Three lucky people would have the chance of winning a couples/engagement/friends photoshoot to take place in London, organised by Rock My Wedding. The shoot would be a challenge as all the photographs would be taken using Lomography camera’s and film.
So, a few weeks ago RMW set off down south to that London town to meet up with the winners. And we took with us a make-up artist, a stylist and some of the best wedding photographers in the business.
What is Lomography?
Lomography is a photographic movement centred around the retro, plastic or toy cameras that you used to be able to buy in the 60’s and 70’s. They provide very stylised and interesting photographs.
They may not be to everyone’s taste – think of Lomography as the marmite of the photography world! But if you do like the style – it may be something you wish to discuss with your own photographer if you are planning an engagement of couples shoot yourself.
A lomography photograph is often referred to as a “lomograph”.
A Lomograph holds a charm all of its own. Somehow, everything is amplified, making ordinary objects stand out, enhancing details that would normally go unnoticed. Characterised by ever-changing variables such as the mysterious vignettes that frame the shot, light leaks, lo-fi grain, beautiful blurs, the magical balance of contrast and saturation … just to name a few.
A combination these factors and a healthy touch of the unexpected go into making each Lomograph unique. Essentially, Lomography embraces the element of surprise that only analogue film photography can bring and wholeheartedly celebrates the outcome.
From Carnaby Street to China Town
The shoot kicked off in the Lomography.com HQ – just off Carnaby street. Retro hair and make-up ideas where discussed with our lucky winners and then created by Love Lust List member Melissa Greening.
Fashion, clothing, accessories and general retro styling (including some fantastical props) where provided by Lauren from Grace And Gable.
Before long our photographers Emma Case, Anna Clarke, Ann-Kathrin Koch and Steve Gerrard where all on the scene and picking out their favoured Lomography camera from the selection we had been given to play with.
There are loads of different lomography cameras and they all have different effects and produce different results. Our videographer for the day, Simon Clarke, was familiarising himself with one of Lomography’s latest offerings – the Lomo Kino.
The Lomo Kino is a clever contraption. It’s essentially a film based videocamera that you can load with normal 35mm camera film and it shoots frames as you turn the handle. It works a bit like a mechanical flick book – You can check out Simon’s results at the end of the post.
With our winners now sporting their chosen retro looks we left Lomography.com HQ and the snapping began. It was a relaxed and informal shoot. Our photographers swapped cameras, swapped models and generally experimented with the environment they found themselves in.
As we walked through Soho to China Town it was great to see how relaxed and playful our competition winners had become. We had dressed them up, put silly hats on them, even coaxed one or two of them into roller boots – but they took everything we threw at them in their stride.
Fans Of Film
It was quite a different experience for our photographers – who all love film photography, but are much more familiar with shooting in digital. There would be no previews of this shoot. No checking shots on the camera back. Instead of having a digital storage allowing thousands of images to be fired off with the intention of selecting the “perfect one” each photographer had just two rolls of film. 72 shots. Every one of them was going to have to count.
London provides the perfect backdrop for this type of shoot. I love the city dearly and on that particular day I experienced a side of it that I had not seen before. Every nook and cranny became a potential shoot location. Little alleyways that would normally go unnoticed were explored and documented.
We managed to persuade Shop keepers to allow us to film in their doorways, we interrupted a wholesale market and provided the stall owners with a bit of entertainment and nearly scared an old chinese man to death. I don’t think he was expecting to find a film crew skulking around his wheelie bins!
So, with shooting on film and with the unpredictable nature of Lomography, there was a fantastic element of surprise built into this shoot – No one would know if it had been a success until those films came back from the lab.
It was a nail biting week or so before I got to see the results, but I must say – I was totally blown away with what I saw. Some of these photographs look like album covers from 70’s prog rock bands… Others are like a psychedelic trip through a crazy warped London from another time. I want them printed HUGE… and I want them on my wall!
Thanks to all of our brilliant Photographers – Emma Case, Anna Clarke, Ann-Kathrin Koch and Steve Gerrard. It is amazing to see the variety of styles, effects and ‘happy accidents’ that occur when you push great photographers together and throw a bunch of unpredictable retro cameras into the mix.
We would love to know what you think of the Lomography style. Would any of you consider having a lomography element to your engagement shoot – or even as part of your wedding day photography? It would certainly give an alternative and unique angle to your albums.
Also, we’d love to know if you have a favourite image from the shoot – drop us a comment and share the Lomography love!