Catch a glimpse of @JoshuaMoates feed this week? He’s killin’ it with throwbacks from a NYC visit. We’re all daydreaming right along with you, Josh.
Everybody has that friend that everyone loves. Here’s ours. Our local, walk-in, coffee drinking friend Selma Pete Williams shot in our studio on Fuji gf670 and Kodak tri-x by @joshuamoates scanned on the Imacon. Hope everyone has a Selma in their life.
There’s a treasure trove full of fine souls born and bred in Montgomery, Ala. home. One of them is Indie’s developer, Thomas Lucas. Photography, art and music are all part of his story and vividly displayed on his new site launched this month. His style: focusing his lens on subjects and scenes full of emotion. Boudoir, travel, documentary—they all posses a sensuality and depth that shows he’s really looking and really listening to what’s around.
We’re a lot proud of this guy for pushing out a fantastic site of work, and for his keeping on at the lab all the while. We know you’ll enjoy more of his work and chatting it up on Instagram the rest of the week.
IFL – How did photography become a part of your life?
TL – I have been surrounded by photography my entire life thanks to my grandfather and my dad. It wasn’t until an image I took while living in New Orleans was published as a book cover in Germany that I thought I should probably take this hobby of mine a little more seriously. Since then, I’ve continued to work on honing my skill. That was around 2010.
FL – What/who/where gets you inspired?
TL – There are a few things that inspire me whenever I can’t come up with an idea or I need it to set the mood. The first being music. As odd as it may seem, 80’s early 90’s music with a dash of classical tends to season the inspiration brain receptors. When it comes to primarily boudoir and sometimes editorial work, I look to Alphonse Mucha. He was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist. His work has a flow to it that I’ve always loved and try to capture in my work. Lastly, Annie Leibovitz. Her earlier work is what I’ve been a huge fan of and the way she worked on those iconic images. She spent time with the person, getting to know what makes them them and capturing it perfectly.
IFL – Why film?
TL – I haven’t always been a film shooter. When my digital was stolen from me almost two years ago, I had to make a decision on whether or not I truly wanted to continue with photography. Working at Indie Film Lab as the developer, it kind of made sense to continue. I love film and I love digital. Yes, both have a distinct look about them and to the trained eye you can tell the difference, but with all the options out there for making your digital work look like film why bother shooting film? It’s the process. It takes longer. The anticipation of seeing the moments you captured can be nerve racking, but the hope that you captured something you wanted or weren’t expecting and receiving it days later is and can be rewarding. Film also is a good way to build confidence and self esteem in knowing you got the shot and without having to look at an LCD screen every few seconds.
IFL – Favorite moment/or one of favorites you’ve ever captured
TL – One of my most favorite moments I’ve captured was last year on February 9th. It was a cool, rainy day and gay marriage became legal in Alabama. The two women that would become the poster child and one of the first same-sex marriages in Alabama were getting married in my hometown of Montgomery. I knew this would be an event to experience with my own eyes and to document it so that others could witness it as well. The moment I captured was their first kiss with all of the big name news company photographers capturing the moment. The circled around them like vultures trying to get the “shot” that would make the headlines. Since I was shooting film, I was too late to get any of my photographs out fast enough for possible publication. I got the photograph printed for my personal collection so that one day when I’m older I can look back and remember that spectacular day.
IFL – Any gear secrets you’re up for sharing?
TL – Something that has always been said to me or around me is your best camera you have is the one that’s on you. I stick to using natural light as much as possible. I primarily shoot with a Nikon FM2 with either a 35mm f1.4 or 55mm f1.2. Other equipment I use from time to time: Nikon F3, Mamiya RZ67 with a 110mm f2.8 or 50mm f4.5, and a Fuji X100T.
IFL – Do you travel often for work? What does your everyday look like when not traveling?
TL – I don’t travel as much I’d like. A change of scenery and lighting is nice to enhance your skill. Even though I’m not often traveling, I’m processing everyone’s film from all across the world. In a way it’s kind of like traveling every day.
IFL – If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
TL – If I weren’t a photographer, I’d be fighting crime at night. Batman
IFL – Do you have a favorite geographical place to shoot?
TL – It’s just around the river bend. It’s pretty chill just over there. Really anywhere.
IFL – What’s your favorite film stock?
TL – Portra 400 for C41 and TMAX 100 and Trix for BW
IFL – Any challenges you find in being a film photographer? Or supporting yourself as an artist?
TL – Money is a challenge with purchasing film and booking shoots to support it.
What makes me dance?
Taylor Swift makes me dance.
The hell are those? Boot cut jeans.
My favorite superhero is Batman which makes me my favorite superhero.
We are excited to announce the Camera Rental Booth at Field Trip ( @yeahfieldtrip ) again Feb.22-26 in beautiful El Capitan Canyon, Ca. This is one event you really do not want to miss. Indie will be hosting a film camera booth for anyone who wants to shoot a free roll of Kodak film (@kodak_photo) and free processing by us. The awesome Samy’s camera (@samys_sb_rentals) from Santa Barbara will be loaning us around 15-16 medium format film cameras for you to shoots or free!! Last year we had a killer selection of Hasslelbad, Contax, Mamiya and Fuji. Keep an eye out for the camera rental schedule! Hopefully we can see you there!
