Inspired by art movements such as the Impressionist, Pre-Raphaelite and Pictorialism movements, artist and community member Cecilia Dassonneville's (@vagabonde) photos reveal thought-provoking sentiments underneath their dreaminess.
Cecilia seemingly captures the ethereal on film, like daydreams and passing fancies, surpassing what can be seen with the naked eye.
In this interview we talked to her about her LomoChrome Metropolis album composed of self-portraits and still life images, and she shared with us the profound emotionality and the experiences that fuel her photography.
Hi, Cecilia! Welcome to the magazine. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your photography background? What keeps you shooting film?
I'm half of the electronic/darkwave duo Echoberyl. Two years ago I learned the basics of film during a 16 mm internship. Then I got my first camera. For my band's photos and covers I decided to use film because it has a unique charm and atmosphere. We draw a lot of inspiration from cinema (especially B-movies).
Film has become an addiction. I continued to shoot alone, experimenting with various films, filters and processes. Film photography is part of a personal and artistic exploration.
How was your experience shooting with LomoChrome Metropolis?
The LomoChrome Metropolis is definitely my favorite color film. I love to use it for portraits, as it is very sweet and seems from another time. The atmosphere is unique. It also has something very pictorial.
Which camera did you use for the album?
I used a Pentax Spotmatic II, my first camera. I've been using it for two years now.
Can you walk us through your process for this shoot? Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted the theme to be for this roll of film or did you have a more experimental approach?
I wanted to test a centerfield split diopter filter, and some colored lights I had recently purchased. I wanted the photos to look like paintings, to seem unreal.
I had jotted down a few ideas before the shoot. Zoé and I are very close friends and we like to search together. As often, I finished the roll with some completely improvised selfies.
Do you have a favorite photo in this album?
I like the photo with the red scarf. I have a kind of obsession with not seeing. I had a lot of nightmares about it. My name is Cecilia, which means “blind” in Latin. I was myopic for a good part of my life. Also, I’m very anxious and I tend to flee what’s hurting me.
In this picture, the subject makes the decision to remove the scarf. The dead flowers symbolize what has grown in her head. In general, photography allows me to explore certain dark aspects of myself, to sublimate them to not be afraid anymore. Photography is for me a way to heal.
Are there any other instances you'd like to use LomoChrome Metropolis?
I would like to make a picture film with the LomoChrome Metropolis. Last year I made one called “The Girl and the Mirror” with black and white film, for reasons of budget and convenience. I would like to continue my exploration with another story.
I used the SUC to do some tests while waiting for my first camera. I was surprised by the results of the LomoChrome Purple.
I really like the strange romanticism and all the possibilities offered by this film. I would definitely like to use it again. I am by the way planning to photograph a couple of friends who have just got engaged.
Your photos are mostly dreamy and even your portraits have that ethereal, sort of untethered from reality feel to them. It really fits your LomoHome name as well! Where do you take inspiration from for your photography and are there places that inspire your photography?
Thank you so much for this definition! I am influenced by painting, especially the Impressionist and Pre-Raphaelite movements. I love the Pictorialism movement from the late 19th century.
I also draw my inspiration from cinema (especially that of the 60s and 70s), and the tales I read as a child. Nature and abandoned places inspire me a lot. I like to imagine stories.
What's your dream photo shoot like?
Even if I start with a few ideas, I improvise a lot. I love when the result is surprising, when it goes further than expected. A real dialogue with the model is very important to me. I like when we feel good and we have fun together, when we're going the same way.
I also like when the spot makes me dream and inspires me, when everything is fluid. I can spend hours shooting without noticing the time passing.
Lastly, are there any other projects you'd like to share with our readers?
I’ve spent time in the Parisian goth/dark scene for years now. I would love to make a photobook with all the beautiful souls I meet during shows and events.