April is “inspirational women month” at Srsck’s. Today we are interviewing a very talented Dutch photographer. Her work is dreamy and romantic in a vintage kind of way. Knock, knock, miss Lona Aalders.
So let’s start with the practical stuff, shall we: what type of cameras do you shoot with?
I am in love with analogue cameras. The work I make, the feeling I am trying to portray in a photo works best with film. There is something magical about the depth of field. I mainly work with a Bronica SQ-B, sometimes an old Minolta.
Since I have started doing more portraits I also work with a Nikon 3200D which was an awesome gift from my father. It’s amazing, especially in low light situations!
What is the connection between your pictures and your ideals?
I think my pictures show how I would love for life to be. Simple, beautiful and peaceful. It’s an escapism from reality which is often stressful and noisy.
Why are you an artist Lona, when did you become one? What would you give for advise to somebody that would tell you they wanted to become the new Lona Aalders?
I don’t know…I think people are born creative or not. Some people are good with the right side of their brain, some with the left. I suck at math and science, but I can draw and take nice photographs.
What makes an artist…the enjoyment in making art, I would say. Which answers the other question, you cannot become something, everybody has their own special talent which one should explore.
When I look at you, your house, your look and of course your work, it nearly seems as if you came out of another time period, as if you don’t really fit in the 21st century. In which time should you have been born?
I don’t long to live in any period of time, really. It’s easy to romanticize the past, but I do appreciate working toilets and equal rights.
If I could choose I would live in a fairytale land with unicorns and perfect misty landscapes. Men wearing suits and hats, women wearing beautiful dresses and parasols. Long picnics and no rain, ever!
What do you need to make a good picture other than your camera? Which lens would you chose if you could only have one and why?
You need the ‘eye’ I guess. Everyone can learn how to use a camera, and almost everyone has Instagram now to make a ‘cool’ photo. I firmly believe it does not really matter how expensive or cheap your camera is, as long as you know how to frame a photo, how to recognize and capture that magic moment.
If I could have any lens right now it would be a macro lens for the Bronica.
Do you ever revisit your older pictures to edit them again, differently then the original work?
Not really. That was then and that was how it or I felt at the time. It would be like going back and changing a memory.
Mac or PC, miss?
Either. I have a PC because I cannot afford a Mac. I don’t think it matters a lot, though.
What or who inspires you and keeps you motivated to create when life tends to get tough now and then? Are there websites or/and blogs that you enjoy, if so which ones?
My biggest hero is Tim Walker. I love his work so much, the surreality and beautiful objects. His photographs feel like magical dreams.
I like magazines like Lula and also really enjoy fashion photography, even though fashion doesn’t interest me much. I just like the way they shoot the clothes!
Not a lot of time for blogging and such, but I like to visit Pinterest for interesting images.
What do you think is overrated in the society we live in? What is your biggest fear?
Possessions are overrated and I think most people overrate themselves. I really dislike big egos and narcissism. The loveliest people I know are talented and doing wonderful things and they don’t feel the need to shout about it all the time.
My biggest fear is losing the people I love. And thunderstorms.
Do you think that not having training as a photographer has been a disadvantage for you or an advantage?
I can’t really tell since I was never trained. I don’t know what I would have done differently…I would like to learn how to use studio equipment, lighting and such.
But as to taking the photos I want to take, I have learnt to do that by myself and don’t think any form of training would have mattered.
If you could photograph two people tomorrow, who ever, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My mother, because I would love to have been able to portray her the way I see her with my mind’s eye.
The other one would be Jane Austen, because she was my first literary hero and I would love to have met her.
You can see more work by Lona Aalders on her website.
Frédérique houdt van mimosa, van films, van de geur van gebakken knoflook, van de Middellandse Zee (‘haar’ zee want aan die zee is ze geboren), fotografie, musea, nachttreinen, haute couture en ze zou het liefst voor altijd in een hotel wonen.