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MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
Kali is an incurably ill, disabled photographer who finds magic and healing in her creative practice. Her work focuses on the ethereal, the psychedelic, and the in-between realms. Taking photos is her greatest love and she credits analog photography for changing her life and keeping her motivated to pursue the beauty in the world. Kali is a true believer in "the magic of film."
How did you get started shooting film?
"My grandparents, upon realizing that I was becoming interested in film photography, gifted me a few of their 35mm cameras from the 1950s and about a dozen rolls of expired film from the late 90s. The first film camera I used was the 1951 Kodak Signet 35, and went through the collection of expired film in a matter of months. Once I ran out I started working with Kodak Gold 200 and film from my friend Dustin Adams, who created Psychedelic Blues Film. Soon after I discovered Lomochrome Purple, and things took off from there!"
What is your favorite camera?
"Oh my gosh, this is such a difficult question! I have been dedicated to Lomochrome Purple for many years, but lately Cinestill 800t has been in my camera a little more often. I also really love Ektachrome, absolutely love it. I have taken some of my favorite photos with that film stock. But I can't forget Psychedelic Blues... I mean, yeah, this is a really hard question! I love to make ethereal photos, and I have found that my style has really developed by shooting with a diverse bunch of film stocks."
What is your favorite film stock?
"My favorite camera is most definitely the Nikon F3. My boyfriend got it for me many years ago and I've hardly put it down ever since. It's a very intuitive camera, and I love that it is fully mechanical. I have a lot of different lenses for the F3, so it's infinitely fun to work with. Runner up is the Mamiya RB67 Pro S. It is very heavy, but golly, the photos are worth it. I have so much fun using this camera, I absolutely love it. Third place is the Polaroid SX-70, it's just magic."
What has your experience been in the film community?
"Overall I would say that it's been really positive. Folks are supportive, usually kind, and I've made a lot of new friends that are really close to my heart. Of course, I do encounter insincerity and lack of authenticity on occasion, and when that does happen I just go along my merry way because I know that's not the environment I want to contribute to. Community is so important, and I am grateful to say that I have found one in all the friends and artists that dwell in the film space."
Your art is valuable. I hope that women in our community will recognize how valuable their work is. Raise your prices, stop selling yourself short! You are worth it, and the photos you take deserve to be seen and appreciated."
What's the best piece of advice you have been given as a photographer?
"Don't follow trends. Don't conform. Don't assimilate. Make your own art, and focus on it. My friend Scott (@tsbehr) told me that."
What advice would you give to a beginner film photographer?
"ALWAYS BRING YOUR CAMERA EVERYWHERE YOU GO. ALWAYS. Always bring more film than you think you need. Buy batteries for your camera in bulk so you never have to worry about running out at an inconvenient time. Try not to fixate on the algorithm, if you're sharing work on social media. Don't compare yourself to other artists, just be you! Just take the photos you want to take. Create your own space in the community!"