Rachel Winslow is an analogue photographer living in
Chicago, IL. She uses expired film and destroyed film to create colorful images
with her Holga & other film cameras.
How did you get introduced to your first Holga and
how long have you been shooting?
I've always been into photography. I've been taking
pictures since I was about 10, and most of my adolescence was shot on disposable
cameras that I took with me everywhere. I never really thought of my photography
as an art form - it was more of a way for me to document my life. In 2008, I
discovered the Holga and it changed my life. I started being more thoughtful
about taking pictures instead of just snapping away. I started collecting film
cameras and spent hours on the internet looking up everything I could find about
analogue photography. This led to a photographer's assistant internship in
Israel, which ultimately led to me traveling around the Middle East and Central
America for a year. I'm now living in Chicago and working as the assistant
manager at the Lomography Embassy Store and Emulsion Gallery
What is it about the Holga that draws you to it? Why
do you shoot with it?
I think that when you use the Holga you aren't just
taking pictures, you're making pictures. You need to understand light and
understand how to use your Holga in different lighting conditions. It's a
challenging camera to use, even though it's a simple little plastic camera with
very limited settings.
Please tell me a bit about your series in which you
use a Holga.
I don't think I've ever started a real series with my
Holga - I just take it with me and shoot whatever inspires me. I've taken it
traveling all over the world with me and it's been in my bag almost every day
for the past 6 years. I guess you can say that my series is capturing my life
with my Holga.
What are some of your biggest challenges shooting
with a Holga and do you have any tips for overcoming them?
My biggest challenge is actually getting my pictures
to turn out exactly how I envision them. The only thing that helps me to
overcome this is to just keep shooting and learning. I'm constantly pushing
myself to try new things with my Holga and I'm always amazed at the incredible
pictures that I can take with this little toy camera.
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone just
starting out with a Holga?
Don't get discouraged if you get a bad roll back. Take
notes about what worked and what didn't work, learn from your mistakes, and
carry a little notebook to document your shoots so that you don't forget how you
took your favorite picture! It's also good to familiarize yourself with the Bulb
setting if you have one on your Holga. It really opens up a whole new world of
shooting if you can do long exposures.
What other cameras do you have in your
I collect film cameras, and I probably have around 30.
The ones that I use the most are my Holga 120N, Holga 120 Pinhole, Lubitel 166U,
Canon AE-1, Polaroid SX-70, Polaroid Land Camera 250, Polaroid Spectra, and my
trusty Lomography LC-Wide. I'm always acquiring new cameras to play with, but
the Holga was my first and will always be my favorite camera to
Favourite photo film(s)?
I love finding old slide film and cross processing it.
Ektachrome, Elite Chrome, Sensia, Velvia - I love it all. There's nothing better
than coming across an old roll of slide film and trying it out. It makes you
think a little more about the pictures that you take when you know that this
could be the only time you will be able to shoot that film because certain films
are so hard to find nowadays.
What inspires you?
Interesting people. New seasons and new places. Being
alone. Walking around the neighborhoods with my cameras.
I received this email today and wanted to share it with you all - please fill out the survey if you are a Holga and/or Diana shooter! Sounds very interesting!
"I am currently working on a PhD Study at the University of the West
of England, Bristol, England, which is looking at the aesthetic of
original Diana and Holga cameras and the motivations for using these
Part of the research for this study involves a data collection
questionnaire aimed at photographers who use these cameras, and I was
wondering whether it would be possible for you to put up a link to this
survey on your holga blog in order to increase the visability of this
request to its target audience."