Member Moment: Victoria Arenas

Film Club
Victoria Arenas is a Film Club Member whose photos have been featured in several of our member shows. The bright and pastel colors within her images highlight the unique quality of film photography. This week we decided to interview her about her photography. Scroll down to read the interview and see some of her photographs.

Photograph of people on top of a snowy mountain

PL: What got you interested in photography? 

VA: For as long as I can remember, my mom took pictures of me and my brother all throughout our lives, mostly with disposable cameras. Even though my mom was not a photographer, all of these pictures from my childhood have a very nostalgic, artistic feeling to them. From a young age, I have appreciated the action of preserving a moment in time through photography, and this appreciation grew once social media became a big part of my life and I saw different kinds of photography and techniques, which I eventually started trying out on my own. 

Landscape photograph of cityscape by the ocean

Photograph of harbor

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

VA: I shoot with a Minolta X-700 and my point and shoot, a Pentax Zoom 90. I have shot with many different kinds of film and my favorite is probably Portra 400. I feel like it makes my pictures have a warm, nostalgic quality to them and I feel like I can never go wrong with it. 

Photograph of older building on University of Pennsylvania's campus

PL: Some of your photos capture people in candid moments. What do you like about photographing people? What is challenging about it?

VA: I really like taking pictures of people when they’re most relaxed because I feel that captures their truest form, when they’re not trying to look good or perfect for the camera. It is challenging because once my friends or family realize I’m taking their picture, they start to pose. And while I do like planned photographs sometimes, I try not to plan them out too much, especially those of my loved ones. This helps me to capture that moment and how I see them through my eyes, or lens. 

Photograph of person holding sunflowers

Photograph of person typing on a typewriter

PL: There are a mix of landscapes, portraits and still life images. When out photographing, what are some objects or elements within a scene that inspire you to take a photo? 

VA: Anything that offers a good contrast between a background, a person, an object, etc. will always make me get my camera out. I really love being in nature, so nature landscapes always draw me in as well. Lately, I have also been really into blur and motion in pictures, so I’ve been experimenting with that a little on my DSLR. 

Photograph looking upwards towards top half of building

PL: What are some qualities that you like about film photography vs. digital photography?  

VA: Digital photography allows me to experiment a lot and try out new things without worrying that I will ruin a shot, like I worry with a roll of film. However, this same reason makes every shot on a roll of film all the more special. When I shoot with film, I am more of a perfectionist than I would be with my DSLR. Candid photos are harder with film, but when I do get them, they’re usually my favorite. 

Photograph of baskets of fruit in a corner

Photograph of person in front of Rodin Museum

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

VA: Probably the one of my mom in front of the Rodin Museum! It was a sunny day in Philly, which is rare, and the shadows created by the trees gave me a really cool idea, so I told my mom to turn and smile, and this was the result. I also really like that it’s my mom, since she is the reason why I love taking pictures so much!

Photograph of people in Central Park


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


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