Colin Medley on Shooting Musicians with the LomoGraflok


When we saw Colin Medley's work, we knew we had to connect with the Canadian-based photographer to learn more about his oeuvre shooting musicians, as well as his eye-catching portraiture with the LomoGraflok.

Colin has been kind enough to sit down and chat with us today about how he got started shooting musicians, his tips for getting into the scene, and his love for shooting artists with the LomoGraflok.

Photos of Andy Shauf, Debby Friday, Alex G, and Maylee Todd by Colin Medley

Hi Colin, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself and your work?

I’m a photographer based in Toronto, who works primarily with musicians on things like press photos, album covers, as well as occasionally making music videos.

How did you get started in photography?

Growing up, I was lucky to attend a school that still had a darkroom, so I purchased my first SLR (a Nikon FG) and began learning the basics of 35 mm film photography. A few years later I met one of my best friends, and he would lug around a Pentax 67, which made me also want to shoot medium format.

What led you to start shooting musical artists?

I started shooting musicians because my friends in high school were all in bands, and possessing no musical talents myself, I figured my way of contributing to the local music scene would be to document it. I took inspiration from other photographers I looked up to who were heavily involved in their scenes, photographers who captured a time and place and group of people.

Photos of Korea Town Acid, Ducks Ltd., Packs, and James Baley by Colin Medley

How did you discover the LomoGraflok ?

Although I’ve always shot some Instax and Polaroid film alongside my regular work, which is primarily medium format, the instant film cameras I had were all automatic and didn’t give me much control over the image, or used peel-apart film, which as we all know, is no longer produced.

For years I'd wanted something like the LomoGraflok to exist, so when it was announced a few years back I bought one right away. Not sure how I discovered it, you can thank your marketing team I suppose!

Can you tell us about why you gravitate toward the LomoGraflok time and time again for portraiture?

I initially got the LomoGraflok to use with my 4x5 camera in my studio, but since so much of the work I do is out in the field, backstage at concerts or at music festivals, I was looking for something a bit more portable and quicker to use.

I’ve always loved the look of photos shot on the Polaroid Big Shot, and actually shot with one for a while, so when I discovered a camera builder on Instagram who basically built a camera that gave the look of the Big Shot but used the LomoGraflok (attached to a 3D printed body he designed), I knew I had to get one for myself. It’s been super fun to bring out with me the last few years,

I always get a lot of questions about it and musicians tend to like posting those shots on their social media, I guess it’s not every day you get an instant picture taken so close-up.

Photo of Georgia Harmer by Colin Medley

Do you have an all time favorite shot that you've taken with the LomoGraflok?

I like how the photo of Georgia Harmer turned out. Instax doesn’t have the same latitude as film, so if you overexpose even a little bit the highlights can get blown out, but this photo retains quite a bit of detail.

Do you have any advice for those interested in breaking into the music photography scene?

If you’re friends with any musicians or bands, start by shooting them. Maybe find a small local music festival and volunteer to take photos of the artists.

Basically you just need to get your name out there, and if musicians like your work, they’ll think of you when it comes time to hire a photographer, because you’ve hopefully already proven you’re easy to work with and can deliver the goods!

Photos of Waxahatchee, Jeremy Dutcher, Men I Trust, and Bonnie ''Prince'' Billy by Colin Medley

What are your hopes for the future of analogue photography?

I hope it continues to exist, I hope film prices stabilize after the rollercoaster of the last few years, perhaps some new film stocks and cameras continue to get released, and that the knowledge of the folks who have been shooting film and printing in the darkroom forever, as well as repairing cameras, gets passed down to the next generation.

Do you have any upcoming projects or shoots that you can share with our community?

I’ve been working on a zine for the last year, and I really hope to get it done this summer.

Photos of Cola and Hot Garbage by Colin Medley

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Thanks for asking me these questions, and thank you for all the work that you do with all your wonderful products.

I have fond memories of the Lomography store in Toronto, that's where I met my friend Shane who was working there at the time. I actually just shot his wedding using the LomoGraflok, believe it or not.

If you're interested in keeping up with Colin and his work, make sure to check out his Instagram, Vimeo, and website.

written by eloffreno on 2024-06-25 #gear #culture #people #music #musicians #large-format #event-photography #live-event

One Comment

  1. manganalogica
    manganalogica ·

    his work is a big inspiration for me, thanks for the interview

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