Online Group Exhibition - "Loosen Up” August 2019


“Birdman“ by Mindaugas Gabrenas | Handmade 6x6 Camera + Kodak Ektar 100 Film

Analog Forever Magazine is pleased to showcase 35 images in this month’s online exhibition entitled Loosen Up. Curated by Niniane Kelley, these photographs explore the excitingly fun part of shooting analog photography - simply shooting! Spend your day absorbing the true essence of our craft by letting go of distractions like social media likes and artistic praise, by diving into the results your fellow photographers have achieved by setting their creative spirit free!

Niniane Kelley writes: This month's exhibition prompt, Loosen Up, was chosen by Dave Handler, a devoted analog photographer and the co-owner of exhibition sponsor, Photoworks SF. For thirty-some years Dave and the staff of Photoworks have sold and processed countless thousands of rolls of film for every type and level of photographer, seeing everything from family vacations, to fine-art, and everything in between. Dave's message for us with this prompt comes down to this: don't take yourself so damn seriously all the time. 

Without a doubt, most of us take our work seriously. Art is so much about individual expression, and we obviously take it quite personally when we put it out to the world. And while we should take pride in what we create, in the overwhelming face of validation, recognition, and Instagram likes, it's so easy to lose sight of what brought us to photography in the first place — because it's fun and magical and maddening and it brings us joy. 

In selecting the images with the idea of “Loosen Up”, I found myself drawn to photos that had some level of fun and play and, in a few cases, downright silliness. A little levity in a week that felt weighed down by the realities of the news and the state of the world, a reminder to myself that there is joy even when things might feel bleak. For the winning entry I selected an image by Mindaugas Gabrenas. This piece jumped out at me (pun intended) as exemplifying both the spirit and the word of the call. There is a feeling of freedom and exuberance of the movement, a sense of spontaneity and luck, all amplified by the atmosphere created with the combination of film and camera. 

So consider this a reminder to take some time to have some fun, to play, experiment. Pick up a camera you've never used or a film you've never tried just to see what happens. Go have an adventure or laugh with a friend. Go find some enjoyment. Loosen up.

-Niniane Kelley

The Prize - A $100.00 Photoworks SF Gift Card!

Congratulations to Mindaugas Gabrenas for winning this month’s exhibition! You will be receiving a $100.00 Gift Card courtesy of Photoworks SF, good for any service or product at their retail store, or online!

Originally founded by three partners as a one-hour photo lab business in 1987, Photoworks SF is now one of the West Coast’s premier film processing and printing labs that also offers a fully interactive digital imaging facility. Over the last 32 years the store has evolved and morphed into a place where analog photographers from all over the world call home.

Make sure you visit the Photoworks SF’s website to get your film developed, scanned, and printed!

You can read our interview with Dave Handler, Co-Owner of Photoworks SF here!


About the Curator

Niniane Kelley is a fine art photographer living and working in San Francisco and Lake County, California. A native of the Bay Area, she is a San Jose State University graduate, earning a BFA in Photography in 2008.

Drawn to photography for both the immediacy of the image making process and the intrinsic alchemy of the darkroom ritual, she crafts the majority of her imagery using traditional 19th century processes which give each piece its own unique character. 

After generating an extensive portfolio working with the human form, she emerged from the sequestered studio environment and began to focus on the quiet beauty of the North State rural landscape. Embracing photography’s implied narrative structure, much of her current work functions as a form of autobiography, chronicling her frequent, unencumbered explorations of Northern California’s pastoral and largely unpopulated interior.

But never one to cease experimentation, she is also simultaneously developing new complimentary bodies of work using Polaroid and plastic cameras to bring fresh perspective to both her figure and landscape work.

In addition to producing photographic images, Kelley is also extensively involved in alternative processes education and research. Often teaching workshops in the Bay Area and surrounding environs, she most recently worked as a photographer and manager at San Francisco’s tintype portrait studio, Photobooth.

Connect with Niniane on her Website and on Instagram!