Lauren Lepore is a 23 year old self taught film photographer from NYC.

Lauren Lepore - AKA - 35mm Mistress for Death Before Digital

Lauren prefers to photograph strangers. She used to shoot a lot of models but the pictures never meant much to her. Strangers are different. Both candid and posed shots of someone you don’t know, always releases so much emotion.

Lauren Lepore - AKA - 35mm Mistress for Death Before Digital
Lauren Lepore - AKA - 35mm Mistress for Death Before Digital

What Lauren sees may or may not be seen by others and through the use of photography she allow views into worlds they don’t know, but also views into worlds they used to know and can reminisce on.

Lauren shoots strictly 35mm because it captures emotions and feelings in a way digital photography could never. Each time Lauren takes a picture she feels like she’s putting a little piece of herself and her story into it.

People connect and relate with Lauren’s personal and intimate photography because they can feel what she’s put into it.

Lauren Lepore / 35mm Mistress for Death Before Digital

They relate to Lauren’s photos because we’ve all felt it, just not all of us capture it. Lauren never intended on photographing for anyone’s appreciation. She does it for herself, but the fact that she has been able to build a following off of photos that are so real and raw to her, is beautiful. Lauren wants her pictures to make people feel and think.

Lauren Lepore / 35mm Mistress for Death Before Digital

Lauren’s work will also be featured in our upcoming print publication.
For more of Lauren’s work check out her Instagram and website.

Duran Levinson is a 29 year-old cinematographer and film photographer, originally from Cape Town, (South Africa).

Duran Levinson for Death Before Digital

In the past year Duran has split his time between Shanghai, Berlin and Cape Town, working on various freelance projects, as well as his own personal photo projects.

Duran Levinson for Death Before Digital
Duran Levinson for Death Before Digital

Duran exclusively shoots on 35mm for his personal work and has turned his hobby
into a successful career, through the release of zines, online & print features and his website.

Duran Levinson for Death Before Digital

Duran is currently spending summer in Cape Town, having completed an artist residency in China and exhibiting his works in Germany. He is currently
looking to focus on video projects along with his personal photo projects going into 2018.

Duran Levinson for Death Before Digital

Duran’s work will also be featured in our upcoming print publication.
For more of Duran’s work check out his Instagram and website.

I shoot a lot of film. I shoot so much film that my lab gives me presents at Christmas and recognises my voice over the phone. I love film. I love the look of it. I love the joyous and often painful moment of seeing my images for the first time. I love the smell of it. I love looking at huge photos and seeing the grain and knowing that’s a result of light and chemistry and silver crystals. It really is an amazing thing.
Nate Igor Smith for Death Before Digital

But this idea of “death before digital” doesn’t sit right with me.

Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital

I see all these young photographers with their plastic and disposable cameras who refuse to use digital for some sort of absurd nostalgia for something they never knew. I see photographers making zines and books of mediocre snapshot photography because they haven’t shot enough. They might have some great images but often it’s luck and they are almost always surrounded by mediocre images.

Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital

Cameras are tools and refusing to shoot film or refusing to shoot digital is only limiting yourself and your growth. I keep a 35mm point and shoot on me at all times, but I always have my iPhone handy as well. I bring many cameras to every shoot because they all serve a purpose even if that purpose is just to make me think about the shoot differently.

With my digital SLR I can take hundreds of photos in an hour. Every year I shoot more photos than some of history’s greatest photographers shot in their entire lives. I can see light in ways I never could before I shot a million photos. I can immediately figure out what I’m doing wrong and I can try things I never would with film.

Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital

With my 35mm point and shoot I am trying to capture a moment in time. I love the auto focus and the on camera flash and the ability to pull it out in any situation. I am trying to get these moments between shoots and between poses. Nothing feels more “real” than film and no one pays attention when you are holding a tiny point and shoot camera.

Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital

With my 35mm SLR I want to slow down. I want to focus by hand and check the light readings and think about the process of photography. Instead of just popping off shots I take my time to compose and breathe. I usually keep black and white film in my Leica M6. I much prefer color generally, I think most people use black and white because it’s easier, but shooting in black and white changes my thinking. The color of light doesn’t matter, but you have to think about all of the light in a different way. Shooting black and white film through an SLR changes everything and it makes my other work better because of it.

Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital

With my iPhone I shoot everything. People ask me what camera they should buy and I almost always tell them to just use their damn phone. Unless you are gonna drop a few grand on a camera you have a pretty fucking good one in your pocket. Once I had a camera break on a shoot and I shot the whole assignment with my phone and I am not sure anyone even noticed. Plus every working photographer needs a billion social media accounts and your phone camera is obviously the easiest way to do that. Plus I like shooting in a square format on my phone because it’s just another way to force yourself to think about composition.

And lastly my Instax Wide camera. I mostly shoot instant film when I am shooting nudes. I just did a book called Instaxxx (instaxxx.co) and it’s entirely nude instant film. I get on people for being overly nostalgic when it comes to using film, but god damn there is just something really nice about seeing nudes on instant film. All the first nudes I ever shot were on Polaroid and it just conveys an emotion that I don’t think I could get anywhere else.

Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital
Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital

So I am about to end this grumpy old man screaming at the kids rant but let’s wrap this shit up real quick. Different cameras have different uses. Don’t limit yourself to anything.

Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital

Digital photography is so great for so many reasons, but the most important one is that you can practice over and over again. Film is great because it has a look that digital just can’t match and a 35mm photo taken 100 years ago looks pretty damn similar to one taken today. Photos I took just ten years ago look like shit because digital cameras weren’t good enough yet. Just imagine what we will be thinking about photos today. I don’t want my photos to feel dated by technology.

Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital
Nate Igor Smith AKA Driven by Boredom for Death Before Digital

Long story short… shoot a lot. Don’t limit yourself to a camera or medium. And for fucks sake stop using disposable cameras. Plastic lenses look like shit.

“There is something magical about the ability to tell an entire story in a tiny fraction of a second, something that is entirely unique to photography. I’ll never be able to put words to it.”

Jon Walker - Film Photographer - for Death Before Digital

Jon Walker’s favourite feeling in the world is loading a new roll of film in his camera, advancing it to the first frame. 

He doesn’t remember what it was like to see before he started making photographs on the street. There is a certain mindset he enters, something primal, almost like accessing the part of his brain our ancestors used to hunt. He is addicted to that sensation, keeping his eyes wide, knowing the next good photo could be just around the corner.

Jon studied drama in college and thinks about what he learned there often while he’s out photographing. We used to ask ourselves in class, “How many worlds are on stage at this moment, how many individual stories are being told in this space?” Jon thinks of a film negative as a stage, a place where a story takes place. There is something magical about the ability to tell an entire story in a tiny fraction of a second, something that is entirely unique to photography. I’ll never be able to put words to it. Garry Winogrand said in 1980, “Sometimes I feel like the world is a place I bought a ticket to. It’s a big show for me, as if it wouldn’t happen if I wasn’t there with a camera.” 

Jon Walker - Film Photographer - for Death Before Digital
Jon Walker - Film Photographer - for Death Before Digital
Jon Walker - Film Photographer - for Death Before Digital
Jon Walker - Film Photographer - for Death Before Digital
Jon Walker - Film Photographer - for Death Before Digital
Jon Walker - Film Photographer - for Death Before Digital
Jon Walker - Film Photographer - for Death Before Digital

Melisande Bliss is a photographer and filmmaker, born and raised in New York City. Her photographs document urban life, youth culture, nightlife and abandonment. Her work favours a raw, snapshot aesthetic and she generally shoots in color on anything from a Contax T2 to Nikon L35 or disposable camera. 

Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital - The-Men-Who-Sell-the-Flowers
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital - Graffiti-Bathroom
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital - Suburbia-at-Sing-Sing
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital - Blonde-Girl-at-Coney-Island
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital - Emily-and-Laura-in-the-Shower
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital - Stay-Grimey
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital - Abandoned
Melisande Blis for Death Before Digital - Man-at-Payphone

Death Before Digital has been following Fausto and Alessandra’s work for quite a while. Their raw and authentic aesthetics have always appealed to us.
We therefor decided to get in touch and interview the power-couple for a Death Before Digital exclusive.

