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Local New Orleans Artist: Olivianne Motley

Carnival season brings out more cameras than usual. Even more particular is the fact that now these cameras  don’t always have tourists attached to them. New Orleanians are out on the streets photographing the floats, the costumes, the intricate use of beads, the people, and anything else that catches their eye.

One of those photographers is Olivianne Motley (photographer and filmmaker). Olivianne is able to capture movements and images all on a forum that many have forsaken when it comes to the fast-paced Carnival season. She shoots on film and gets images that would impress the specters that seem to show up in her photos.

As Olivianne states, “There is something that just reads so authentic when you shoot on film… Whether people are posed or not, it never looks forced. I use really simple cameras that are basically just little plastic boxes with lenses so there’s nothing hi-tech or fancy about my process, which I think helps to give my images the timeless feel they have…

Since I have such little control over the image (I never know if it will be in focus, and I never know the exact framing) I’d say its probably 40% my doing and the rest is in fate’s hands. I love happy accidents. Unintentional double exposures and whatnot. I process the film myself too, and that feels like alchemy or something, and I’m always expecting to mess it up. But with that comes a whole other element of surprise and potential happy accidents. I love embracing it when the film gets scratched or bent or whatever. It just gives it this whole life and story it didn’t have before. And so much more atmosphere in the pictures somehow…”

And just so you know, these are all her photos that she took during Carnival Season just to add another layer of amazing to these.

See more of Olivianne Motley’s work on her website, and you can also follow her on Instagram.


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