Starla Dawn Little has a way of taking you from a sparkling backstage burlesque show and into her enchanting double exposed florals. She is not afraid to experiment and have fun with film, and her bold choices won’t disappoint. Her portrait work is beyond in sensual style and is candy for your eyes. A film photographer from the start, this girl will inspire and enlighten your visual senses.
Where are you from?
We jokingly say Bamatucky because I grew up 50/50 Kentucky and Alabama but currently say San Diego, Ca and relocating very soon, location TBD
How did you get into film photography?
I’m a 90s baby so I don’t think I ever got out of film photography. I had little lulls here and there. When many were switching over to digital maybe between 2007–2010 I decided to keep or restart shooting film because it’s what I knew but also at that time developing hadn’t sky rocketed yet and SLRs were insanely cheap.
What was your first camera? Do you still have it?
Hmm not sure of my first camera, but the one I was more fond of and the one I actually started shooting on purpose with was my mom’s camera. It was a Canon Rebel series that belonged to my mom. It had a broken latch on the door so I grabbed some duct tape to hold it shut and borrowed it indefinitely. I still don’t have it. Not sure whatever happened to that camera actually but thankfully I do still have some images.
If you could photograph any location in the world, where would it be and why? What film would you bring?
This is difficult because I don’t particularly think of locations to shoot or dream locations, and after this year it’s actually difficult to imagine traveling freely lol. I would have to say if I could go anywhere it’d probably be Fiji for selfish reasons including because I’ve always wanted to go to an island nation, and have you seen the water??? Probably would bring some Ektachrome, and as always some Lomo 400 would definitely need some underwater housing too but knowing me… I’m not opposed to mucking up a tropical paradise with a disposable camera, either.
Who has been an inspiration to you and your work?Or who is your favorite photographer? (Of any time period) What is it about their work that makes them your favorite?
Back a few years ago (2013) when I started sharing some of my work I was insanely inspired by my friend Jyoti Sackett. Her portrait work is painterly and transportive. She shoots digital and natural light. Our work styles are completely different but STILL I look at the work she was making around 2015 in awe. It’s absolutely phenomenal. It always inspired me to create and not copy. If ever in the future someone could describe my work as transportive, I would owe that completely to her artwork.
What is your favorite part about the process of shooting film?
I will say this until the cows come home: I HATE sitting at my computer for HOURS. So by proxy my favorite part of film is not having to digital process. (yes, I know, shame that I outsource my developing for the time being but honestly it’s a godsend.)
What is your dream camera?
My dream film camera at the moment is the Canon- 1V, or 1V HS, it’s so similar to my digital setup which makes the most sense for my current workflow. I’m not a gear head, I truly think the best camera is the one you have, but professionally do I think this is a tool that would add value to my craft? Yes.
Have you ever had a scary or alarming experience shooting film? OR do you have any funny or embarrassing experiences while shooting film?
Nothing Scary or alarming other than the dreaded and heartbreaking blank roll. I’ve definitely had some HILARIOUS mishaps in my double exposure work, one included a perfectly posed male musician adjusting his jacket, second exposure was a close up of a rather large phallic stamen that just happened to perfectly end up in his hand…. Lesson learned maybe don’t shoot phallic objects over your subjects lol
If you could give advice to a new film photographer, what would you say? Or what is the best advice you have been given?
I would say… Don’t let gatekeepers intimidate you. All are welcome here, it’s fun! When starting don’t take it too seriously, don’t be afraid to experiment. And it’s NOT any different than shooting digital, just meter properly and move on.
What else do you want us to know about you?
Oh hmm…. I’m still not sure if Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not.
How can people find you online?
My website is StarlaDawnPhoto.com
Lomography: starladawnndl (I generally post whole rolls on Lomography)