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InstaFave Friday: Solo

FilmInstaFave Fridayinstagram December 2, 2016

Flying solo doesn’t have to be lonely.

indiefilmlab_aidahadid @aidahadid

indiefilmlab_galereeves @galereeves

indiefilmlab_kirstensciberras @kristensciberras

indiefilmlab_organiconcrete @organiconcrete

Artist Spotlight: Ethan Gulley

Artist SpotlightFilminstagramInterview November 30, 2016



Forget the filters of social media and grabbing a moment and moving on. Ethan Gulley lives and works in chapters. The rich tones of his images are full of nostalgia and an appreciation for life as is, despite clocking just 23 years here on earth so far. Whether its drawing, painting, or photography, he’s drawn to portraits and capturing all the little details of someone’s face. His images portray people in a good times vibe—a style that’s gained him work with brands based in authenticity, like Alabama-based Loyal Stricklin, and fashion scenes alike. Ethan is an Alabama native and recent Los Angeles resident. His parents first handed him a disposable camera to use on family trips around the age of 7. And in 2012 he made photography his full-time work. In 2016, he began Sonder Quarterly—printed collections of adventures and experiences documented in chapters and pages that reflect on the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. They sum up a little of his Southern life and travels afar. Y’all enjoy this week with Ethan over at @indiefilmlab. It’s going to be groovy and gorgeous all at once. A quick note from Ethan we couldn’t leave out: “I love working with a team of people that help elevate each others ideas.” That’s a little bit of what it’s all about on our side of the camera.




IFL: How did photography become a part of your life?
EG: I’ve been into art for as long as I can remember. I was drawing before I could read or write. I’ve always been a big fan of anything art related, so I think along with wanting to document my family vacations at a young age, photography came to me more seriously in high school as another form of art to experiment with. I got my first really camera in 10th grade and haven’t stopped shooting since.

IFL: Why film?
EG: In today’s society we’re all so wrapped up in who can get the most perfect shot the fastest so that they can post it and get the most likes. Shooting film lets you forget about all that and just shoot for the joy of capturing photos. Without the instant gratification of seeing the photo on the back of your camera, you make each shot count a little more. And not to mention all the happy accidents. Some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken ended up being shots I forgot about from 4 months prior with a huge light leak across the entire photo. Film photos have a timeless and unique quality to them.






IFL: What/who/where gets you inspired?
EG: My friends. My family. Traveling. Movies. Old Life magazines.

IFL: Do you have a favorite geographical place to shoot?
EG: I’ll always have a deep love for the South, but I also enjoy the vastness and the variety the West has to offer.

IFL: What’s your favorite film stock?
EG: Portra 400 or Gold 200.





IFL: What other art forms or artists are you drawn to?
EG: movies movies movies. I can’t tell you how much inspiration I get both consciously and subconscious from movies. And of course art itself——paintings, drawings, sculptures, other photographs, you name it. MC Escher, Dali, and Van Gogh are a few of my all time favorites.







IFL: Any challenges you find in being a film photographer? Or supporting yourself as an artist?
EG: It’s definitely not cheap. And not nearly as forgiving as digital. And not everyone (clients) understand/appreciate it. But that just means those clients that do are all the more awesome.

IFL: Favorite moment/or one of favorites you’ve ever captured
EG: Since I’ve yet to experience big, big life altering moments like marriage or having kids, that’s impossible to pick for me. It would probably have to be any genuine moment of happiness I’ve shared with someone close to me.






IFL: Any gear secrets you’re up for sharing?
EG: I feel like I don’t have any secrets to share. I like to focus more on what is in front of my camera than what the camera itself is. That being said, I do love my pentax k-1000 for its robust simplicity, my olympus xa for its compactness, and my canon eos élan for its reliability.

IFL: Do you travel often for work? What does your everyday look like when not traveling?
EG: I moved to California to accept a full-time content creator position at an ad agency, so I guess you could say I travel for work. Now that I’m out here, I have traveled back to AL for a few shoots and have some weddings coming up. And I’ve done some close travel here in CA for magazine work.







