Lomography stands for a freer and louder style of shooting — closer to life itself. We don’t believe that there is a right or a wrong way of shooting, and we don’t subscribe to art school classics like framing and composure. Instead, we believe that photography should be an extension of your existence — never an intrusion within it. We want you to feel the moment, to surrender to impulse and click the shutter — whether from the hip, from the ground, upside down or in mid-air. Don’t think, just shoot.
Before diving into our latest competitions, let the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography inspire your creativity!
Like any passion, you can never plan or predict Lomography. It’s like your inner voice and your deepest desires working at the same time. Lomography is waiting around the corner to say “Hey good looking, wanna go for a ride?” You absolutely never know when that next chance for a perfect snapshot will arise. Perhaps it’s when you are brushing your teeth in the morning, maybe it’s when you’re at the top of Machu Picchu. The very best photos come from those moments of spontaneity and impulsiveness you can never plan for.
Every second is special; every moment is monumental. You don’t only live in sunshine, daytime, on holidays and on Aunt Frida’s birthday, do you? Start thinking the same way about your photography! Your camera is hungry for thrills and spills, whatever the weather, whatever day of the week it is and whatever time it is. So keep shooting restlessly and relentlessly; give your memory a kick in the ass with your lovely, crazy, beautiful, artistic and silly Lomographs. Esse est percipi est Lomographi. Use your camera whenever you’re alive!
Your camera is an extension of you and your desires. It sees as you see, captures the feelings that you feel as you take each photo, and breathes fresh life into every photo and each day you spend with it. Hold it in your hand as you wander the streets of Shanghai and keep it next to you on your bedside table as you sleep near the beach in Santorini. As a Lomographer, you are not only photographing a situation, you are an essential part of the situation itself. Life inhales Lomography and Lomography inhales life. Lomography is a powerful sign of your existence, a constant confession of your lust for life and a magnetic field of your most intense feelings.
Your camera loves to be in the moment, experiencing life and the vitality of being. Don’t hide behind it; break free from nonsensical conventions. Don’t look through the viewfinder; forget about safety margins and unnecessary shyness! And why should a photo always be taken whilst standing up and looking through the viewfinder? If we did that all the time, every photo would be from the same kind of perspective. How about holding your camera below the knees for your next shot? Or as high as you can hold it above your head? You’ll end up with all manner of crazy photos you never realized were possible. Give it a go!
An essential part of your Lomographic existence is to get right to the bottom of things and investigate the world from the inside. It’s about intimacy and a connection with what you’re shooting. We hate that feeling of being a voyeur with a camera, sneaking around in the background. We want to be where the action is, taking shots which will literally knock your socks off! Get in contact with your subject and build up a relationship. More communication equals better Lomography. Get close, now even closer, don’t be afraid!
Remember when you were a kid and everything happened so naturally and instinctively? When all life flowed and wasn’t planned and constructed meticulously? Those were the good old days right!? Things just happened and all of life was a fairy-tale unravelling itself to you; every moment was special and you didn’t need to think for it to be that way. Let’s go back to those days. Throw your intellectual socialization overboard, let the unfiltered flow of information circulate freely, untreated and unrated in your mind. Shoot, feel, perceive and shoot, have fun; photograph whatever catches your eye, whatever attracts you, astounds you, excites you, seduces you. Your best shots won’t be the ones you plot and plan. They’ll be the ones where you grab your camera and shoot blind, without a care in the world.
Let’s face it, life is fast. Each moment lasts just that — a moment. Each second rushes by and you need to react quickly to capture that magical shot. Snap, snap, snap, snap. You need a camera which is sharper than a spoon. Or at least sharper than you if you didn’t get that! So, cowgirls and cowboys: calmly hold your finger on the shutter button, grab your guts and be quick to catch the wink of time and accidental destiny. Hold your breath, be brave, take a chance, move, shoot, have fun and act fast — that’s Lomography!
If we all knew how life would turn out, where would the fun and excitement be? The best thing about each day is that you have no idea how it will unfold. You are totally free to make anything you want from it! And it’s the same with photography. We don’t take photos because we want to record life like a scientist looking through a telescope. We take photos because we want to relive the passion, excitement, uncertainty and pleasure of that particular moment. So go with the flow, take a snap and see where the photo ends up!
So you get a roll of film back from the lab. Who is that person? What’s that swirl of light flickering across the image? How did the colors turn out like that? Or what about that accidental double exposure — how the hell did that happen? What was I even trying to shoot there? It’s these happy accidents that we love about shooting Lomographs. Your photos are a constant recording of life in all its anomalies, moods, shapes, colors, faces and blurs. Embrace them and enjoy them, don’t try to analyze them!
Now for the most important lesson. Life is about remaining true to yourself, not giving into rules and regulations or conforming to norms. It’s time to discover your own version of Lomography and to take photos which express who you are, not who you are told to be. Set free your innermost desires, never stop moving, never stop Lomographing; believe in yourself, focus on the important and not so important things, enjoy life in all its variations, forget about the camera in your hand and shoot ’til your eyes are glowing!