Ukrainian raised and Seattle-based visual artist Marina Boichuk, who we previously featured for her unique aesthetic and DigitaLIZA first impressions, is certainly no stranger to the self-portrait. After previously taking photos of herself every day for an entire year, she most recently shot a series of self-portraits in the studio on 2021 LomoChrome Turquoise 120 ISO 100–400 film.
Hi Marina, welcome back to Lomography Magazine! Can you tell us what you've been up to since your last feature?
Hi, thanks for having me again. Apart from experimenting with film photography, I've mostly been learning the printing process in the darkroom, black and white as well as color. Analogue color printing is my favorite and it's so fascinating to see how different darkroom prints and film scans can look.
What made you decide to use LomoChrome Turquoise to shoot self-portraits?
When I got my rolls, at first I didn't know what to do with them and they were sitting in the fridge. A lot of my creative projects start with me doing something out of curiosity. That's how I came up with an idea to do some self portraits. I haven't seen much portrait work on this film so I got very curious to try it specifically for portraits.
Can you tell us about what the process of shooting the portraits was like?
I don't have a lot of experience with experimental film stocks, but so far I've learnt they do like a lot of light, so metering at ISO 100 and using strobes was a good decision.
What camera did you use?
I used the Hasselblad 500 C/M. It's a perfect camera for studio work as well as self portraits.
Was your approach to shooting LomoChrome Turquoise any different from your approach to shooting regular color negative film?
Yes. Keeping in mind the color shifts of Lomo Turquoise, I went with bold colors.
For the lights: red back light, warmer orange as key light. For the styling: a bright blue embroidered jacket, a bulky red earring and flowers.
What was your first impression of your results?
To be honest I was very impressed. For some reason most of my attempts with experimental film usually fail, either due to metering, or using the wrong lighting or colors. This shoot definitely proved that with a little planning experimental film could totally work for portraits.
Do you have a favorite shot from the series? Why?
This one, because of the composition, contrast and hitting the focus right, which is hard when it comes to creating self portraits.
What advice would you give to someone using this film for the first time?
So far I've only shot one roll of this film and haven't tried to use it for anything else except portraits. For portraits, I think it's good to have a variety of bold colors and good light in the scene, so the color shifts would be more noticeable.
Do you have any upcoming shoots or projects you can share with us?
This year I'm working on a Film Self Portrait Project. In short, each week of 2023 I have to come up with an idea and do a photoshoot focusing on that idea. I've decided to do this project to get better at film photography specifically. This way I have to practice at least once a week. Apart from shooting this project on film I don't have any other restrictions.
The idea for this one came from my 365 Portrait Project completed last year, where I took a self portrait everyday for one year. I've learnt so much from it, so I decided to do something like this again but focusing on film photography.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I'd like to challenge people to not be afraid of experimenting and express themselves however they want. If someone doesn't like your photographs this doesn't mean your work is bad, and neither should it stop you from creating.