What makes you feel awesome? Music. Weather. Great food.
The weather in California is pretty great (although I do miss the rain.) Good food, a good hike, and a good movie.

Favorite thing about your current home/town.
The fact that the beach is a couple blocks away and the desert is an hour away in the other direction is pretty incredible.

Food you love:
I love a good cheeseburger.

Music I’m into lately:
Jacuzzi Boys, The Shouting Matches, The Districts, You Won’t, Sports, The Mattson 2

Do your family/friends think photography is cool or nerdy?
Probably a little bit of both. I should ask them.

More of Ethan’s work here:
Website –
Sonder Quarterly –
Instagram – @ethangulley

InstaFave Friday: Week of Goodness

FilmInstaFave Fridayinstagram November 4, 2016

It was a week of goodness on @indiefilmlab feed. Thanks for all the love.Keep tagging your posts. Scroll-stoppers welcome.

indiefilmlab_caseyleephoto @caseyleephoto


indiefilmlab_kristinaadamsphoto @kristinaadamsphoto

indiefilmlab_santishootsfilm @santishootsfilm

InstaFave Friday: Just Be You

FilmInstaFave Fridayinstagram October 28, 2016

indiefilmlab_james_tevin_ @james_tevin

indiefilmlab_melinejeannephoto @melinejeannephoto

indiefilmlab_jryanpaz @jryanpaz

Artist Spotlight: Polly Alexandre

Artist SpotlightinstagramInterview October 24, 2016



Polly Alexandre is a name known for great style, images infused with light and being wise in the world of business. Although Polly’s time behind the camera has grown into much more, she continues to create beauty in magical places, including her homes in Ibiza and London, and destination weddings around the world. Exploring film and logging hours in the dark room began for her in college, but sticking with film through the digital trend helped her images stand out and establish a brand and consistency worthy of a Martha Stewart Weddings cover image and many more honors. We’re delighted for Polly to share the week with us on Instagram. It’s likely you’ll be just as inspired by the life she’s created for herself as an artist.




IFL: How did photography become a part of your life?
PA: When studying art at school, I learned photography in the darkroom, devoting my own film, and printing my own images. I fell in love with the magic of the process. I won the first photography competition I ever entered – for the Worldwide Fund for Nature, and my image was featured in their annual calendar.

At university where I read psychology, I shot for the newspapers in the evenings shooting bands. I’d get a press pass to the shoot from the pit for the first 3 songs only (strictly no flash, so this was all about pushing the B&W film). After a drink backstage with the band if I was lucky, I headed to the darkroom to develop my own film and print up the image for the paper the next day.
At this time I got my first regular commission shooting the club scene, and my very first image in print!

I continued to enjoy photography as a hobby, until I got to the age of 28, and realised it was now or never, and leapt off the corporate ladder to pursue my creative dreams. It was terrifying at the time, but I haven’t looked back & it’s worked out better than my wildest dreams!

After having an intense apprenticeship in a studio, and going back to uni to study photography, I fell in love with weddings by accident, and realised I could earn good money doing what I loved. How little I knew back then! Sometimes naivety is a good thing!










IFL: What/who/where gets you inspired?
PA: In terms of photographers the ones that captured my heart early on were the first colour street photographers—Stephen Shore, William Eggleston & Josh Sternfeld. I saw an incredible exhibition at the Tate Modern in London—their first big photography show and it below me away with what was possible with the medium. Hearing Joel Sternfeld speak at the gallery left a huge impression on me.

This eventually led on to a career change, and I took an MA in Fine Art Photography, which I didn’t actually finish because my wedding photography business took off at the same time and I found it so fulfilling and engaging I decided to focus on the weddings instead. It has given me an incredible life and wonderful opportunities, and I am very grateful for it. I’ve slowed down the weddings lately as my coaching business took off, and I’m excited to focus more on personal projects.

As well as those classic colour documentary photographers, I love the work of Paolo Roversi, Nadiv Kander, and Sally Mann.

I get inspired by golden hour light, the landscape, epic sea views, beauty and silence, modern art and minimalism. I love space in images and art.






