Saturday, August 30, 2014

Interview with Laura Su Lilie

Laura Su Lilie, a German Polaroid photographer, is also a freelance translator based-in Berlin. She first got into photography when she was a child but really shooting in 2010. She shoots mostly on her Polaroid camera and loves to make Polaroid emulsion lifts with a lot of her photos.

Laura who was featured on our website once last year would like to share her photography with us in an interview.

- Hi Laura, can you tell us more about you?
Hi! I'm Laura, I'm a freelance translator and I live in Berlin, Germany. Besides, I do Polaroid emulsion lifts, sandwiching them in “doubles” or even “triples” to create unique blending effects.

- How did your passion for Polaroid begin?
I owned a Polaroid camera when I was little, mostly photographing my pet mice and cats back then (never in the same shot, though - no worries). But I only really started taking pictures in 2010, when I was about to graduate from university. I picked up photography (mostly using plastic cameras such as Holgas at first) because I needed some “creative” output due to all the “intellectual” work of exam preparing and thesis writing I was doing. I say “creative” even though I never considered myself to be a creative person and always thought I had no such skills whatsoever. I'm an autodidact. I'm not an artist. I think that's obvious when you look at my pictures. Nor do I know much about art, because I don't go to a lot of galleries or the like. I'm taking pictures to hang them on my walls. I never expected anyone else to care or be interested in the results of my “playing” around (when I do something photography-related, I refer to it as “playing with my pictures”). But it is a great passion. I like to experiment much and in 2012, I gifted myself another Polaroid camera. Soon after, I did my first “double” lift, since I was familiar with doing double exposures from using other film cameras and wanted to couple it with emulsion lifts because I found the aesthetics so immensely appealing.

- What are your favorite cameras?
Well, my Polaroid cameras. I own two SX-70 models, a Spectra (which I am still learning to come to grips with) and a Graflex Crown Graphic with Polaback, which I hope to be using more in the future because I want to experiment with “alternative processes” such as cyanotypes, tintypes and maybe, one day, wetplates.

- Tell us about your influences and what inspires you?
That's always different. Basically, it can be anything I see, hear or read of during the day. Inspiration truly is all around, and I find it in literature, classic works of art, paintings (recently, I began to look into Korean painting, because my mother is Korean, but sadly, I don't know much about culture there) and seldom in music.

- Are you currently working on any projects with Polaroid?
Just the usual stuff, I guess. I'm still experimenting with new techniques to give my Polaroids a twist (e.g. by handcolouring them – which is quite a challenge, because I actually can't draw or paint at all) and to explore more ways to express myself. As usual, I want to hand-craft as much as possible, because firstly, I think making something with your own hands is very rewarding, and secondly, I've always been interested in the processes themselves (having done darkroom printing, too) and want to use them to my own advantage.
Also, some of my pictures will be published in a beautiful small German magazine on analogue photography soon and I'm really looking forward already.

- Tell us which of your photos do you like especially, and why?
There are a few at the moment, I think (even though I change my mind every other day).  I do a lot of self-portraits, but from the very start, I began with what I later dubbed “animal kingdom”: a series of shots into which I somehow incorporate animals, alive or dead, real or fake . Here are two of them involving animal illustrations I took from a book I have strong childhood connections with: Grzimeks Tierleben (Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia). I remember reading it over and over again, marvelling at the beautiful illustrations while I was sitting on the floor of my father's library-like home-office, emerged in the smell of books (he's also a translator, and when you grow up in such an environment, you can't help but to love books). Earlier this year, I started experimenting with these and I “doubled” or “tripled” them with shots of my own:

Self-portrait with Peacocks

Cervus elaphus hippelaphus
Additionally,  there's also a “season circle”: A series of self-portraits depicting a certain mood very much related to the season during which I took them. I have summer, fall and winter, but spring is still missing...

Summer Fields Self-Portrait

Summer Fields


Winter Woods Diptych
Laura, thank you for the interview!

See more of her work at:

Pin It Now!

No comments :

Post a Comment