You can use coupon code: INDIE50 when you sign up to get a $50 discount off enrollment!
Hitting the road over and over this season is bittersweet. It’s a journey, but a chore. But at least it’s a chance to take in some great tunes. Check out these playlists over on Spotify from some of our buddies down south.
Image by @GreatBearWaxCo
MADESOUTH // Flashback to May. Try out this collection of fun, funky and modern southern jams to get your foot tappin’.
THIS IS AMERICAN MUSIC // Three and half hours. Fifty two songs. You’re set, folks. (Thanks, Jake for pointing us to this awesomeness!)
p.s. If you missed our Get Movin’ playlist, jam to it on Spotify here.
There’s an abundance of heart in what happens between our trigger and the images we share with clients. Sometimes they sit waiting on digital media without the privilege of getting out in front of eyes and making a place of permanence in our clients’ lives. Lauren Kinsey gives us a few thoughts and the reasoning behind why printed products are a large and no-compromise portion of her of the heart of her business and client experience.
My friends and family call me an “ old soul” because I place a lot of value on the tangible and how important that is to the overall experience. If you think back to when our parents and grandparents were married, they didn’t have their photographer turn over a disc of images or USB drive to them—they had printed photographs and albums. How important it is to slow down and be able to sit down with those you love and look back at a printed photograph. It’s sad to me, as a photographer, that we have gone away from that idea and let our clients experience everything through a screen.
Our society has evolved to be digital-based, how do you balance your desire/affection for the printed piece with the demands of the digital world?
From the first conversation I have with my clients, I am very candid with them about my desire to deliver printed photos to them, and why. When we talk about these things, they begin to see that there is so much value in having printed photos, and the disc becomes secondary to them in their mind, because they now have an heirloom piece that they can pass down to their children.
What feedback have you received from clients on your process/products?
By and large, this is the most favorite part of my process for both myself and my clients. When they open their box, it’s presented like a gift that they are opening. I get so many excited calls and emails about how much they loved receiving their photos and spreading them out on their living room floor or kitchen table and reliving their wedding this way. Even now, years later, I still have clients that make it a yearly tradition to look through their photos on their anniversary. It’s incredibly moving to me to hear this from my clients.
The statement on the heirloom portion of your site sums up so much so simply. At the heart of my work is the belief that we should value the process and the tangible. I have carefully curated a full line of beautiful products that every client receives as part of their wedding and portrait collections.
How did you choose which products to include in your collections?
A lot of trial and error. I only present to my clients the things that I would love to have in my own home and what speaks to me. I try and choose products based on how my heart feels when I see them and hold them. There are a lot of beautiful products on the market though, so this process is always ongoing for me.
What prompted you or helped you know including heirloom pieces was a must for your collections? Do you edit collection pricing to not include them?
Printed photographs have always been included in some form in all of my collections from the inception of my business. Before I was born, my maternal grandparents lost everything they owned in a fire. All they had left were the clothes they were wearing on the day it happened. When they began sifting through the remains of their home, they were able to recover a few charred photographs, and one of those photos hangs in my home now. It’s a constant reminder for me of how important my job is, and why I do what I do.
Do you select images for clients? Design albums?
I will recommend my favorite images for print and display. For albums, I do design albums, but I allow my clients to pick their own images, but I usually recommend that they limit the number to 50 or less images, so the album tells the story of the wedding without being too visually overwhelming.
What’s your favorite part of the print-selection and/or packaging process?
Packaging prints for delivery is my favorite day. I send out thousands of printed photos each week, so it takes a full two days to sit down and sort images, package and ship them.
If a photographer feels it’s the right move for their business, how would you encourage them to begin the process and communicate that to their clients?
As with anything, and not just in regards to whether or not you offer prints, don’t be afraid to speak passionately and from your heart about why something is important to you. If you feel lukewarm about it, your clients will too, and won’t place as much value on it. If it’s something you have a deep conviction about, suddenly you will feel more confident in talking about it, and your clients will reciprocate that. Whenever I’m on the fence about something, I sit down and really think about why I am doing it, and if it’s something that I don’t feel 100% confident in putting my name on, I won’t do it.
More on Lauren Kinsey at laurenkinsey.com
Fall is officially upon us. Daydreams of popsicles and swimsuits are slowly (so slowly for some us) finding replacements with the promise of changing leaves and more hours to sit fireside. We’re sinking into morning routines and evenings of light leaving us early. If you’re not feeling it just yet, it’s okay. Day 1 has room for sandals and a fruity cocktail still. Humor us though. Check out these finds and let us help put some shake in your corduroys. To everything there is a season, and we’re greeting this one with a new Indie Film Lab Get Movin’ playlist to make mornings and afternoon lulls something to dance about.
Head over to Spotify and jam along with us. And give us a shout on Instagram at @indiefilmlab to share your favorite tunes with us. We’ll add them to our playlist!