Introduction: Cameron Russell (and Giveaway!)

If you are new to this blog, every week I like to present someone inspiring, whether it's professional or amateur photographer, a fashionista or just a friend that knows how to snap away, this week is no exception. Read the past interviews here.

Flipping through flickr, I discovered Cameron Russell, and it was a gold mine for me. His techniques for his double exposure photos are solidly inspiring and leave me feeling ambitious to keep playing with 120 film. During our email correspondence, I identified a lot with Cameron as a photographer- he reminds me a lot of me when I first discovered Lomography. I completely indulged myself in the hobby and even though Cameron has been using Lomo for 6 months, it has been a complete labor of love and it's prominent in his photostream. He is a great example of a success with a small little hobby turned into an incredible work of art. For myself, even after almost six years of toying with the company and it's diverse cameras, Cameron is uplifting and a flash of encouragement.

what is your philosophy on photography?
Keep your eyes open. There is always something to be captured. I always have a camera with me. If you do your eye becomes trained to seek out the beauty in every environment. Photography allows you to find the hidden awesome in all sorts of places. It will help you to appreciate your surroundings and they give back to you.
what inspires you?

The odd and undiscovered mixed with the familiar. Textures and patterns. Since I do a lot of double exposures, I always look for something around me to use as a base for a central image. I love juxtaposition.

what do you think of programs like Picnik and others that
convert digital uploads to that "lomo" and "holga" look?

I'm glad that people like the effect that lomo cameras make that they want to emulate it. I have a few apps on my phone that do that. In the end, I think that the accidental magic of an LC-A,Holga, or Diana can never really be duplicated by a computer. It may look right but the subtle soul of the image feels a little hollow. It doesn't ring true. At the same time, I say, do it. If you don't have a Lomo camera and want the look, do what you can to get it. I understand the enchantment of it.
when did you first pick up a camera?

I had some disposable cameras given to me for summer camp when I was 12-14 but none of those ever captured my fascination. My digital point and shoot was given to me about a year or so ago, and that's when I really started snapping. Even then, I wasn't mad about photography till X-mas of '08 when I got my first 2 lomo cameras; a Colorsplash and a Holga 120 CFN.

what is your favorite camera?

Hands down, my LC-A+RL. It fits in my back pocket, it's sturdy, and has more options than any of my others. Consistent and trustworthy. I fear ever losing it and think about buying a a spare, just in case. I bought it at the beginning of March and have already snapped the shutter about 700 times. I'm glad it's a healthy addiction but it definitely is an addiction. A tattoo is already being formulated in ly mind for this little fellow.

analog, instant or digital?

Analog. I love the x-mas feeling I get every time I drop off a roll to be processed. I wish I knew how to do it myself, but I'm still too new at this. You will always get more accidental charm from analog than any other medium. Instant is nice, I have a few Polaroid cameras but I'm holding off going more frequent with these until the film pack relaunch in 2010. Digital is only for those moments where I don't want to put my LC-A+ in danger.

what is your favorite photo and why?

After reviewing them all over again, it has to be the one I took at the jumping fountains at Butler Park, here in Austin. I called it Color Splish Splash. They light up all sorts of choreographed colors at nite. I used my hotshoe ColorSplash to give the upper white parts of the water some color, as well. I can't get enough of shots that capture the Kinetic and potential energy of a moment. The color and movement make me happy. In the end, that's all that matters. Pictures that make me happy.

Thanks Cameron for letting me interview you and donating your amazing work!
He is from Austin, TX and if there are any Lomography lovers out there, or people that want to give the hobby a shot, contact him, he wants to hear from you.
I receive a lot of emails asking how to get into Lomography, and as flattered as I am to answer them, I recommend Cameron as a great contact to have. His twitter updates give tips on his photography, also.
Check out his flickr photostream, add him on facebook, follow him on twitter, and check out his cleverly named new blog!

Oooh, imagine one of his photos displayed in your home or sad little cubicle! It would brighten up anyone's day! Go to his flickr photostream, tell me which one is your favorite and if random.org chooses you on June 9, at 12am, Los Angeles time, I will send you your print of choice!
Good luck!