The Lomography UK team has been pushing the Lomo'instant Wide camera to the limits! We’ve taken every opportunity to get trigger-happy with this lovable, instant camera. In this series we share some of our tips and tricks for getting superb images every time.
When I really think about it, It’s incredible how much scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard has influenced my photographic style. If someone were to ask me for a list of photographers who influence me, rather than a list of accomplished photographers, mine would be comprised of people that I follow on Tumblr. My peers.
I’ve found that I gravitate towards photos that I can relate to, photos that were taken on a walk through the city or on a friends couch. Photographers that take a more journalistic approach are often times the ones that I keep coming back to. Those that have a tendency to document naturally rather than calculate the perfect shot.
Which brings us to this edition of Life Behind a Lens’s Troy Memis, one of those guys that you know always has a camera on hand. I’ve been following Troy’s work for quite some time and his ability to present every day life in incredible ways really just doesn’t get old.
AMT: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Troy: I’m not actually too good at talking about myself, or much at all.
That’s sort of why I take pictures. Although I am able to talk to people
quite well, I’m not the biggest fan of it. Sometimes it ruins things.
Like when people call me a photographer. I am very quick to turn down
the idea that I am a photographer, because I rarely ever try to get what
I want. Most of my shooting is situational. I am content with calling
myself a photojournalist. The way I think of it is; my grandfather shot
photographs, my mother shot photographs, I’ll probably shoot
photographs. I have a terrible memory, and thats really why I shoot.
Good or bad, everything that happens in my life, IS my life. I want to
remember it all. I like that.
AMT: You mentioned that your grandfather and mother
shot a lot of photographs, did you shoot with them when you were young?
learn from them? Troy: Unfortunately, my grandfather wasn’t
doing nearly as much shooting as I grew older. I do not know for sure
why my grandfather shot in the first place, or what brought an end to
his shooting; but I can only assume that my grandfather shot for the
same reason that myself and my mother shoot. My grandfather spent his
life as a (mainly minor league) baseball player, traveling all over the
states. That’s a lot to take in. Most of the final pictures I remember
him taking were at my parent’s wedding. Im sure he took more after, but I
know he also did more video later. As for my mum, she captured mainly
family photographs, and still does to this day. I can’t say I got to
learn anything about it from either, because I think they both liked it
to capture memories, but not so much to become the next Ansel Adams or
AMT: Do you think that they have influenced the way you take pictures now? Troy: I
know, for sure, that the two of them have influenced what I do, because
I do just the same. Documenting all I do for the sake of documenting. I
don’t think they really had any sort of specific style but then
again, I don’t really think I do either.
photojournalistic approach to taking pictures is what really drew me to
your photography in the first place; I appreciate the sincerity of it. I
also love the “everything that happens in my life, IS my life” outlook,
and appreciating a picture for what it is. I’ve actually been thinking
about that a lot recently. Troy: I suppose this isn’t so much of a question, but I do greatly appreciate the kind words.
AMT: What’s your favorite lunch spot in Philadelphia, what do you order? Troy: I’m
not really one for lunch; much too busy most of the time. But for
breakfast I’ll take any place with good huevos rancheros, and dinner is
the easy choice of Royal Tavern; home of my favorite jukebox in town.
AMT: You mentioned that you generally prefer a photo to words. In a few words…why are pictures better than words? Troy: Maybe
because we’ve become a culture of lazy speakers. Much like that quote
from “Dead Poets Society”. I don’t know it verbatim, because I never
read the book.. Actually, I never saw the movie either. Everything is
slang and abbreviations these days; but pictures, they still carry the
same amount of meaning they always have.
AMT: Why do you shoot film? Troy: I
really enjoy the hands-on with film. I took a darkroom photography
class my sophomore year of High School (2004-05), instead of staying in
my study hall class. I learned what I needed to learn that year from a
teacher I had known from my sister having him years before. I never
owned a camera with working light meter until I started using my Minolta
Maxxum 7000 in about 2013, so I had learned it all by strictly training
my eye. By my junior year, when I was supposed to be able to actually
take the class, Mr Garrett, had me teach the class; from mechanics of
the cameras, all of the film processes (from rolling to developing), and
using the enlargers/doing print. As a senior, I took the class for what
was to be a third time, but with Mr Garrett retiring the year before,
the new teacher had me teach the class for another half a year, as well
as a half a year of teaching photoshop.. which I never even really used
before - I just picked it up quickly. Anyway, I’ve just always had a
film camera and so that’s all I ever really knew. When it came to trying
to make the switch to digital, there were really just too many new
dials and buttons that I just didn’t have the patience to try to learn. Especially when I just already knew how to use my film camera as well
as I did.
Name: Troy Memis Camera(s): Minolta Maxxum 7000, Pentax P3, Leica MiniZoom, and numberless amounts of other point -and-shoots and disposables. Film(s): Fuji Superia X-Tra 400, almost always. Website: Tumblr, Prints & Zines