Fausto Serafini and Alessandra Pace for Death Before Digital - Publisher Of Contemporary Film Photography
Fausto Serafini and Alessandra Pace for Death Before Digital - Publisher Of Contemporary Film Photography

Tell us a bit about yourselves and where you grew up and how you guys got into photography

We are a husband and wife team of photographers from a little narrow-minded town in Italy. We are self-taught photographers and we approach photography together as a hobby, as a mean of escaping from reality and to have a nice time together. Now, photography has totally merged with our lives and is our profession at the moment!

What is it about the medium that appeals most?

We are film-only photographers, because we can’t see digital photography as “photography”.
It is only data, while film is magic. Our favourite camera is the Contax G2!! But we also do instant photography and usually use Polaroid and Fuji Instax cameras.

Fausto Serafini and Alessandra Pace for Death Before Digital - Publisher Of Contemporary Film Photography

How and/or where did you learn your craft? And do you feel you need a degree in photography to pursue a career in photography?

We are self-taught photographers, we simply started taking photos and we’re also completely involved in photography and collaborations with other artists. I think it is simply because we have a vision, we have something to tell that comes out off-hand, and the will to grow and mature as photographers, as persons and as a couple, pushed ourselves to always go beyond our own boundaries and fears. So we firmly think that it is not so essential to have a degree if you have a passion in this field.

Who or what inspires you?

We are inspired by music and cinema, especially by the 90’s, when we were both teenagers!! We are also inspired by photographers like Nan Goldin, Richard Kern, Terry Richardson, Juergen Teller, Todd Hido and Ren Hang.

How would you describe your overall aesthetics?

Our aesthetic is based on real life, real people, home feeling, we are not interested in objective beauty, we are interested in personal attitude and gaze, we love capturing girls that are comfortable with their own body and want to make fun of their own sexuality without blind prejudices.

Fausto Serafini and Alessandra Pace for Death Before Digital - Publisher Of Contemporary Film Photography

What’s been your career-highlight so far?

Every goal we reached has always been important for us and pushed us to go on with more passion.
Maybe the most important one, is having one of our pictures with Tessa Kuragi exhibited at the Museum of Sex in New York.

What are you most excited about for in the year 2017?

It is always exciting to not know what happens next… 2017 for us, means a new step on our path, cause  we started to give classes of erotic photography and also arranging meetings where we talk about our photography. It has been very hard for us to cross that line cause we are so reserved and generally shy people, but we had a lot of requests and we decided to go beyond our boundaries again and grow up a little bit more!!

At the moment we are working on our two main projects: “Ho te” that is a diary of our daily and intimate life, where we register portrait, self portraits, captured moments and landscapes around us. This project began with our first roll of our life, cause when we started taking pictures, we were each the subject of the other and we went on to capture us day by day, while facing routine life, and ops, we had a photo journal in our hands and so we decided to never stop doing that, and this is intended to last till death do us apart! (At the moment we’ve already published 2 books on polaroid from this, sponsored by: Impossible Italia) “Girls,girls,girls” is our second main project where we captured our girls and their relationship with their own body and sexuality.

Fausto Serafini and Alessandra Pace for Death Before Digital - Publisher Of Contemporary Film Photography

What are your hopes and dreams for the foreseeable future?

We hope to never loose our inspiration and always find a way to  renew it! Mainly projects where we captured our girls and their relationship with their own body and sexuality.

Fausto Serafini and Alessandra Pace for Death Before Digital - Publisher Of Contemporary Film Photography

Who would you most like to shoot?

Sasha Grey and Asia Argento! 

Fausto Serafini and Alessandra Pace for Death Before Digital - Publisher Of Contemporary Film Photography

Where in the world would you most like to take photos?

Always in the same place, our place, where everything was born and where everything starts everyday, with our music and our books and movies and our love inside these four walls.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

We perfectly know that these are such high and ambitious dreams, but sooner or later we’ll get it!!
Juergen Teller, Richard Kern, Terry Richardson!!!

Fausto Serafini and Alessandra Pace for Death Before Digital - Publisher Of Contemporary Film Photography

Death Before Digital would like to thank Fausto and Alessandra for their time to answer our questions and for sharing their insights with our audience. For more work please visit their website.

