Melissa Fletcher-Young's alt wrestlemania
Melissa Fletcher-Young is a young photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. She only recently fell into the world of film photography a couple of years ago as a creative outlet, self-teaching through experimentation with different cameras and film stocks. Melissa has a particular interest in shooting with colour films that produce different visual results upon development, often using expired films or experimental films to achieve surreal or dreamlike results in her work. Her photos aim to capture the details and emotions of her surroundings, and is varied in content. She is constantly learning and evolving with her work as she discovers more about the world of analog.
You can see more of Melissa's work on instagram at @melf07
ALTER/ANALOG: These photos are so fun! What inspired you to take pics at a wrestling match?
MF: It wasn't really planned, actually. I tagged along with some friends to a local wrestling match for a league that's just started out in Melbourne, I had never been to see wrestling live before so I had no idea what to expect. We were lucky enough to get seats in the front row to the side of the ring so we had a pretty great view of everything. As you watch the matches from so close, you begin to get more absorbed in the action and caught up in the passion and the fury of the wrestlers and awe-struck at the physicality of their moves, I went from sitting there thinking it was a bit funny and silly to being really captivated by the show and caught up in the emotional intensity of it all and I couldn't help but whip out a camera I happened to have with me in my bag and get a few pictures of the action. Somewhat luckily, I had on me my trusty Kodak Retinette with about half a roll of Psychedelic Blues film, an experimental film that has been hand-fogged loaded up, I think the colours of the film really added to the look of how these photos came out.
ALTER/ANALOG: What got you interested in taking photos with special effects film?
MF: I guess a lot of my interest in film photography comes from the unpredictable nature of the entire process. I really love how you can shoot something, have an idea of how it is going to look in your head and then, due to an infinite number of factors, when you develop the film and have a look at the results it can turn out unexpectedly different. That sort of stuff is heightened with the use of experimental and special effects film, it adds another element to the process of shooting and the way the end result will look. Knowing perhaps what the film is supposed to look like when developed, but not so much how those effects will work with the photos you take specifically makes shooting with these types of films really fun and unpredictable. There are a number of great brands and sellers now making film with such an array of effects that can completely transform an image, it's really exciting.
ALTER/ANALOG: Why have you chosen to go analog versus digital?
MF: I really just enjoy the entire process of shooting with film. The way it completely slows you down and makes you think a little more about a photo before taking the shot. The uncertainty and uncontrollable elements of film and the development process. The way that the camera, its settings, the film and the shooter can all completely change the result of a photo. I'm relatively self-taught in photography, but have attempted several times to learn photography skills back at university in digital formats, but just never understood it properly. As soon as I picked up a film camera and started shooting, something about the analogue process made a lot more sense to me and allowed me to slowly learn and develop my understanding of photography in a more general sense, as well as the specifics of shooting with film. It's something that I feel like I can keep learning and evolving with, and can keep applying my ideas and creativity to in a number of ways.
ALTER/ANALOG: What project do you have in the works?
MF: I'm working on a little thing that combines double exposure processes with portrait work right now. Portraiture is something I'm still pretty new to and I'm having fun experimenting with colourful and textural double and multi exposures to achieve different effects and feelings within the bounds of portraiture. I'm also on the cusp of an overseas move from Melbourne to London, with a bit of travelling through Europe along the way, so I have no doubt a change of scenery will inspire me too. All my work is up on Instagram @melf07 if you wish to check it out