What is Lomography, and what is the idea behind it? Lomography is a community and we really want to make people understand that the future is analogue and we really believe that analogue is too good to lose. We want to make people's photos to be special, and be more creative than with digital cameras. We have this community for sharing ideas, doing activities... it's a really easy way to show people how to use film again.
From top: hanging photo mobiles brighten up the shop in its hidden location in a charming old building; blinging cameras on display! (Spinner 360, 'Gold Edition' Diana F+ and Fisheye)
Describe the Lomography motto, "Don't Think, Just Shoot!" We have some 'rules', the main one being that motto. We love the spontaneity and imperfection of Lomo photos. The photos look like real life, people aren't models, they're jumping and laughing, they're not perfect. We want people to live in the moment and use their cameras in that way, to express real life. Another rule is to take a photo from below your hips, to change the normal view from eye level to create a more interesting photo dimension. You have only 12 or 36 photos in your camera, so it's each one is special. It's also really exciting not knowing how the photos look until after you get them developed. There is a full list of the 'rules' on the Lomography website!
How did the gallery store in El Borne get started? After bringing Lomography to Madrid, Lomo-lovers Cristina and Pascuale set up a store in Barcelona eight years ago. This relatively new location in Borne is a nice size, as now we can have space for these beautiful 'Lomo-wall' photo collages.
What impact do you think Lomography has had on the city? The store here is like a hidden gem, and people have seriously come to love Lomography. Everybody who passes the shop has a desire to come in, look at and touch all the cameras. Everything that we stock makes people go crazy! Last week we went with our LomoKino cinema camera to film a graffiti artist, and about forty people gathered around to look at us filming it! Some people don't use the cameras or take any particular interest in taking photos, but they just love the philosophy of the Lomography community.
Eye-catching 'Lomo walls' give every store some vibrance, along with the bright, toy-like products
What is the difference between all the Lomography stores in the world? What's special about having one in Barcelona? Every store has a similar ethic and style, with relatively similar shop decor, depending on the creativity of the shop owners in each store. The store is working very well here; Barcelona is such a creative city. It's different to the Madrid store, simply because there's a different landscape there and no beach, so the whole lifestyle is different and hence the type of photographs. It seems a bit more cosmopolitan here too. I suppose our store would have some similarities to ones in Brazil, while Madrid's store would reflect London's.
The printed photo booklets in the shop could keep you there for hours; they are a brilliant way of understanding exactly what kind of results to expect from each camera
Describe a typical day of working for Lomography. We come in, open the shop (our castle!). Normally when we open in the morning there are eager people waiting outside to come in! It's great, because all of our visitors are genuinely curious, and we treat all of our customers like friends. Every day is different, because there are always new questions and challenges. In the lounge area of the store, people come and sit across the sofas to read books about the cameras, it's so relaxed.
What kinds of events happen in the store? We have workshops, blue hours and launches.
- Every workshop is different. For example, last Saturday we went around the city with the panoramic Spinner camera, and next Saturday (July 13th), we're going out in paddle boats with our cameras to take photographs under water! Normally workshops would have around ten people, and basically they're little introductory classes to the cameras, and then you get to go out and practise using them. We try to keep the price of them low, because we don't want it to be about money; it's more important that people can gain an understanding of the cameras.
- The launches are when there's a new product or new edition of something. We have a little party in the shop, and everyone goes crazy!
- The blue hours are simply just classes for people who want to learn how to use the cameras. We normally speak about a certain aspect of a camera like exposure, films, etc. Normally they're on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Lomokino 35mm movie maker is fun and appealing. Create your own flip-books!
You can find out more about the events in Barcelona's store here.
Does Lomography aim for a certain type of store aesthetic? Most of the Lomography stores are quite minimalist and modern. Although this one is in an older building which is very special. All the stores have a Lomo wall, like a collage of photographs; it's really like an art piece. It's There's a bit of direction about what products to focus on for each month, and with ideas about the layout, but it's open to the people working in the stores use their creativity, and also depends a little bit on the lifestyle of the store location.
There are other products in the store besides cameras: books, waterproof cases, photo albums, notebooks, key rings, t-shirts, bags...
What are your favourite products in the store? Any new ones to look forward to seeing soon? It's difficult to say! I really love panoramic images, so I love Sprocket Rocket and Spinner. But LC-A is the best camera for me, for sure. This is basically the 'original' Lomography camera. Originally, the beginners of Lomography found a camera of this model in Russia, and that's how it all got started. The lens is crystal, not plastic, and you have a photometer for measuring the light.
With regards, to future cameras... YES there are some more coming... I can't tell you anything else ... it's a secret!
You recently launched a 110 Fisheye Baby camera. What's been the public response to this? It's an amazing camera. We ordered twelve originally and they sold out in two days! The film style was really old, so it was very exciting to have access to it again. Some people love it just because it's cute! I think the way the cameras look tends to influence peoples decisions more than the models of the cameras! People spend ages deciding which colour they want! The most popular cameras seem to be Diana, Fisheye or Sardina.
Right: the new Baby Fisheye camera...it's tiny!
Are there any exciting plans for the future of Lomography in Barcelona? Last week in Madrid they did a big cinema premier, so we want to bring that to Barcelona. We want to collaborate with other creative people and brands, and also maybe to work with neighbours, to broaden the local community.
Ibone in the gallery store's lounge area