In the beginning, would you like to say to STH about yourself to our readers? Such as who you are / where you are from / what you are doing recently.
Hi! My name is Alison Scarpulla. I am a 35mm film photographer born and raised in New York. I have lived in Cleveland, O.H. for the last six years. I utilizes experimental techniques such as multiple exposure and color play to create surreal, evocative and emotional photography. I have shot film as a freelance photographer for 12 years. I am also a amateur floral designer.
As we can see, there’s lots of flowers in your photos, Why choose flowers?
Flowers fill me with an intensity of emotions, like poetry. They instantly captivate my attention. As a nature enthusiast, flowers represent so much to me. They are the ultimate form of impermanence, yet the life blood of reproducing so many species of plants. Flora are a main reproductive element throughout the entire plant kingdom. Each flower is specifically designed by nature to entice pollinators. They are such a vital part of the earths eco-system and it’s cycle. In most circumstances a flower will only bloom once a year (sometimes for only a day), and even once in a lifetime. There are irregularities within each petal, stalk, smell and shape just like us. I feel drawn to flowers in an instinctive way. They pull me in and I’m guided by my eye to create compositions of them.
What kind of role do the flowers play in your works?
There was a long time that I was taking photographs that felt contrived to me. I fell into a depression and I lost interest in creating conceptualized art. I needed to start digging into the voice of my creative intuition. What felt most comforting and honest was to photograph flowers and plants. I realized how a lot of people don’t spend time truly taking in the details of their surroundings. This lead me to dive into a form of my reality where I studied the microcosm within each object. When I slow down, I can immerse myself in an environment and connect to what speaks to me. I allow the time to focus in on every element of my surroundings. Creating this way feels like medicine to me.
I think you would like to put flowers and body together in your photos. Why ? How does the inspiration appear?
I feel that as a collective society, we are greatly separated from our connection to the earth. Our innate instinct has been stripped from us and turned into a fast paced commercialized society that universally feeds upon our disconnection to ourselves and our roots. Choosing to combine flora with the human body is a way of bringing an essential re-connection with our primitive form.
How do you choose the place to take photos ?
I wait for the right moment to appear. I spend a lot of time alone at home with many plants and flowers. I tune into the light When the light creates a composition, I will photograph it. I also travel by car every spring with the goal of catching special blooms and incredible environments. I always wait for the right moment to appear, and then photograph whatever subject entices me. Much of my work is momentary and intuitive with no conceptualization behind it.
Are these photos about flowers in series project or separately single photo?
You could say that my photographs of flowers are meant to read as a single image, but ultimately they are an open ended series that will continue to grow into whatever shape it wants to form.
Why did you decide to shoot with a film camera instead of digital ones? which camera do you use usually? And how about film? Do you like Kodak Portra?
Shooting film feels ingrained in me. I started using film and developing in a darkroom over a decade ago. Since then, I just knew it was for me. I don’t even consider digital because I’ve never owned a digital slr. I think both digital and film have their benefits within photography, yet develop two completely different final photographs. Film has a life of it’s own. It has a texture and depth that cannot be re-created. I fell in love with the entire process of film photography and have stuck with it. I love using Kodak Portra film, it’s my favorite.
We can see a lot of double espoused photos combining flowers and portrait. How do you decide which photo to be combined with another photo? Is there any rule in it?
If you would ask a professional, they would tell you that there are rules to multiple exposure. Yet, I don’t follow any of them. I approach multiple exposures the same way I would in any creative situation. As I had mentioned above, I am captivated by the detail in whichever environment I am in. While photographing a subject, I will pick a texture or come up with an idea that pulls from my surroundings. I layer frames in my head to create a multi-depth experience within a single photograph. It’s always a unique process. I can compose the frame to the best of my ability, but never really know how the photograph will translate until I see the developed negative. It feels like a way of letting the film and light take over to make what it naturally will.
What kind of flower do you like the best?
Oh, what a hard question !!! I would have to say magnolias and lilacs in the spring, ranunculus and peonies in the summer. Shell ginger flowers, lemon tree flowers and wisteria. All blooming cacti and succulents. Honestly, All flowers.