For this Death Before Digital Exclusive, we sat down with Raphael Buehlmann. A multidimensional artist hailing from Switzerland. 

Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital

So, Raphael … Tell us a little something about yourself. 

My name is Raphael Jonas Buehlmann. I come from Zurich Switzerland and I am 30 years of age.
That’s about everything that I’m sure about. 

How did your creative career start? 

I was growing up in a family of artists. Expressing myself visually was very natural to me from early on.
I personally think we all have the urge to express and process the things we see or go through.
Others are good with words while I think I feel better communicating more visually.

You are quit the known tattoo artist under the name Raphael Verlan. It occurred to me that not many people know you as a photographer as well. You seem to keep those two disciplines separated on purpose. Is there a specific reason behind it? And what did you start out with?

Tattooing is one of the most beautiful things on earth to me and I am currently still tattooing every single day and I will most likely be tattooing for the rest of my life. However, tattooing stands in hard contrast to my photography. Tattooing is a very strict profession, there’s no mistakes allowed. In photography or at least in the way I approach photography, I’m able to do more experimental stuff. If the outcome doesn’t turn out as expected, no one gets hurt.

Although I do have to say… although it’s not that obvious, both my tattoo- and photography-work have many things in common. Especially since the last years in which my vision got more clear started to create my “voice”.

Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital

I started using a camera when I was about 18 years old. I made many pictures of my girlfriend at the time. Back then I used the pictures to paint her afterwards. I really hated the way the pictures looked though. It was a shitty digital camera but all i could afford at that time. Later i started drawing and painting more and more girls and I eventually could afford a better camera to make pictures of them first. But even those pictures where completely shit and I hated pretty much everything about them. The only good that came from the pictures was the fact that the paintings always looked better than the pictures. 

A few years later I bought an analog camera for my girlfriend at the time because she was interested in photography in general and it only cost about $50. I ended up using the camera way more than she did and for the first time I realised that the pictures itself where kind of good and that I didn’t need the extra step of transforming them into a painting or drawing anymore. I still did, but often lost some of it’s beauty without giving something more exciting. So it slowly became clear to me. Sometimes photography can be stronger than paintings. I have done an apprenticeship as scenic painter at “Schauspielhaus Zurich” and in those 4 years I always got told that a photograph would never be more than a flat version of a painting. But I’ve learned that that doesn’t always have to be true…

Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital

How did they react?

Well, to be honest, the local newspaper completely misunderstood my vision and that made me very sad. The people who went to the exhibition where fascinated but a little confused as well. Haha I couldn’t blame them.
I think most of my early work is complete shit.

Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital
Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital

What happened after that?

I was actually at a good point of my career. The tattooing went super well and luckily still is. So I could afford a better camera and bought a Canon 5d and started to do some jobs for agencies, brands and fashion magazines. But I didn’t like what I was doing with my photography. Something felt wrong and out of place. Like I was trying to become something that wasn’t me.

So I turned my back on the so called (professional photography) before I even really started. For me, the environment, the people from the agencies and the art directors who always think they know better, we’re getting on my nerves too much. I realised my pictures started to look boring and shallow. So I stopped doing that and decided I would only make pictures of what I personally find interesting and that I would ONLY make them the way I want them to look. Luckily there are still magazines and galleries who are interested in what I do and that value my work as is. By working this way every picture I publish now is highly personal to me.

Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital

We see you shoot a lot of beautiful women…
Can you tell us a little more about what you find interesting about your models?

What is really interesting to me is the thing behind the beauty. I like the concept of exposed intimacy. Because it is paradoxical. How intimate can something be if everyone can look at it? I think the dialog between model and photographer is extremely important. There has to be real interest in the person or object you you make pictures of. Doesn’t matter if it’s a building, a plant or a human being. You have to be really interested in it to get the full spectrum of it’s beauty, it’s possibilities, it’s weaknesses and it’s strength. Fascination isn’t enough, there has to be real interest and passion and connection.

Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital
Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital

We also see more objects and architecture in your photos recently.
Is this a new chapter in your photography?

