Artist Feature – Rachel Gist

This absolutely gorgeous series of Kolor photographs was submitted to us by California based photographer Rachel Gist.
Rachel was so kind to answer our questions about her view on (analog) photography. 

Would you care to tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be a photographer?

California native. Space lover. Cinephile. Dreamer. 
Cinema has always been in my blood. Some of my first memories are watching 50’s musicals and vintage foreign films with my mother, probably before I could comprehend them. My passion for film-making really blossomed in grade school, where I produced a student-run news program. From there, I went on and studied film theory in hopes of a career as a director / cinematographer. 
I picked up my first analog camera – a Canon AE1 – while working abroad in Korea. I didn’t have the resources to shoot cinema, so photography fulfilled my creative yearning. Looking back, my love affair definitely began in Asia. I shot portraits of the local people I met while backpacking and documenting my travel experiences. I fell so deeply in love with the process, and came home with over 30 rolls of film! I could barely afford their development – I was completely broke after my travels. 

Here I am, two years later, still documenting. 

Do you professionally work as a photographer?

I’ve been shooting on a more serious level quite recently. I realized how creatively independent photography allows me to be and I would love to mold a future for myself in this business. I’ve always dreamt of supporting myself as a full-time artist, but it’s definitely a tough field. I’m not sure I’ve found my niche just yet. 

Why do you like to take analog pictures? Do you shoot digital as well?

The texture, the colors, the dream-like quality of film. The physicality of it all. I spend less time over-shooting because I feel one with my camera. There’s no preview or viewfinder, your movements have to be calculated and precise, the lighting must be perfect; I feel so in tune with what I’m doing in those moments. It’s somewhat of an escape for me. 

I especially love pushing the limits of double and triple exposure. There’s just this raw quality you cannot replicate in digital photography – where everything seems too pristine, too crisp. The imperfection of analog excites me. I’m deeply inspired by the surrealist filmmakers of the past, of creating worlds based on dreams. I think I’m able to translate these concepts into my experimental portraiture because of the quality and texture of the medium. 

Do you have a favorite subject to photograph? If so, why?

My cousin is my muse. She’s also an artist and has this deeper understanding of what I do, of how I want to convey an idea or concept. We go on photography adventures, which mostly consist of long drives and random weirdness. We feel monumentally comfortable and connected to each other; she’s the ultimate teammate. You’ll recognize her in a lot of my portraits. 

What’s your favorite analog camera?

Hands down the Canon AE1. I may be partial to this old guy because it was one of my firsts. But, it’s a beast. 

Do you have a favorite revolog film?

I’ve only ever shot with one stock, Kolor. I just ordered three more rolls so I’m looking forward to shooting more. 

Any advice for other photographers?

Don’t compare yourself to others. We’re force-fed so many stories of success via social media and platforms like Instagram, it’s easy to feel somewhat diminished by a more established person or artist. Just focus on your craft, and stay true to yourself and your art. 

Do you have any future projects you’d like to talk about?

I’ll be returning to Korea in April…Neon lights. Masses of people. More experiments to come! 

Follow her tumblr and instagram: @_rachelgist / @raychellgee 

Feel free to contact us if you want your work to be featured too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *