Music is my daily bread. For years I’ve been submerged in a parallel reality that is defined by staffs, measures, beats, and pitches. But a little while ago I was presented with some fine spread for my bread: Lomography!
Allow me to tell you a little history of my musical background so all of you can understand where I come from. 11 years ago I had an obsession with playing drums like Blink 182’s Travis Barker, so I picked up some drumsticks and started taking drum lessons. Shortly after, my father bought me a guitar (apparently I was making too much noise for him to handle) and I slowly left the drum kit aside and started teaching myself how to play my favorite tunes on the guitar. A few years went by and I started writing my own songs, playing in bands, learning to be a front man and getting crowds jumped up and ready for some good old rock and roll.
Sadly, high school came to an end and I had to choose a path of where my life should head. Not to brag but I ranked 3rd in my class when I graduated, so you could say that I could’ve pretty much done anything I wanted with my life. But my passion was clear; I was going to keep doing what I had learned to love over my teen years: music. And so I went to the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico to get a degree in Composition, with the goal of specializing in film scoring and musical theatre once I graduate. I’m currently halfway through this bachelor’s degree, but everyday, for over a year, I keep getting side-tracked, and boy, how I try to fight it. Because there’s a new love that has emerged in my life in the past year, and you probably guessed it: Lomography.
Since Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it, I had to find a way to blend both of my passions so that I wouldn’t be falling behind in school, nor abandoning photography. My instincts and appreciation of beauty led me to one conclusion: what if I can make music influenced by the photographs I take? And so I did. It was very interesting experiment, especially since Lomography is based on the unexpected and unpredictable. It was complicated to understand the kind of photographs I was taking, and to find the meaning behind them – The challenge of being able to create music that would appropriately express what my photos expressed.
I struggled for a while trying to divide my time between my school (musical) responsibilities and my constant desire to be out in the world shooting my Lomography cameras, capturing everyday moments. Luckily for me, everyday moments came to me. Music would become my subject to photograph. Everywhere we turn we’re always surrounded by music, but my favorite targets are street musicians. In the corner of a park, or on a sidewalk in the street, poorly dressed and looking lonely, playing the most beautiful melodies you’ll have probably heard in the day – These are the greatest subjects of my Lomographic adventures.
I find that music goes with everything, especially feelings, and the power it has to control our state of mind. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t your state of mind influence the way you go out shooting with your Lomography cameras? During a recent visit in New York City, I discovered how much my mood and style of shooting was touched by the music playing on my headphones. When I was listening to fun music, dancing around the streets, and walking carefree through the world, I would shoot in the same manner, from the hip, on the ground, to the sky, or completely unexpected.
However, when a mellow tune would come along, my shots would be more composed, and thought out, I would take my time to frame the shots and make sure everything was just the way I wanted it. It felt like finding the right slide film to cross process.
In a very unusual way, music can define photography – Yet in some other cases, like mine, photography can define the music we create. So I say: What are you waiting for? Make a playlist of your favorite songs, and go out shooting! Experience the world in your viewfinder from a brand new perspective! Let the music guide you! And then come back and share your experiences!