IFL: Why film?
PA: When I started there was no digital!
I spent my 20’s working in advertising, then I had a career change in my last 20’s to pursue my love of photography. Now I learned to colour hand print too which I loved!

When it came to starting my wedding photography business, it was right around the very first digital cameras were coming in, but with my long held love of analogue it was a no-brainer to shoot film. Over the next few years digital came to completely take over, but my continuation to offer film became my point of difference. My images looked different to the rest of the work out there in the UK, and so I picked up some amazing clients, including film directors, artists, and other photographers. I was able to change a premium for my work because it stood out, and I got approached by magazines who wanted to feature my work.

IFL: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
PA: I am also a business and success coach for creative entrepreneurs and I mentor creatives all over the world to create amazing visions for their lives and businesses, make more money and attract more ideal clients. The power of the coaching work blows me away and right now that’s my main focus in terms of business. I run a group coaching programme called Passionate Prosperity and have a full roster of private clients including photographers, designers, coaches, videographers, wedding planners, and other creatives. I love supporting creative business owners to create their big visions and make more money, create the lifestyle of their dreams AND have creative fulfillment. You don’t have to choose between them!

I’m also super excited about the new lifestyle blog for creative entrepreneurs that I just launched, showcasing all the things that inspire me, my archive of personal photographic work, and sharing what I have learned along my journey. You can see it here:










IFL: Do you have a favorite geographical place to shoot?
PA: Ibiza & Italy for the magical landscape and light, and Paris/London for the chic interiors.

IFL: What’s your favorite film stock?
PA: Neopan 400 & 1600. Yes, I still have stashes! For colour work, Fuji 400H.

IFL: What other art forms or artists are you drawn to?
PA: I really love painting, especially modern abstract expressionism. I studied art and actually apprenticed with a painter in London for 2 years before moving to Ibiza. I create works that mix photography with painting.
Art galleries are my happy place.










IFL: Any challenges you find in being a film photographer? Or supporting yourself as an artist?
PA: The most powerful thing I have done for myself is this area is to invest in coaching and shift my money mindset. Many artists & creatives have a low wealth consciousness and hold lots of negative beliefs about money and what’s possible for them. Transforming your money story is incredibly important is being able to charge your worth.

Getting supported massively cuts the timeline that it takes to get to where you want to be. A mentor makes the journey faster and easier. Don’t be scared to invest in yourself, you’ll make it back many times over.

The other area I see most photographers missing out on is building a team. They stay a one man band and don’t invest in enough support, so they can’t grow their business.


IFL: Favorite moment/or one of favorites you’ve ever captured
PA: Personal work—it has to be the very first time I picked up a medium format camera. I borrowed a beast from college,the Mamiya RB, and headed to a British seaside town for the weekend. I literally loaded my first ever roll of medium format film and went out shooting on the street. That project got published in the British Journal of Photography, and shortlisted for their Best Newcomer annual award. I was so thrilled!

Here’s one of those first shots:




I also love the projects I have shot in India over the years.
For client work, my grainy black and white documentary shots are my absolute favorite.

IFL: Any gear secrets you’re up for sharing?
PA: Honestly I am not at all techy. I believe images come from your soul, and being present in the moment & connecting to subjects from your heart. What I create is a reflection of how I see the world & what I am feeling.
My 50mm 1.2 is my fave 35mm lens, the Contax my favourite wedding camera, and I also love cheap disposables, the Diana, and the Holga, for their unpredictable effects.

IFL: Do you travel often for work? What does your everyday look like when not traveling?
PA: When I moved to Ibiza 6 years ago, I was constantly on planes – sometimes every week. Almost every wedding became a destination wedding, and I was constantly on the road.

One of the reasons I started my coaching business was to travel less. Now when I am at home in Ibiza, I have a pretty structured day that allows me to allocate time to run all 3 lanes of my business. I start the day with a wellbeing ritual of meditation, affirmations, journalling & visualisation, and then 3 days a week I work out with my trainer. I start coaching at 9am and run through to 6pm, with blocks of time in the week allocated to specific projects like photography production, writing & creating content. Friday afternoons tend to finish up in my favourite cafe, and I love having more weekends off now I am shooting less weddings.




