Female Film Photographers You Should Know: Sara Wong
Sara is a talented Mexican film photographer currently living in the beautiful city of Chihuahua.
Sara’s passion for fashion led her to delve into the analogue world after she found her first film camera in a second-hand shop.
Her photographic work is inspired by two sides: On the one hand she loves to capture the beauty of her everyday life and on the other hand she creates inspirational clothing styles for her creative fashion portfolio
♦ How would you introduce yourself to someone who just met you?
I’m a someone with a passion for creating. I’m always looking for beauty everywhere and I’m always singing all the time.
♦ What is the memory that you most fondly remember from your childhood?
One of the things that I value the most is the freedom my parents always gave us in terms of always trying new things (it didn’t matter if we made a mess in the process), that allowed us to learn lots of things. For example my mom is an innate DIY-er and she also loves art, so I guess that is where my artsy side comes from, she taught us from a young age to sew, paint, knit, and stuff like that, and then my dad loves music, so we all love music because of him, also I think he bought us (my sister and I) our first camera.
♦ Who were the most influential people during your teens and how did they influence you?
This is a hard question, because I went through lots of phases. I went through all the stereotypes, so my influences changed a lot too. However, I can tell you some of the ones I remember with no particular order: Britney Spears, Kate Moss, Banksy, Deborah Harry, Jaime Sabines, Twiggy, Amy Winehouse, the Olsen twins, Kate Lanphear, etc. Most of them inspired me fashion wise, because since I was a little kid I’ve always loved fashion and as you can see none of them are a photographer. I think my interest in photography came later in life. I specifically remember being very struck by Banksy, because I found the way he presented his art was very disruptive.
♦ How did you get in the world of analogue photography?
It started out of curiosity. I started hearing about it from some fashion youtubers but I didn’t quite understand what they were talking about. Just at the time when I started to investigate this world, I found a film camera in a second hand shop and the rest is history. There was no point of return. Even though the first roll was a complete failure (I didn’t know how to properly set it), I didn’t give up and I kept on shooting until now.
♦How would you describe the photography you do? What is your work focused on?
I really liked documenting my life, it is what comes more natural to me, I don’t even think about it, I just shoot.
I really enjoy going out and finding interesting places, like an old house, or a building with geometric shapes. I feel very drawn to places and architecture, I don’t know why. Another thing that also defines my photography is that I’m always chasing the sunlight, I really love natural light. I’m also fascinated by color, my eyes are always seeking color.
My other passion in life is fashion, so as you can imagine I love fashion photography, although I’m not an expert at it. I’m trying to shoot more fashion related projects since I really love all the steps of the process, from creating a moodboard, the styling to makeup and all of that.
♦ Are you working on any photographic project at the moment?
Right now I’m focusing on building my fashion photography portfolio, but I don’t have a specific project I’m working on.
♦ Is there any photographic project that you would like to do but have not done yet?
I’ve been thinking of going to the places I already have pictures of and stand in the exact spot where I shot the photo and maybe paste a print of the photo there, or something like that, I need to think more on how to execute it.
♦ Which camera and which film do you use the most in your photography and why?
Talking about film stocks my preferences are that it needs to be color film, my ideal ISO is 400, but sometimes I shoot ISO 200. I would say the two film stocks I use the most are Kodak Ultramax 400 and Fuji Color C200. I use them the most because they are easy to get, not that expensive and I like the results.
Regarding the cameras, I have a few of them all 35mm cameras ( although I do want to try medium format soon) but I would say my favorite ones right now are:
Canon EOS ELAN II: This one I really like because I find it very easy to use, it has auto focus (which I love, I’m not a big fan of manual focus). Another reason why I like it’s because I can use the same lenses I use in my digital camera and also I love the eye focusing feature. The only downside of it it’s the size, it’s a bit big for me.
Olympus OM2N: This one I really like to carry around everyday, it has the perfect size, I really like its design, I would say this is the one I use most
Olympus Stylus Zoom 140: It’s my favorite point and shoot at the moment, very reliable.
♦ Who are your biggest influences?
♦ What’s the best advice you would give yourself when you started in the world of film photography?
Never ever go to an unknown lab, do you research first. Also, don’t focus that much on having an expensive camera.
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