She’s a digital girl in a newly-revived digital world
There’s no denying that the digital camera renaissance has begun; after the major Y2K revival we’ve seen in recent years, it was only a matter of time – and this renaissance is not something slight. The digital camera is everywhere, as are its pictures with a super bright flash and a slightly grainy effect, and nostalgic images of such can be seen all over the Instagram’s of stars like Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski.
It’s safe to assume this newest obsession all has a lot to do with this shift from a hyper-filtered aesthetic into something more casual in an attempt to be more authentic, which is a huge change to the 35mm film craze we’ve seen in recent years. Digital images are instant, there’s no developing, and you can take as many pictures as your SD card will allow, as opposed to being limited to 24 exposures – meaning that each shot you take must be almost perfect.
Shift had the privilege of interviewing 19-year-old Los Angeles based photographer Elodie Hekimian-Brogan, also known as @dinkydigitall on Instagram, about her “dinky digital” camera, and her thoughts on why digital is taking off in such a way. As opposed to the new digital-lovers, Elodie has been on this wave for a while, and she breaks down her process, inspirations, the different camera models she uses and tells all about her start in photography. For more on this up-and-coming California cool-girl, keep reading.
How did you start out in photography?
“I have always been interested in cameras and photo albums ever since I was an early teen. When I was fifteen I shot on disposables and then bought my first point-and-shoot film camera. During quarantine, I picked up my childhood camera, Canon PowerShot 1200 SD, and fell in love with the digital landscape. I could mess with settings without the fear of wasting money given it was on an SD card and not a ten-dollar roll of film. The dinky digital gave me the confidence to take a photo class in high school and I haven’t looked back since.”
I’d love to know a bit about your process – where do you find your inspiration from?
“I think my process varies per project. Most of the time I have an idea in my head for a bit and start to write it down and make a Pinterest board. Different movies, magazines, and album covers all give me bursts of inspiration. A lot of my work is based on my perception of myself and my experiences. I do a lot of work surrounding my journey with teen cancer, I find it helps heal my pre-cancer self whilst providing content for sick kids like me.”
Elodie’s self portrait, ‘Reconnecting with Innocence’ was chosen amongst 20 other images – out of 1700 – to be displayed as a poster in The Getty Villa museum. The description of the self portrait reads, “When you are diagnosed with cancer at 16 you are stripped of your childhood innocence. The erasure of this innocence pushes children into adult roles, forcing them to imagine their funeral and which of their classmates would actually show up. The cascading white in this image represents the innocence that was stolen. Dripping myself in the colour recentered my innocence even if it was only for an hour or two.”
Is your ‘dinky digital one specific camera that you use – if so, what model is it?
“I use a bunch of cameras but my day-today is a Canon Powershot 10-megapixel model. It fits in any pocket and I just love the little thing. I have had about five of them in the past three years, they break, get kicked, or fall into pools leaving me with a large collection of dead dinky digitals. For film I shoot on a Canon Ae-1 and my bigger shoots are shot on a Canon 6d mark ii.”
What is your favourite thing to capture on your dinky digital?
“I find the dinky digital is best for candid moments. The flash is great for party shots and anything at night really. I find portraits are consistently good on the dinky digital, I really owe it all to the flash and the colour settings. I have gotten great landscapes and more curated shots out of it but its lack of settings makes it a bit harder to get a shot compared to a manual camera.”
Elodie’s instagram @dinkydigitall which showcases her photography is extant proof of her range within the field; dreamy black and white portraits on the beach, candid party shots, scenery shots on film and self portraits can all be found within a quick scroll on her page.
Do you favour digital over all other styles?
“I used to only shoot on my dinky digital but with time I wanted more out of a camera so I upgraded to a manual digital and film camera. The dinky digital allows a certain ease in photography, it is small, easy to use, and consistent. I just keep it with me at all times just incase something happens. No matter how many cameras I get I will always have a love for my tiny dinky.”
Do you feel like digital cameras could overtake the film craze we have been seeing for the last few years?
“I think digital is coming back swinging. Film is most definitely having its moment but there is something effortless about a digital point-and-shoot. Also, the price difference is huge, shooting a colour roll a weekend’s about 30 bucks for film, development and scans, whilst one digital camera is around 50 bucks. The cameras are accessible, easy to use, and far cheaper, so it is no wonder they are making such a comeback.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves; it seems for the first time in years, a photography trend that is something more than just an iPhone picture with a filter on it, but is far more accessible than film photography, is here to authenticate our feeds – and we’re not mad about it.
For more of Elodie’s incredible work and general digital-inspo, follow @dinkydigitall on Instagram.