What makes you feel awesome?
Dancing outdoors in the sunshine to great music. Laughter and love, blowdries and bulldogs, seeing my clients create their biggest dreams, and crystal healing.

Favorite thing about your current home/town:
The natural beauty of the landscape. The epic light and dramatic skies.

Food you love:
Raw desserts, sushi and a sneaky burger every now and again.

What makes you dance? Do you dance?
Ibiza makes me dance. There’s no better place in the world to party, and music permeates the island everywhere you go.

Can you handle skinny jeans?
I sure can! I don’t work out at 7:45am with my trainer for nothing, haha!

Favorite music:
Dance/house & chill out music. I think that’s what you guys call EDM. I grew up in the era of illegal raves, when the rave scene started in the UK, so electronic dance music will forever be a part of my heritage. And yes, I have pictures! All shot on black and white 35mm film. Not many though…..I was too busy partying and having a good time to shoot!

More of Polly’s work here:
Website – and
Blog –
Lifestyle Blog –
Instagram – @polly_alexandre

InstaFave Friday: A classic

FilmInstaFave Fridayinstagram September 30, 2016

Who doesn’t love a good, black and white portrait?

indiefilmlab_trevorchristensen @trevorchristensen

indiefilmlab_wi2 @wi2

indiefilmlab_jasongraves_photography @jasongraves_photography

indiefilmlab_soheilbehroozi @soheilbehroozi

InstaFave Friday: Scroll-stopper

FilmInstaFave Fridayinstagram September 23, 2016

Scroll-stopper: an image or post that stops the seemingly involuntary, repeated motion of the upward thumb swipe

Y’all get it, right? Lisa Blume stopped our scroll and led us down a pleasure-fest over on her feed. Help yourself to a little peek too.




Artist Spotlight: Paula Player

Artist SpotlightFilmInterview September 19, 2016



Paula Player is a wedding photographer on the South Carolina coast that is making it happen in a business inspired by bold hues and a colorful personality alike. Paula teamed up with her brother Pablo, both Colombia natives, to pursue her interest in making photography a career dream realized. Traveling with her parents to America and deciding on work behind a lens rather than a traditional education was a leap both huge and hard at the age of 20. Almost 10 years later, she’s enjoying the speed and lively lifestyle her work has become alongside being a wife and mom. Paula will be joining our Instagram feed this week and no doubt kick starting a few daydreams of the Myrtle Beach coastline for us all.




IFL – How did photography become a part of your life?
PP – When I was in the midst of starting my college degree to become a Spanish teacher, I really felt the tug to take a quick photography class. Even though I didn’t excel at the class, I knew this was what I wanted to do. It fit my personality and has helped me reach my greatest dreams so far.






IFL – What/who/where gets you inspired?
PP – I am inspired by great artists such as Rembrandt and Frida Khalo and by musicians like Miles Davis and Celia Cruz; and overall by people that are willing to do everything to grow a craft and give the best of themselves to it. I’m also constantly inspired by my parents, being immigrants, continue to do whatever on their power to help my brother and I. My husband has such dedication to us and my children are always keeping me outside of my comfort zone and their hugs when I get home from photo shoots are great.


IFL – Why film?
PP – There’s an amazing sentiment about film that I love. I can always put my camera in front of my face and see the world in a different light and perspective. Film is just a more sensible and true form of expression for me. What I have in mind is more easily translated when I am using film.





IFL – What’s your favorite film stock?
PP – Fujifilm 400 H / Portra 800


IFL – What other art forms or artists are you drawn to?
PP – Painting and drawing, I am always interested in areas where you create by hand. Also jewelry making, I think that’s a beautiful form of art.


IFL – If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
PP – Something creative for sure. I love to work with colors and shapes and an overall dynamic of fun! I also love training (gym) and eventually I’d love to extend the knowledge I have there to helping other become more healthy and fit.





