We first discovered Liv while doing research for Instant Gratification 2, a homage to the original home made smut: polaroid photography. Liv's instax series killed us, (you will see it soon enough!) and in the past few months have fallen in love with her entire body of work. Liv Girling is a romantic, she is a naturalist, she is unabashedly human, and that's what makes her a perfect fit for us. We talk to Ms. Girling about film photography, her personal life, and her new series, "Kissing."
How did you get into photography?
I first started taking photos when I was in high school; My sister & our mates would dress up and snap each other being ridiculous, it was fun and i suppose my interest just snowballed from there.
BECAUSE OF THE GRIT ;)
Does your Yashica T5 have a name?
I havent actually named it! I never thought too? its my favourite camera by far though, I never go out without it. I suppose I'm forever saying... 'Where's my Yash?" "Someone pass my Yash?"
Shall we call it Yash? ;)
What film stock do you shoot?
I shoot using Kodak ColorPlus, It's not overly expensive but thats reflective of my practise, it provides me with an authentic gritty look but colours are still vivid and brash. I love that tenacious DIY vibe runs that runs parallel to the youth.
I love that your work is so journalistic. Do you consider yourself a journalist?
No not really, I know some people do as I essentially I'm documenting a generation of people with candor and exploiting them to audiences. However these are my closest friends, i take photos of them because I love them & want the rest of the world too see them with as much compassion as i do and so I take their photographs. So I suppose for me I feel my works more autobiographical. Its a visual diary of my life.
What drew you to shooting kissing?
I'm a hopeless romantic and I think there's nothing more important than young love. People dismiss it and almost mock it but your first love is normally the most intense, to me it's raw & real... You give your heart openly too the other person. All the couples I take photos of kissing are real couples that are my friends. I want too capture those intimate moments.
I feel like there is a real lack of romance in media right now, which makes you kind of a love rebel. I like that. What (if any) part do you feel romantic art plays in our current global political climate?
I totally agree with you, I feel like romance is dying! What happened to romantic gestures & love letters. I feel social media has somewhat changed how we interact romantically as everything is so hypersexualized, we have lost some of the raw intimacy.
If you look at the Brits in comparison too our European neighbours we have a reputation of being awkward & slightly more reserved when it comes too romance, I like that my images opposite this preconception.
Do you feel like you are making a political statement with your work?
I don't intentionally set out too make political statements with my work but many people do ask me this question. So, touching upon it lightly I feel any photography that focuses solely on the youth has a potential too political debate but its not something I've focused on particularly with this set of photographs.
Do you ever take pictures of the people you make out with?
I do, however I dont tend too display them as openly as the snaps of my nearest & dearest's falling in love & showing affection. I think its the observation of love manifesting that draws me in too shoot these images. I like capturing an intimate moment in time between two people.
Do you have a Valentine?
I do, he's gorgeous ;)