We recently talked to Sam Cameron-Hodge about her journey into discovering the LomoApparat and how it became a source of joy and creativity through its simplicity and unpredictable nature. Check out the interview and her experimental snaps below!
Hello Sam, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into film photography.
I love creating and have a room full of art supplies and jewellery-making equipment. I work as a children's mental health practitioner and know how important it is to do the things in life that bring us joy. I try to enjoy the process of creating without worrying about the "product" at the end. I believe that far too often, we're made to believe that everything we do should be productive, perhaps losing the joy in the process.
I find that when I'm being creative, I can fully get out of my own head and go into a flow state. I've always enjoyed taking photos but mostly for memories. During a trip to Manchester in the Spring of 2022, I walked back to my hotel alone as the sun was setting and it turned into an impromptu photo walk with my phone. This sparked something in me. I continued to take photos using my phone and a few months later, I started to wonder about trying film photography. The idea of capturing an image, not knowing how it turned out, and not feeling the need to immediately examine and edit it really appealed to me. We have to wait for so little these days. I liked the idea of challenging that in myself and slowing things down. I was also trying to get away from activities that involved my phone.
How did you discover the LomoApparat?
Whilst doing some research into film photography, I came across the idea of "Lomography", as a form of photography, as well as Lomography the brand, and now my interest was really sparked. The idea of lo-fi methods, and interesting, unpredictable results really appealed to my creativity. It's wonderful to be able to capture what you see and experience in front of you, but I loved the idea of creating something more abstract. I was sure I wanted to be able to easily create multiple exposures so I bought a cheap secondhand Diana Mini. Unfortunately, the Diana Mini wasn't in the best condition but the images I took were certainly interesting and unpredictable, and enough to make me want to learn and do more.
I started looking into other options and found that the LomoApparrat was due to be released. I was excited by the easy-to-use multiple exposure setting and creative lenses. For Christmas 2022, an exceptional friend and supporter of my photography bought me the LomoApparat and, since then, I've been working on improving my technique and seeing what I can come up with.
What are your favorite features of this camera?
My favorite feature is definitely the MX switch. It makes multiple exposures simple and quick. I mostly use it for double exposures but have done more than two. I like bulb mode for taking long exposures and have used this for light trail photography and Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) photography. I also like the Kaleidoscope lens and colored flash filters but use these less often.
We love your doubles and experiments! How to you approach these shots? Do you have something in mind before you shoot?
I really enjoy street and architecture photography so this is what I tend to focus on, but with a creative twist. Sometimes, I see a subject that I think will make an interesting double and, for these, I tend to have a desired outcome in my mind (like with the man sitting on the park equipment). At other times, I might just decide that I want to take double exposure and these are more serendipitous in nature. I'll take an initial shot, avoiding too much light to limit overexposure, and then look for something that I think will work well as the second exposure (like the people in the street with the posters across them).
My ICM shots using film are very experimental and unpredictable, especially using the LomoApparat with its lack of adjustable settings and only bulb mode. However, I find the lack of settings quite freeing. To see a subject, point the camera and shoot it, offers an uncomplicated alternative to all the planning and pressure of everyday life. In addition, I've recently been teaching myself how to print my images using the cyanotype method, which has given me further opportunity to use lo-fi methods, and I really enjoy holding a print that I have made myself.
To see more of Sam's photos visit her Instagram page.