Luo Yang is a photographer from Liaoning, China whose beautiful, disarming portraits of Chinese youth and femininity are all shot on film. In 2007, she picked up a camera and started photographing girls around her. Eventually that led to her ongoing series Girls, which focused on a subject which resonated especially with her as a female photographer.
“Film is more expensive and precious, the texture is more realistic, and film is something you can keep,” says Luo Yang, “I started photographing as a way to express my emotions. Shooting in film is a way for me to slow down time and think more.”
The girls that Luo Yang photographs are natural, youthful, edgy and at times awkward. There’s a certain serenity throughout her work, and it’s obvious the subjects are at peace with the person behind the camera, often staring directly into the lens, carrying on in the nude, caught in staged and unstaged shots.
She tells us, “The girls I’ve photographed help me express my own feelings and problems. Some of them are my friends, some of them are strangers, and some are just contacts from the internet. The way that they live and their lifestyles are what attracted me to them.”
Being obsessed with girls and the fairer sex is an ongoing preoccupation for Luo Yang. “Most of my photo shoots are very natural, and set in shooting locations that I chose without too much preparation or orchestration. I want to be able to express my subject’s unique characteristics and let that show through,” she says.
“It’s hard to say what kind of influence growing up in Northern China has had on me. It’s something that is definitely a part of my personality and my DNA now. I am quite straightforward and direct, which might be related to being from the North.” Based in Beijing now, Luo Yang says, “Besides the awful transportation and environment, Beijing is really great for photography. Northern girls are more open and carefree.”
In the future, Luo Yang says she will continue to work on her Girls series adding new ideas and trying different directions. She is looking forward to collaborating with other artists that could lead to interesting results.