For this week’s LomoPeople, shelley writes an ode to the woman who introduced her to analogue and continues to keep the dream alive. Let’s all meet Debi!
Debi has been taking analogue photographs for as long as I can remember. Her love of analogue runs so deep it creates a mental barrier for her when it comes to digital cameras- she just can’t figure them out. Debi bought me my first analogue camera, taught me how to load the film, and encouraged me to run wild with the possibilities. She taught me how to see a photograph in every moment; how to think with my mind’s lens.
Each element of a given scene is crucial in the construction of the emotional connection, the vivid memory, the instance in time. I wanted to capture these lessons in a picture of Debi herself.
This accidental double-exposure is an immense story in and of itself. When they returned to the States after several years in Germany, Debi and her husband drove that truck from Bayonne, New Jersey to Killeen, Texas with their dog Holly in tow. Their first few months back were spent enjoying the countryside. Those are Debi’s running shoes in the bed of the truck and she’s holding her husband’s beer in a cosy. On that particular weekend, they drove down to Waco to ride horses. She is happy in this photograph, something that is not so easy to capture on film for Debi. Though she did not take this picture, she did develop the entire roll herself in a darkroom in the same studio where she and her husband made their own wedding rings. She’s not wearing her wedding ring, but she is wearing her favorite sweater. That sweater is made of rabbit fur, soft and fragile, worn too often to ever make it to the prescribed dry-cleaner.
Debi once told me that if she ever took photographs for a living, she would only develop real film herself. I admire this in her; this desire to be self-sufficient, to do things on her own whenever she can. Debi grows her own vegetables in a garden she plows with her own hands. She sews her own dresses while her husband makes his own kayaks. They shoot their own deer, make their own pickles, craft their own lives. I have a lot to learn from Debi and she has always been happy to teach me.
Debi thinks analogue photography is a lost art. Armed with the knowledge and wisdom she has imparted on me, I am a member of the movement that will keep analogue photography alive. Thank you, Debi.