Penelope Peralta is a NYC-based photographer whose work focuses on her distinct style of fashion portraiture.
Despite her traditional approach to editorial photography in the studio setting, she has enjoyed utilizing the Lomo'Instant Wide as a photographic companion on shoots for behind-the-scenes shots, as well as as a means of freeing herself to experiment with her work.
Penelope is with us today to discuss how she got into photography, why she loves keeping the Lomo'Instant Wide in her everyday kit, and how she's incorporating her experimental instant photography into an upcoming exhibition.
The exhibition Being & Becoming will present work from twenty-eight students and will feature large-scale printed work and photo-based installations. It is currently running through December 10th at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Hi Penelope, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your work?
Hi Lomography Magazine! My name is Penelope Peralta, and I’m a Puerto Rican-Dominican-American photographer.
I’m originally from Danbury, Connecticut but I’m currently working as a photographer in New York City. I also attend the Fashion Institute of Technology and major in photography.
Within my work, I mostly do fashion portraiture, but I also enjoy capturing personal intimate moments of my life. I mostly shoot digital, but I’ve gotten into shooting 35 mm and Instax film.
Can you tell us about what you shot with the Lomo'Instant Wide ?
With the Lomo’Instant Wide, I first used it to make a small book of double-exposure images. I would take photos of flowers, buildings, portraits, and self-portraits. Then, I would use it in the studio or on-location fashion shoots.
Recently, I’ve used it to create a series of images to document my process when I creatively produce my photoshoots. I’ve implemented this in a body of work in an exhibition I’m currently in with other FIT students.
Why do you find the Lomo'Instant Wide a companion for you on shoots time and time again?
Whenever I bring out the Lomo’Instant Wide, the people I collaborate and work with get so excited about the camera itself. The camera’s rectangular shape stands out. When people realize it takes Instax photos, we all get overly excited to create images on the instant film.
I also enjoy the tangibleness of holding an image instantly because I shoot mostly digitally.
What do you think is the appeal of instant photography these days?
The appeal for me is the tangibleness of holding an image and being able to share it in various ways. Also, just seeing the image develop instantly and being curious how it will turn out.
What's your favorite feature of the Lomo'Instant Wide?
My favorite feature of the Lomo’Instant Wide is the multiple exposure button! It’s really the reason why I can not put the camera down. I love thinking about exposure compensation when creating a double or multiple exposure photo, and the excitement of how it will turn out.
Do you have a favorite shot that you've taken on the Lomo'Instant Wide?
I have a few favorites, but one shot that gets some attention is of legs on stairs. I took that photo when I collaborated on a project with an all-female team for a photoshoot!
The creative director had booked this 1920s house in Harlem, and the whole team worked creatively and freely to produce stylized photographs.
I was on the top floor of this house, and I looked down and instantly (no pun intended!) took the shot. The depth of the stairs was interesting, and just a subtle detail of the legs added to the image. It’s one of my favorites because it is more experimental than what I normally create.
If you could take the Lomo'Instant Wide anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Tough question! I haven’t traveled much and have only stayed on the North-East Coast of the United States. So, really anywhere! I would love to have it with me wherever I go. I’m interested in taking the camera to the countries my parents originate from and capturing the environment and culture there.
Do you have any upcoming shoots or projects that you can share?
Yeah! As I mentioned before, I used the Lomo’Instant Wide on a photo shoot that I produced for an exhibition I’m a part of with other FIT students! I’ve used the camera to document the creative production behind my photoshoots and presented scans and the actual Instax photos in the exhibition.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I really enjoy the Lomo’Instant Wide, and I thank Curtis Willocks for showing me the camera and letting me borrow one to try out.