Rachel White's floral-themed film experiments using double exposures, various LomoChrome films and a bit of playful serendipity manages to conjure up a world of fairy tales and fantasy, where rabbits in suits and hats rustle beneath your feet and neon pink cats sleep in trees. We talked to Rachel about these photographs and she explained how the LomoChrome Purple and LomoChrome Turquoise films opened the door to a new creative journey.
Hello Rachel, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in London, UK and work in Finance by day. I began shooting film during the summer of 2020 to break away from the digital art I’d been creating for many years, and to get out of the house during lockdown. I bought a Canon AE1 and spent a lot of time in my local cemetery/arboretum (one of London’s Magnificent Seven). A love of film photography was born! My main photography focus is nature, and in particular flowers.
I have an ever-growing camera collection and enjoy traveling as much as possible to capture nature on film in different parts of the world. As I grew more confident with photography, I wanted to explore new techniques to add an extra dimension to a straight color shot, and try something more artistic. Film soup, EBS (Exposing Both Sides) and double exposures are methods I use to give my photography a different and more experimental look – creating the perfect bridge between art and photography.
What is it about unusual film that you are drawn to and how are you finding the LomoChrome films?
I absolutely love color and find unusual films more appealing to look at. For me, it comes back to wanting to achieve an artistic result, rather than a perfect photograph. The excitement of seeing a world transformed by unusual colors never loses its appeal to me.
Flowers in particular look great and I’ve had some amazing double exposure results too. I’ve tried out many experimental films over the past few years, but always come back to LomoChrome Purple as a favorite – the Petillant version in particular. I also enjoy Turquoise, and the mix of blues and orange is really fun.
We love your photographic style, do you intentionally have a certain look that you are trying to achieve with these photos?
I’m actually quite a dreamer and prefer to shoot film alone where I can be immersed in my environment (I think it's my therapy). I tend to not really have a plan and just do whatever feels right at the time. Over the past few years I’ve found my photographic niche more and gravitate towards what makes me happy – mostly flowers, and mountains (when I can get to them). I really enjoy EBS too as it creates an even more experimental look and everything is left to chance. I like to achieve something that is a little different and stands out, both in color and style. I actually quite like a messy and abstract result as well.
Is there anyone that influences or inspires you?
My inspiration comes less from people and more from the world around me. Every time I venture outside my door I see something worthy of a photograph – from flowers to council flats. Living in London there’s such a melting pot of things to see, from ultra-urban to beautiful parks and flowers. That being said, I love art and spend a lot of time immersed in it. Favorites include, Yayoi Kusama, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Joan Miro.
You also shoot with the Lomo LC-A 120, how are you finding this camera?
The LC-A 120 is great! Super lightweight and handy for urban photography. The results from the glass lens are really nice and the MX button is very useful. I also like that you can change the ISO for different lighting conditions. I use this as an experimental camera and love the medium format aesthetic.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone wanting to try film out what would you say?
Take your time to find your feet. No-one knows much about film when they first start and it's ok to make mistakes and learn from them. After a few failed attempts, I hit the rewind button and went back to basics with a point-and-shoot and regular color film. Once you learn a bit more about the basics you can build on it and start to hone your own style. Also, don’t pay attention to the like count on Instagram – it doesn’t reflect who you are as a photographer or artist.
Thank you to Rachel for sharing her beautiful experimental photography with us. To see more of her work check out her Instagram.