FilmNeverDie Sits Down with Nadia Rompas

Hey Nadia, give us the down low on who you are!

Hey there! My name's Nadia, 23 years old, originally from Jakarta, Indonesia but currently living in Melbourne. I'm a freelance portrait and fashion photographer.

What got you into photography? And why Film?

When I was 14 my parents agreed to get me a DSLR if I took a basic photography class, so it all started after that. At the time, Lomography was huge, so my best friends gave me red 120mm Holga camera for my birthday. It wasn't after a few years later when my close friend gifted me a 35mm Holga cat camera that I really got into film. I've always loved the surprise after getting your film developed. You get to appreciate your images more and have an emotional attachment to it.

What is the Indonesian film photography scene like? 

Film photography is big right now in Indonesia. Finding places to buy and develop film used to be difficult, but there's loads now. A key film photography event is Lowlight Bazaar by Jellyplayground where you can find all these film vendors in one place for a day. I'm not too acquainted with professional film photographers, but a lot of people I know do it casually.

You take a lot of portraits and your work is quite fashion orientated, tell us a bit about your process and what your photography is about.

Most of the time, I have a very loose idea for a shoot. It can be based on lighting, makeup, style, a place, etc. On the day of the shoot, I usually go with the flow and bounce off the energy of the model. After almost every shoot I'd think the results are shit (due to my own insecurity), so I'm always pleasantly surprised when they turn out alright. And whenever I'm finding people to work with, representation is always in the back of my mind. I try to make it a point that POC (specifically WOC) are in the forefront. 

What is the "Secret Sauce" to your aesthetic, if you don't mind us asking. Is there a special film, camera or combination you really like using and why?

It would be my Contax G2 with Portra 400 or 800 film. I'm quite bad when it comes to focusing a manual lens, so the Contax lifts this burden off me. And since I love taking portraits, Portra is the best film for skin tones. But If I'm shooting in a low-light setting, or mini studio with coloured LED lights, I prefer Portra 800 because it captures the intensity of the colours.

Do you have any tips for those who are just starting out on their photography journey?

Shoot as much as you can. I think a lot of people are scared of wasting film because they fear their photos aren't "good enough." It took me 8 years to go from casual documentary style photos to fashion/portraits. Even if you shoot on digital, photography is a process full of trial and error so it takes a while until you find your 'thing'.

Thanks Nadia!!! Got any plugs or links to your work we can post?

Yep! You can check out my Instagram @nadiarompas and portfolio at

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