Well no, I think I just finally find ways to show things the way i want. I always found buildings and other non organic objects very interesting as well, but didn’t have the skill to show them how I wanted to. All in all it’s the same. It’s an interest in the environment we live, in the food we eat, the places we make love in, the places we run through. I think there is a constant exchange between the humans and their environment. You can not tell one story without the other. The places we live are shaping and forming us constantly.

We saw you work a lot in Tokyo and other asian cities like Hong Kong,
Seoul and Taipeh. How come? And what makes those places so interesting to you?

Tokyo is my second home and I love it more than many things in the world. It is my most faithful muse and basic source of inspiration. I could literally go on for hours about how much I love this city. Of course i’m not blind and I see the stuff that is going wrong there as well. I’m not saying it is an utopian place, but the contrast between light and dark (metaphorically speaking) is absolutely breathtaking. I feel this energy everyday when I wake up there. Same for my tattoo work, my paintings and my photography it is important to me to be in Asia. Because in a way I find the most interesting drawing sources and models there. I know that my interest in asian culture comes close to obsession. But try to see it like this: If you are really, really in love with a girl… you want to know everything about her, what she eats, what she ‘s dreaming of, what she likes to wear, what frightens her, what makes her cry, laugh, what kind of music she likes to dance to and how she likes to fuck. But it doesn’t mean you wanna be her. You’re still totally cool with being yourself. For me it’s the same. I will never become a Japanese man and that’s totally ok. I’m cool with being European, but still I wanna learn and respect the Japanese way of living. Because i’m in love with it. If that makes sense?

Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital
Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital
Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital
Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital
Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital

Can you tell us a little more about the equipment you are currently using?

It depends, when I’m at an indoor location I mostly use a Minolta Dynax 700i. I love that camera because it’s simple and it does what I want. Plus it’s not super expensive so if one falls down I can go and replace it easily.
The outdoor pics are mostly done with a Contax T3. Although I find that camera slightly overrated. So as of recently I am using a Leica Minilux when shooting outdoor. It’s a bit heavier and bigger than the T3. But the lens is phenomenal!

Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital
Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital
Raphael Buehlmann | Film Photographer and Artist | Exclusive Feature | Death Before Digital

So what you can tell us about upcoming projects? Got some things lined up?

Right now, I’m at the point that I would love to bring out a book soon. Therefor I’m glad we already had a chat about possibilities and I’m looking forward going more in depth on this subject. Thanks for reaching out for this feature and I’m looking forward to future collaborations!  

Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens – Born and raised in a city that rains 9 months out of the year… Seattle. Jamil gravitates towards taking pictures because it lets people see things from his point of view.  These images are how he views the world. His weapon of choice is a Contax T2 and he has been exclusively shooting with Kodak Portra 800 lately. Look out for Jamil Owens, the son of Garry. It’s going to be a hot summer.

Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2
Jamil Nemesio Domingo Owens for Death Before Digital. Kodak Portra 800 + Contax T2

Rick is a skateboarder from Rotterdam that we’ve seen growing up in the skatepark and the streets of Rotterdam.
He documents the local skate-culture strictly through disposable cameras. Without pretensions, other than to document.

rick den ouden - disposable camera - Skateboarding - 35mm

This all started because of skateboarding, being out on the streets the whole day. Skateboarders have this kind of magnet to attract the most weird encounters. They also travel from place to place into different corners of the city where “normal” people or tourist normally won’t find themselves.

These situations dare to cause the most weird/bizar moments. He always wanted to capture these moments and show them to people what skateboarders come across on a daily basis. With this motivation, he always keeps his disposable camera with him, ready to capture what is going to happen next. Every single day out on the streets is different.

Rick Den Ouden Disposable Film Camera Skateboarding Rotterdam
Rick Den Ouden Disposable Film Camera Skateboarding Rotterdam
Rick Den Ouden Disposable Film Camera Skateboarding Rotterdam
Rick den Ouden, film-photographer, featured on Death Before Digital
Rick den Ouden, film-photographer, featured on Death Before Digital
Rick den Ouden, skateboard film-photographer, featured on Death Before Digital
Rick den Ouden, skateboard film-photographer, featured on Death Before Digital

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