Film Never Die Shooters - An interview with our Brisbane girl, Alfira Ariani!

June 16, 2017

Hi Alfira, could you tell us a little bit about you and what's keeping you busy at the moment?
I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I moved to Brisbane 3 years ago, which is one of the best decision I've ever made, in order to pursue my dreams in engineering & creative career. I am now in my final year of my Bachelor of Chemical Engineering program. I am so excited that I will be graduating really soon! 
I also work casually in a local restaurant here in Brisbane. You know, I don't mind to have an extra income to help me fund my hobby in film photography. I keep myself busy everyday by studying and also collecting professional photography portfolios on my free times. I'm not going to lie and brag about this, but engineering is hard as hell, so on the other side, photography is one thing I've discovered which can always keep me sane.
How long have you been shooting film? 
I am into photography since I was a kid. Then, my best friend introduced me to disposable camera around 3 years ago, and I fell in love right away. I bought a lot of disposable cameras and shoot like almost everyday. Then it escalated quickly after I bought my first point-and-shoot film camera, which around those days it was rare to see me leaving the house without it. I always believe and bare in mind that there will be something interesting to shoot everyday out there. So, I keep that as a habit every now and then. 
How did you become inspired to shoot on film?
Life is too short to be like anyone else, and I think to myself that film photography is one of the chance to be different. We live in an era where technology is advancing very rapidly and that creative community has been democratised to the point where it's difficult to not buy a phone without a camera in it. Hence, my commitment towards film photography helps me to step aside the square. 
On the other hand, I like to be creatively challenged everyday. I found all of the downsides in film photography as benefits to my own creative process. It's not as cheap, as convenient, and not as easy as digital photography. Yet those points gave me another level of appreciation on what it takes to shoot a really great image, and it resulted me in focusing more on my shooting composition. Besides, the 'waiting game' on film processing is quite fun. I am still like that kid on Christmas day who wait to open their presents in the morning! 
My father also inspired me in shooting films. I always look forward to that moment when we reminiscing old memories from old photographs every time I go home to visit my family, which we always did. In fact, I'm still keeping my father's old camera and brought it here. That sentimental feeling on taking pictures with the same camera which captured the moment when my brother was born. I always feel connected with my family through this.
How important is photography to you?
As I mentioned before, photography is one of the things that can keep me sane. It's not just a hobby, I found it very therapeutic. I feel like I can learn more about myself when I shoot; about what I'm interested in, what I feel about it, and what I want to say to the audience who view my works. The way people see the world is unique, and I would like to share mine with others through my own perspective. It has no language or culture barriers. A single image enables me to communicate with people around the world. Many important and closest people in my life I met through sharing the same passion of photography, and I really cherish that.
Where do you see the future of analogue photography?
I personally think that analogue photography is now making a comeback. Which also supported by the fact that many popular film manufacturers (Kodak, Fujifilm, and Harman technology) said that they also have been experiencing a growth of film sales over the last two or three years, globally. 
My personal interest in fashion photography also made me notice that a lot of fashion photographers are spurring a film renaissance. And the market seems to like it. The possibility and quality of analogue medium are now being discovered more in this industry, a filmic style by using real people and natural light. More eclectic, vintage/retro-inspired approach are popularised by many big brands through their campaign nowadays, with images of grainy, hazy, and black and white film aesthetic. Generally speaking, the comeback of analogue photography is in line with an overall shift in fashion.
Besides, there are a lot of small but dedicated group of newer companies with enthusiasm on film photography who managed to find their success. For instance, Lomography. So yeah, I think this trend will keep increasing in the future! 
 
Could you name your favourite photographer?
That is a tough question. I have a lot in mind! For now, I am really into this Spanish London-based young photographer, Coco Capitán, who also uses analogue medium for her works. I love how the way she chose her objects to shoot. Really weird, and smart, which why I like it. Her latest solo exhibition "Let Me Not Introduce Myself The Pleasure is Yours" instantly blew my mind. The irony of her works which explain the effectiveness of a picture as a self-explanatory medium is really genius. The fact that she's the same age as mine and have already been hired by major fashion brands motivates me more. Also, she still carry her point-and-shoot Yashica film camera every time, which is very cool.
 
Any challenges throughout your photography journey?
I found this quote by Patrick O'dell very sarcastic and true: "The hardest thing about photography is that it's so easy." Honestly, it's just as simple as pushing a button. Everyone can do it. Moreover, photography is a personal journey to myself. The challenges is on how to keep my authenticity in track, and as well as keep being honest to my creative-self.
What is a dream project you want to work on?
At the moment I really enjoy photographing people. It's funny how most people think that they are not photogenic. I believe that every each person is beautiful. Being able to capture and showing it to them in a photograph would be an incredible gift. More like seeing a beauty in someone that might not even see it in themselves. Anyway, this point of view gave and idea for me and another friend whose been dreaming of having this creative & talent agency, which background is celebrating the diverse of beauty in our photographs. Still working on it though, wish us luck!
 
Thanks Alfira and good luck for your dream project! now where can we find out more about your work?
You can find my works on my website www.al-fira.co and on my photography instagram @she_likes_to_shoot. Enjoy!



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