She is young & talented and talented & young. Her photographs would undeniably justify these reversible descriptions. Seeing her stream of film photos entrances you into a dreamlike fantasy: inspiring, magical, vivid, and sometimes haunting in a lovely kind of way. And just like a wonderful dream, you’ll want to go back to sleep again and again so you can dream more and, maybe, assimilate right into the beauty of her color negative stills itself. Mary Robinson, you make our eyes swoon.
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m Mary Robinson. I’m 17 and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m going to be a senior next year and I plan to apply to art school this fall.
How/When did you begin taking pictures? What was your first camera?
I started taking pictures about a year ago when I dug my mom’s old Canon AE-1 film camera. Before that, I used disposable cameras.
Describe your style in photography. What are your usual subjects and themes?
I mostly photograph my friends. I have a few really good (and photogenic!) friends that live close by. If I’m not taking pictures of my friends, I’m photographing my little sister. She’s very sweet and let’s me pour bubbles on her, write all over her body, make her bathe in glitter, lie in the snow, etc. If I can’t find anyone to take pictures of, I’ll photograph my pets. I’m interested the most in portraiture.
Amongst your numerous film photographs, which is your favourite?
My sister is one of the easiest people to photograph because of her patience and sincerity about everyone and everything. She’s never uncomfortable in front of the camera and she poses very honestly. I love all of my photographs of her.
We all have our idols, which photographers do you look up to?
One of my favorite photographers from Atlanta is Tierney Gearon. When I first started to show an interest in photography my mom’s best friend encouraged me to go hear Tierney Gearon speak at the High Museum downtown. Her “Explosure” Series inspired me to experiment with double exposure photography. Sally Mann is another great photographer that I look up to. Like Tierney Gearon, she takes amazing portraits of her kids.
If you could take anyone’s portrait using film, can be living or dead, who (would it be), which (camera would you use), and why?
I know this is probably a really cliche answer, but I’d love to photograph Audrey Hepburn. She’s one of my favorite people and has always inspired me. Her look is timeless and classic, and she is still an icon today as much as she was back then. I would probably just stick with my Canon AE-1.
Analogue vs. Digital. What makes analogue/film photography more special than digital?
I will always like film photography more than digital. I don’t know what it is about digital that I can’t grasp, but it’s always been too complicated for me to work with. Film is so much simpler. I also love the look of film. The grain, the imperfections are so much more beautiful than the perfect look of digital.
A lot of people are into photography today, what would you say to them to inspire them more?
Don’t get stuck in your comfort zone. Explore photography. Don’t be afraid to try different things; go for it and the results will surprise you.
Do you have any ongoing/future projects?
I have a few ideas I’m working on but it’s a secret!