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27 Frames – Sinziana Velicescu

Welcome to our 27 Frames series. We sent 27 single use cameras out to some of our favorite photographers, they shot stuff with it, then mailed it back to us. We developed the film and are sharing the results with you (and the photographers) now. In this instant, digital age, we want to pay homage to a snapshot photo process we grew up with ourselves — waiting for the film to develop and being surprised by the results. These 27 Frames belong to Sinziana Velicescu. As fellow “Angelinos” we are huge fans of Sinziana’s style and her simple, clean, graphic approach to composition. We also admire the way she seems to subtley take advantage of the natural lighting that is so rich and abundant in Los Angeles. It is very clear by looking at her roll of images from the crappy disposable camera we sent her that she knows how to follow the light and find magic in the mundane.

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Sinziana, I’m a photographer and filmmaker from Los Angeles, CA.

How did you first get into photography?

Right after high school, I picked up… a disposable camera! I was bored with living in LA (I know I know) and instead of moving away, I decided to photograph the city in an attempt to see it differently.

I enjoyed the freedom of using a point and shoot camera with unexpected results. I would recommend disposable cameras to any beginning photographer because the lack of technical restrictions allows one complete creative freedom in its purest form, the only real restriction being that you are paying for each shot, so it better be a good one!

Film or digital?

Film! I shoot medium format now. 

When was the last time you used a single use (disposable) camera?

At my best friends wedding, we’ll never know who took what, but I had a blast.

What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?

Most of the photos were taken en route to and from my errands and daily activities around Los Angeles. It was nice to have a camera I could take anywhere with me for a change. 

Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?

Yes, near the end of my disposable camera journey, I unexpectedly ended up in the Fashion District of Downtown LA where I found a really cool parking garage that I spent quite a bit of time in. I’m now inspired to do a series on parking garages.

What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?

The biggest challenge was working with the unpredictability of the disposable camera. I shoot medium format now and I know exactly what the photo I take will end up looking like. My recent photography is very clean and minimal and I had to break away from that and go back to the idea that there can be beauty in imperfections, or a “dirty” shot.

What was your favorite image from the roll?

The photo with the shadow of a man walking out of a door. It was one of the last photos I took after exiting the magical parking garage – all the stores in the Fashion District were closing, there was this beautiful sunset light happening all around, and I cut a corner by walking through a massive half empty building with what few stores there were already closed. A single security guard was about to shut down for the evening but he said he would only close one door so I could walk through the other. I snapped a photo as he was walking to close it.

Check out more of Sinziana’s work here:

Sinziana Velicescu

Special thanks to Dexter’s Camera in Ventura for developing all of the film for the 27 Frames project. If you are a photographer who loves film and have never visited their shop, go there now, they’re the best.

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