Member Moment: Lev Saunders

Film Club
Lev Saunders is a new Film Club Member who took a group of photos while interning at Apple. The composition of the images and their quality of light caught our eye so we decided to interview him this week to share his images and experience with photography with the community!

Photograph of a farm stand in California

PL: What got you interested in film photography?

LS: My girlfriend gave me a disposable camera when I went to California for my internship at Apple. I fell in love with how film forces you to be intentional with your subjects. I also saw it as a way to commemorate my experience and communicate my day to day life with those at home.

Photograph of green field

Photograph of paved road

PL: What type of camera do you shoot with and what kind of film do you usually use?

LS: Right now, I have only used the Fuji Quicksnap disposables, but I am in the process of shopping for a point and shoot!

Photograph of pathway near Apple headquarters

PL: Many of your photos capture landscapes. What do you enjoy about photographing landscapes? Is there anything challenging about it? 

LS: The landscape of Apple’s main campus is completely man-made, constructed from the earth that was dug out to create the employee parking under the ring building. In my six months working there, the only thing that betrayed this to me was the recognition that no natural landscape would so perfectly shield Apple's employees from the suburban sprawl that they would otherwise be drowning in. Don’t get me wrong — I loved working at Apple, but I also had a tremendous amount of stress during my internship. I was growing increasingly introspective and the super-real landscapes that I found myself in seemed to be posing questions that I wouldn’t realize I wanted to ask until I was taking out my camera. I honestly did not put much thought into any of these shots, but it was a challenge to find myself in the right place, in the right state of mind to be able to see what was around me.

Photograph of a overgrown backyard

Photograph of person's back patio

PL: When taking pictures, what are some objects or elements or feelings within a scene that inspire you to take a photo? 

LS: My time at Apple was short and honestly quite emotional. I put so much energy and focus into my work that it was difficult to put the same energy into my mental and emotional wellbeing. Especially in my last few weeks working, there were a handful of moments walking to or from work where I felt struck by my surroundings, and that’s when I pulled out my camera.

Photograph of a group of identical bikes

Photograph of person walking along a path near a building

PL: Many of your photos have a strong composition. When photographing, what are you thinking before you click the shutter?

LS: During my time at Apple, I struggled to live in and exist in the moment. I had a lot of stress, but also a lot of sadness from being across the country from the people and places I call home in Philly. I found myself feeling the need to save things for myself in the future. I had conflicting excitement and sorrow about being in California, and I really wanted to capture that.

Photograph of California landscape

PL: Out of all of these images, which photo is your favorite and why? 

LS: My favorite photo depicts the main ring building in Apple Park on the right, the Santa Cruz mountain range in the distance, and some Apple employees visible in the field before me. I took this photo in the last week of my internship, and now looking at it, I feel such nostalgia for that time in my life — for the vastness of Apple Park, the valleys, and mountains before me. I was so excited to go home, leaving the stress of the job behind, but I still felt like I was losing something as I watched people stream into work in the distance.

Photograph of people walking along a path near a building

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Every day, Club Members take exceptional pictures. If you are not a Film Club Member yet what are you waiting for? Join today to support the photo community in Philly and to start saving money on film processing!

 

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