Malaysian Lomographer Eva Lai Yee Wah (@eva_eva) is a familiar name for lomographers, having been an active member of the community since the early 2010s. Her photographs are perfect examples of what Lomography is–thriving in the uncertainty and embracing the ‘happy accidents’!
For the fifth edition of the Dear Young Shutterbugs series, we caught up with Eva Eva–who’s now a mom to a beautiful girl and is still very much into film photography–to ask her for advice for budding photographers.
Hello! This is Eva. The community has been calling me Eva Eva and I’ve been into Lomography since 2006-2007.
It all started with a friend, who suddenly asked, "Have you heard about Lomography?" The conversations kickstarted my curiosity. I tried out one roll with the Lomography Fisheye No. 2 and I was hooked ever since. The unpredictable results excite me. Nothing beats the thrill of excitement when you get back the roll fresh from the lab.
Even when the technology in the digital age evolved swiftly and photography can be done anytime anywhere, I still adore the sentiment of shooting photographs in the analogue way. The process of loading the film, clicking the shutter, the unpredictable results of every single frame and the journey of sending the films to the darkroom still makes my heart beat fast.
There are plenty of worst and best photos among hundreds of rolls I shot all these years! It’s pretty hard to pick any.
For the best; this is my current favorite where I shot my daughter during our holiday at Jeju Island, Korea, pre-Covid era. With one hand I’m lightly holding her hand so she could touch the plant she saw that sparked her curiosity. And with my other hand, I’m holding my LC-A+ to snap this shot. I love how the photo turned out, the accidental light leaks. Also this photo reminds me of that very moment I saw my daughter happily exploring the world freely with her little hand.
As for worst photos; there were way too many underexposed and blurred photographs during my recent rolls, mainly due to expired films and technical issues on my old cameras.
Meanwhile there are plenty of memorable photos! I would say most of them were taken during the fresh days when I just started Lomography. For now, I’d like to pick this photo, taken when I first visited Bali Island in Indonesia, and then fell in love with the place. I captured my then-boyfriend-now-husband’s back, enjoying surfing, while I just hung out at the beach the whole day. This photo reminds me of the carefree days we had prior to venturing into a brand new parenthood adventure. Oh, how I miss those days!
I think I shoot mostly lifestyle and travel photography. I enjoy capturing interesting objects or subjects that I encounter when I travel and moments when I’m surrounded with my loved ones.
Youth is a precious and priceless asset you have now. Go out, try and experience everything, fail but don’t ever fail to learn from it. For all the bad and good moments will pass by one day, so cherish every single moment you have now by capturing it.
While everyone is trying to be as perfect as possible in the digital world now, perhaps taking one step back and going back to the basics might spark some excitement in you. There is always something special a roll of 36-exposure film can bring that a thousand clicks from your digital cameras (or smartphones) can't.
Thank you, Eva, for sharing your journey and advice! To stay in touch with her work, check out her LomoHome, Instagram and website.
Through this series, we hope to inspire a new generation of film photographers to dip their toes into the craft and learn from the adventures and advice of some of our long-standing community members. You may view previous letters here.
Want to write your own letter? Connect with email@example.com with the subject Dear Young Shutterbugs!