Our Simple Use Reloadable Film Camera has accompanied composer, guitarist, and singer Sulene recently on all of her personal and musical adventures in Brooklyn, NY.
Like many other musicians, Sulene wasn't able to continue her art as she was used to this past year and was pushed to experiment with other media. This led her to start taking her own photos during the pandemic, which turns out is a perfect match for someone like Sulene who loves to experiment.
This upcoming fall, she'll finally be back with what she's known for – her music. Until then, we're thrilled to welcome Sulene to the film photography world and that she's letting us peek into hers. Check it out and enter our giveaway at the bottom for your chance to win your own Simple Use Reloadable Film Camera.
Hello Sulene, it’s great to have you here at Lomography! First off can you tell us about yourself?
Thanks for having me! I’m a musician based in NYC — I write, perform, compose, all that stuff. I’m from Cape Town, South Africa, and moved to the US when I was 19 to work on music. It’s been a journey!
How did you get into music?
I’ve always played music, my parents were musicians when I was growing up; playing the piano was just like playing with any other toy haha. I feel very fortunate in that regard. From there I learned some other instruments and how to produce and have always stuck with them.
How does a typical day go for you?
I like to get up early, I’m a morning writer. I usually do my best work and am able to get in the flow from about 9 am - 2 pm. That’s when I write music for my artist project or for commercials (my day job). After that, I usually slow down a bit and finish some other busy work. I like to work out every day in the afternoon, and I usually go out and see friends/shows in the evening.
How did you use the Simple Use Reloadable Film Camera?
I used the Simple Use Reloadable Film Camera over a few weekends when I was out biking around Brooklyn with friends. Every time something caught my eye I stopped and snapped a picture. I also took some photos while I was on set for a music video I was producing for a comedy band.
What did you like about it?
I love that it fits right in my little backpack or fanny pack and it’s super easy to use. I LOVE the colorful filters — they’re so fun to experiment with.
In what setting would you use it?
I mostly used it during the daytime outside, or in the late afternoon when the sun started setting. I liked to use the flash with the color filters as the sky was getting a little darker, which makes a really cool effect.
How does film photography relate to your art?
Making my art is all about experimenting. I sit all day and combine sounds and words hoping that some magic happens now and then. During the pandemic, I wasn’t able to shoot music videos with the directors I usually work with, so I bought a green screen and some lights and started creating my own videos. From there I started taking my own photos. What I really love about film photography is the depth and a sort of nostalgic feeling that’s found in the images. I also love the experimental nature of it (at least it’s experimental for me since I’m not trained as a photographer haha). It reminds me of when I’m working on my own visuals for my music — I just get an idea in my head, capture it, and see what happens. You don’t need to be a “professional” musician, filmmaker, or photographer to make art, you just need to have ideas and follow through.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration from my art comes from managing my mental health. Making music is cathartic and healing for me, without it I’d be really lost. Writing songs, making beats, making visuals is a way for me to sort through jumbled feelings inside me and make something out of them.
From the pictures you sent us, do you have a favorite one? Can you tell us the story behind it?
My favorite photo is the one of the sky and flowers, using a purple filter with a flash around sunset. I took it from a very noisy rooftop bar in Bushwick [laughs]. The vibe of the bar was so loud and over-bearing and I was about to leave. I saw this little spot on the roof where these beautiful flowers were sticking up and snapped the photo. Now when I look at it, the photo feels so tranquil, it calms me. It’s amazing because at that moment I felt the opposite but the resulting picture was so different. You never know what you’re going to capture! [laughs]
Where can our readers follow your work?
My music is on all streaming platforms and my music videos are on Youtube. All links can be found on my website.