Today’s featured photographer is Alysha Ragusa, a 35mm photog from Canada. Her film photos are a beautiful mix of summer memories and travel voyeurism, dotted here and there with gentle polaroids and stunning vistas. I asked her a few questions about her life and her work.
How old are you?
I’m 23 years old.
Where are you from?
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
What do you shoot with?
I shoot (play) with a variety of film cameras. The one I shoot with most often is my Nikon FE and secondly would be my Minolta XG1. I would say 70% of the time I use Kodak UltraMax 400ASA 35mm film. It’s the bomb! It has the softest, warmest tones. I experiment with different types of Lomography film the other 30% of the time.
I also have a 1940 Rolleiflex K4 TLR that my husband got me for our anniversary last year. I don’t use it as often as I should be because its SO COOL. I get black and white 120mm for it from Lomography. To properly break it in, though, I would LOVE to take it to Paris or New York… I will make that happen.
My newest baby is my SX70 Polaroid camera and I’m in love.
How long have you been taking photographs?
Let’s just say I was always the “documenter” as a kid, especially on family vacations. I’ve loved taking photos for as long as I can remember. I bought my first digital SLR camera when I was 14 years old (I still have it). It was only until about 4 years ago that I started shooting with film and, honestly, I rarely pick up my digital now.
What inspires you the most?
Pretty much anything nostalgic. I could flip through old photo albums for hours.
What’s your favourite thing to take photos of?
That’s a tough one because I have a lot of “favourite” things, ha! I love adventure. One of my favourite places to be is in the mountains and I’m fortunate enough to live in the part of the country that has some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. So I would have to say anything nature related. But I LOVE photographing people as well. Put those two together… well that’s perfection.
If you couldn’t take photos, what would you do instead?
Be a couch potato? Ha, I really don’t know.
What are you plans for the future?
My husband and I always talk about eventually opening a film shop here in Edmonton (we’d be the first!). We would sell every type of film and create a public dark room where people can come in and buy time to develop their own photos. I would gladly help promote local artists work too. You have no idea how badly I want to make this happen.
What is it that you enjoy about photography?
Capturing emotion and the moments that made me go “Wow…” or more realistically “Gahhhhhheeinhshbxbuwee %$&!!”
What motivates you?
My husband, David. We share the same passion which is amazing.
Who are your favourite photographers?
Here comes the cheese… My favourite photographer is one of my best friends Dzesika Devic from Devic Fotos in Toronto, Ontario. She might not know it but she inspires me the most. She is a modern day Vivian Maier (who I admire as well) for street photography. If I could capture places and people the way she does one day, well, that would be just wonderful.
What tips would you give to beginners?
Always have your camera on you and go for more walks.
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