We’re back with our 10 Questions with series. This time around we spoke to up and coming photographer Lindsey Chambley. Photography, especially film, is having a bit of a renaissance. Lindsey shares with us her thoughts on the importance of photography culturally, how to stay inspired, and some great tips for beginners.
Q1. What’s a creative project from your childhood that has stuck with you?
I can’t recall a particular creative project from my childhood, but I do remember being fascinated with my parents’ polaroid camera. My sister and I always fought over it, actually. I’d like to think that’s where my love for photography began.
Q2. Photography is an art form that is often overlooked. What importance do you think photography has culturally?
Photography has impacted our culture in so many ways. Anyone can be a “photographer” because of the accessibility our smart phones offer. The ability to instantly share photos across the world has made it easier to look at and appreciate art, especially photography. As much as I value photographs in print form, appreciating what the digital age has to offer photographers is important. Instagram has been a helpful tool in sharing photography to mass amounts of people at one time. Looking at what other photographers are doing around the world helps broaden my knowledge of not only photography, but also my worldview. Personally, it helps my awareness of what is happening in the world outside of my own culture and bubble. I think the coolest thing about photography is that it captures what life is like in a particular time, space, or moment, and it makes it easier to reflect on that time years down the road.
Q3. How would you define your style?
Over the years, I’ve had trouble sticking to one particular style. I like to change things up a bit because I tend to get bored of editing the same way over and over again. I’ve been into rich, vibrant colours recently..it honestly changes depending on the mood of the photograph that I’m attempting to convey! I guess I could say my style is simple. I don’t like things that have been heavily edited or photoshopped. If I’m drawn to a particular colour, composition, or subject I just photograph it for what it is. I like to keep things minimal.
Q4. You do a lot of work at concerts and gigs. What is it about these environments you enjoy photographing?
Ever since I was young, going to concerts has always been something I have loved. You spend all this time listening to an artist or band’s music, or watching them from behind a screen, and then suddenly you’re standing there watching them perform it right in front of you! It’s amazing really. I love photographing musicians because it’s evident that they’re passionate about what they do. There’s no awkward phase of trying to position a subject, because they’re already doing what looks natural and what comes easily to them. Concert environments are my dream, really. Standing alongside other people who equally enjoy the artist’s music is a really cool experience. I would say concert photography is my favorite form of photography at the moment, because music heavily influences my everyday life. Creating art of my favorite musicians makes me feel like I’m collaborating with them in a way, like I’m apart of something bigger that both fans and musicians can connect with.
Q5. How do you create projects that fulfil your creative needs?
Creativity doesn’t really flow easily out of me, and I consider it something that I struggle with from time to time. In order to fulfil my creative needs, I literally just take photographs of whatever I think looks nice aesthetically or compositionally. I know that may sound dumb, but it really works! I often get stuck when I haven’t created something in a while, and I tend to beat myself up for lack of productivity. I think I feel the most fulfilled creatively when I spend time editing and playing around with a photograph that I took when I felt the least creative, and produce something I feel proud enough to show other people. I just try not to overthink it too much, even though I definitely do quite often.
Q6. What advantages do you think there is to using film over digital?
Film has been making quite the comeback recently, and I am here for it. Although my primary tool for photography is a digital camera, film is probably my preference. My parents can’t understand why I would prefer to use film over a camera that gives you results instantly, and I think I can understand their perspective. They lived in a time where that’s all that was available; therefore, they didn’t have access to technology that produced photographs that are literally at our fingertips. It’s understandable why they would be opposed to film now that we have cameras that produce images of higher quality and at a much faster rate! However, film offers something different to those who grew up in a culture that is heavily saturated with digital everything. Film allows you to appreciate the process it takes to make a photograph, from in camera to post production. There’s no scrolling through your camera’s screen to see if your hair looks okay, or if you were positioned awkwardly. I think that adds value to the whole film experience. I’ve only been shooting film for a year, but it has been so rewarding waiting for my rolls of film to be processed and developed each time. It requires a greater amount of patience compared to digital, but that’s what makes it fun! There are many apps that try and replicate the look of film, but they never seem to succeed in making photographs look as “imperfect” and raw as real film does. Aspects such as light leaks and grain add to the aesthetic film offers.
Q7. Where do you find you are most inspired and creatively charged?
I think I feel the most creative when I’m around others who encourage me to be creative. It is so important to have people who are there to push your creative boundaries and offer different ideas. Like I said before, photographing people who are passionate about what they’re doing, like musicians, helps me to step outside of my comfort zone. For example, I was assigned to take portraits of strangers for a photography course. I went to Walmart and walked around until I found a random guy in the parking lot, beautifully playing the trumpet. I spent some time talking to him, and he told me he was a truck driver traveling across the country. He stops at various parking lots and just plays the trumpet for the sake of playing music. I thought that was so cool; he wasn’t playing for anyone other than himself. He is passionate about the trumpet and found a way to incorporate it into his daily life, and that encourages me to do the same with photography and live creatively.
Q8. What’s some advice you would give to someone wanting to try out photography?
To anyone wanting to pick up photography, do it! Do it even if you don’t have a fancy camera or expensive equipment. Go out and shoot everyday. Look at other photographer’s work. It doesn’t have to be this hard and technical thing, it should be fun. Photography has taught me to notice and appreciate the small stuff in life.
Q9. Is there anything you would like to try out in the future, either photography related or not?
It’s always been my dream to go on tour with a band or musician and be their official photographer. I think it would be so cool to travel and just create something new every single day in a fun, fast paced environment.
Q10. And finally, what do you do to relax and recharge after a project?
To avoid burnout, I like to draw, colour, or listen to music to relax after finishing a concert, a set of portraits, or weddings. It is kind of draining editing for hours on my laptop, so engaging with literally anything else that isn’t a screen can help me recharge!
You can find Lindsey on instagram here
And she now has a website which you can find here