IFL – Any challenges you find in being a film photographer? Or supporting yourself as an artist?
PP – Yes, there’s the challenge of the time that it takes during a wedding to spend doing film. Sometimes it takes longer to craft the images. Also, the financial aspect. Having to charge extra or not—it’s an area where I feel like I could grow and add new options.


IFL – Favorite moment/or one of favorites you’ve ever captured?
PP – One of my favorite moments was about 3 years ago, when I was just starting to use in film at weddings. I put my digital camera away because I wanted to capture the grandparents of the bride in this format. I got to talking to the grandfather and I asked if I could get his portrait. He simply smiled. One shot is all I took. I wasn’t sure yet if it would turn out. A week after the wedding, I learned he passed. The family was saddened and they didn’t know I had taken that single portrait. When I got my scans back, all my eyes were looking for was his simple smile and there it was. It was one of the most rewarding moments for me and the family were forever grateful.






IFL – IFL – Any gear secrets you’re up for sharing?
PP – The less gear I have with me, the better it turns out . When I have too many options, my mind goes on overwork mode and I just fumble going from lens to lens, film to film, etc. The best advice is to only take 2 lenses at at time and interchange them during the session to be more free to move around, use your hands to pose, be expressive.


IFL – Do you travel often for work? What does your everyday look like when not traveling?
PP – Normally, I travel at least to one internationally commissioned job and several nationwide weddings. I am very close to Charleston, SC, which is a big city for weddings! My days when I am not traveling are both simple and complicated! I have a studio which I go in almost daily to check in on my day to day email, scheduling, editing. I try to get a good workout somewhere in between that, a little soccer, running around the area, grab coffee and lots of times I am creating backdrops for photo shoots I host at the studio. I have two small boys, so they add a lot of fun to our days. We try to do pool time as much as we can, and we will go to the beach and take photos. My boys are my models for anything fun I feel like trying!




What makes you feel awesome?
Music is like a fuel to me—I jam to lots of different rhythms. Lots of Spanish music! Being from South America, I am very drawn by my patriotic roots, so I love some Marc Anthony, Ismael Rivera, Romeo. Music gives me a breath of fresh air while editing.

Favorite thing about your current home/town.
Weather!! Well, although the weather is difficult to control sometimes for photo shoots! Besides that, I love the amazing low country scenery we get to see on a daily basis. Another thing I love is how close locations are from one to another, typically most errands/shoots are with a 30-45 min distance, so we can accomplish a lot in just one day!

Food you love.
I am such foodie! This is a struggle for me. I LOVE tacos in a real bad way.

What makes you dance?
I am a salsa dancer at heart! Absolutely love all the styles, variations and everything to do with it!

Do your family/friends think photography is cool or nerdy?
My family are so proud of how I’ve just taken up photography and run with it. They ask me often what I am doing new and just how my business is going. My father was a huge influence for me as a little girl. We would develop photos and those memories always stuck with me and eventually I wanted to re-live the passion of photography.

I am absolutely blessed to be able to do this art for a living and share with others the joy it really brings me. I love being at weddings and photographing kids. I am happy just creating pictures. To me this is the best job in the world, and that’s why I feel I am successful. It’s because I do something I really love.


More of Paula’s work here:

Website –
Blog –
Instagram – @paulaplayer

InstaFave Friday: A portion

FilmInstaFave Fridayinstagram September 16, 2016

Here’s to the moments that hold a little piece of our hearts.

indiefilmlab_scrottgravlee @scrottgravlee

indiefilmlab_laurenjollyphoto @laurenjollyphoto

indiefilmlab_johnhdwagner @johnhdwagner

indiefilmlab_hollycauresma @hollycauresma

indiefilmlab_aliza_rae @aliza_rae

Indie Scene: Nancy Ray Photography on Southern Weddings blog

FilmIndie LifeIndie ScenePublished September 15, 2016

The Nancy Ray Photography team shared a peak inside Callie’s home on Southern Wedding’s blog. Oh, we’re a sucker for a home tour and the chance to see heartfelt images filling up spaces. Check out the full post here: Callie and Jamie’s Home Tour