After that we started to make our way towards Carnaby Street, via a few more shops to check out blazers for Adam. At 2pm I was off to an exciting workshop held at the Soho HQ Lomography shop. The event was a ‘LoBlography’ workshop, designed to inspire bloggers and introduce analogue photography to those who hadn’t tried it. I’ve been using their Diana F+ for a while now and thoroughly enjoy messing about with it, but the chance to try another of their cameras and hear talks from some really successful bloggers had me dead excited.
After telling us about the brand’s history and ethos, host Heidi introduced the Lomography ‘bread and butter’ camera, the LC-A. I’ve been intrigued by these little cameras for a while, as they are so compact and give great results even in conditions I know other analogue cameras struggle with. It’s much more expensive than the likes of the Holga and Diana, at around £250, but Heidi told me how the legendary Minitar 1 lens was what makes it special and more expensive to produce. It does fit with lots of the fun accessories I love to play with, including a ring flash and instant back (I have one for the Diana which is great fun) and represents a piece of real Lomo history as the first camera the founders discovered and began to reproduce.
We were given a quick tutorial, and then picked up a camera each (already loaded with 35mm film) and marched together through Soho for an hour of snapping. I was lucky enough to baggsy the LC-Wide which features an even more impressive lens and the ability to half close the shutter to play around with multiple exposures. It was a little tricky to get used to how it works, being so used to the Diana which is a lot more low-tech, but it is a great starter camera for those wanting to take up analogue photography I think because it won’t let you accidentally take a picture without winding on or with the lens cap on (I’m still doing that even now with my Diana!). Having spent so much time with the Diana though, I did find the LC-A rather less fun somehow. Still, I’ll await final judgement until I see the photos!…. it was a rather grey afternoon and I wouldn’t usually have shot anything with my Diana because it likes the sun so much, but I’ve been told the LC-A holds up much better with our typical British weather! I’ll be sure to share the processed images when I get them next week….. a big thank you to Heidi and the Lomography Shop for giving us all a film to play with and processing them for free (not to mention having them sent to the East London store which is super convenient for me!).
When we had all re-assembled in the little workshop space under the shop (all Lomography stores have a space for training, workshops and displays like that, with the exception of the two pop-ups in Westfield and Selfridges at the moment), Bucks Fizz and cupcakes were passed around whilst we chatted and got to know the other attendees a little. We’d been sent a list of everyone’s sites in advance so I was delighted to meet everyone and put a face to the blog!
After guzzling up plenty of fizz, we settled down to hear talks from Kat of Gizmodo, Adam of Rock My Wedding and Domestic Sluttery founder Siany. Heidi had asked everyone to tell us a bit about how they started up and managed to develop their respective sites….. It was great to hear everyone’s stories, and pretty inspirational to know a little bit about how their blogs grew and grew. There was a lot of emphasis on finding a niche and branding, which I know I have to work on…. as well as ensuring you love what you do (which I know I need no help with!). Thank you to all three speakers….. for sharing your cleverness and being dead lovely too.
After promising to keep in touch with lots of the nice people I’d met, and handing in the roll of film I took (as well as a few from Paris which I can’t wait to get back!) I took the short walk across Carnaby Street to meet up with folks celebrating my friend Richard’s birthday. Before I’d even settled into a sofa, I had a cocktail put in my hand….and it was all downhill from there! After a bottle of Champagne was put in front of me too (Richard was kind enough to continue my birthday celebrations even though we’d really met up to celebrate his!) I spent the next few hours chatting, giggling and taking ridiculous photos using the silly effects on my digital camera. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much!