment with film soups and double exposures, starting to recognize it also as a practice of art, trying to tell a story while releasing the shutter again and again.

Photography has even been therapeutic to me in my darkest times. There is a lot of black and white and a shy solemn part inside me, as well as a multitude of colors and a very expressive persona, and I feel my photos reflect this so well. In a way, it’s like by how and what you photograph you are showing who you are at the same time. Fascinating.

What made you gravitate towards film soup as a technique in your photography?

I guess I must have stumbled accidentally on the technique of film soups and am pretty sure it was while I was browsing the Lomography webpage in early 2016. The unexpected and accidental results as well as the beautiful colors just increase the thrill for me to wait patiently and eagerly for the results. To me, film soups are their own category of fine art photography. They possess a lot of decorative potential as well.

photos by @annelutzie_analog

Do you have a go-to recipe you want to share?

My go-to recipe is actually really just a good red wine. You can add a little something extra depending on what you have at home, such as contact lens cleaning liquid that I always have available, and mix it with the soup. Voila, soup is served!

Your recent photos on Instagram show your work for the S-creatives festival. Can you tell us more about it?

The recent photographs on my Instagram have been exhibited last summer during the S-creatives festival, an annual art festival in the town of Savonlinna located in eastern Finland where I live during the summer months. I participated in their open call and was very happy to be given the chance to show my series SVNLNA Soup capturing film-souped impressions of Savonlinna. This year I have the pleasure to be part of the festival's organization team and I’m taking care of the visual art section. I'm especially looking forward to photography content.

photos by @annelutzie_analog

Can you share some of your favorite photos with us?

Probably my all-time favorite photo is from the first roll of film I shot in 2014 with the gifted Canon and it’s also the first one I uploaded to Instagram, a serving of Borschtsch soup. I took it on holiday in Estonia not knowing at the time that a few years later I would be calling Tallinn one of my homes. I believe everything in life is connected and this photo is a reminder to me.

I love the double exposure film soup self-portrait titled EXHAUSTION for how it turned out so visually synonymous with how I felt at the time. The Home Stories series from 2017 (posted in May 2019) with my reliable Minolta X-300 and for their depiction of my home details and the warmth of light. Winter in my Soul series (posted October 2018) that I shot when I was very depressed, and these photos will also be in an upcoming exhibition for Mental Health Art Week this May.

I also love the orange-pinky film soups posted in January 2021 during a walk with BerlinOnFilm, a community very dear to me. I remember the photo posted on the 1st of May 2016 with half a slice of cake was my first distorted film and I got so excited about it. August 2016 posted photos showing mostly delicious food at a family gathering always bring me back home and are sentimentally beautiful to me. I have a lot of favorites!

photos by @annelutzie_analog

How has becoming a mother affected your photography? Has it inspired you in any way and what has it been like photographing your children?

Now as a mom, I use the Fuji Instax camera much more to snap important moments with my children because I feel these will definitely end up more likely in their baby albums than one of the 25th version of them eating their first spaghetti taken with a phone. Also, the pocket-size Instax films are already easy to look through together with my oldest who is 2.5 years old.

I also love that he grows up with his mom still shooting film and that he associates taking a photo with a film camera and needing to look through a viewfinder, not a screen and button on a phone. He actually got his own camera when he was 1.5 years as he got too interested in mom's "toys". I gave him the most simple red plastic point-and-shoot from Hama and his photos are frequent guests on my rolls as well. I would love it if my baby girl grows up the same and shows interest in film photography! I'm very sensitive though about public pictures of children on the internet so that’s why there aren’t any photos of them.

photos by @annelutzie_analog

What's next for you as a photographer?

What is next for me as a photographer would be to get more out of my previous being as a film photographer. I shoot a lot, probably 3-4 rolls per month, for years, but I’m terrible with showing or posting most of my material. A huge part of it is anxiety, and fear of being judged but also disorganization and not using any better platform than Instagram. Probably it’s finally time for me to join Lomography and get me an account there. My brain is not made for the mechanics of Instagram.

I am also really aiming to get better at photographing my children. Plus I like to see more of motherhood on film. And please everyone, don't forget to take a photo of mom with her baby once in a while. My youngest is just three months old and all I do is photograph the baby with everyone else. Help!

Can you share any advice with the Lomography community?

Embrace the imperfection but do get some technical understanding of photography and light (I need to up my game with this as well). And try out a Lomography camera, they are really so fun! Keep making film memories and don’t use your phone too much!

photos by @annelutzie_analog

We thank Anne for sharing her mesmerizing and trippy photos, as well as sharing her story with the community. For those wanting to check out more of her work, you can do so through her Instagram. Got any film soup recipes yourself? Comment them down below.

written by rocket_fries0036 on 2023-03-31 #culture #people #tutorials #experimental #expired-film #mother #finland #still-life #photowalk #germany #actionsampler #estonia #motherhood #film-soup #film-soups

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