Vivian used a Rolleiflex, which is absolutely my favorite camera. I love the duality of the crispness and softness, delivered on a square format. The photographs really have a lot of soul. The film discussed her approach to shooting: getting close enough to strangers for amazing portraits, shooting odd things like garbage cans, the sense of humor she had in her photos and the grungy streets that gave her so many amazing subjects. Because the Rolleflex is not used at eye level, it allows you to be a bit more discreet when taking a photograph and she used this constantly to her advantage. I loved learning that Vivian took her camera abroad on travels, which I have done in the past. It's light, doesn't take batteries and is quiet while shooting.
One interesting discussion on this film was museum's reception of Vivian's work. They have not accepted her work into their collections. Vivian was extremely private, eccentric and did not do much with her photography in her lifetime. Because she did not edit her work (by edit I mean she did not select her own images to share) curators are less accepting of acquiring her images, chosen by someone else, despite her indisputable talent. If a photographer shoots and doesn't share, are they not a photographer? Interesting question.
Most of all, I felt so connected with someone who had the same passion as me: shooting on a Rolleiflex camera. In honor of the Rollei, here are a few favorites of mine posted below. The film is playing now at the E Street Cinema in Washington, DC and around the country. The film is uncovering the story behind a true artist and is a fascinating one!
Ceremony & Reception: Garza Blanca Resort
Wedding Dress: Created by a friend of the bride, Lee Ma, who works at an atelier
Evening Dress: Custom made for Lislie by Derek Lam
Shoes: Lislie designed them for Derek Lam's spring 2014 runway show
Bridesmaids Dresses: Designed by Lislie's friend Vee Lapnarongchai, who has his own knitwear based line SVEE
Hair and Make up: bridesmaid Kalam
Music: groom's custom playlist
Calligraphy: bridesmaid Kalo
Piñata favors: painstakingly made by the bride in her NYC apartment
Wedding Band: custom design from friend and guest, Jayce Wong
Floral Design: Cristhian Rios