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Sissi Lu shares her timeless love of film photography

With all the latest advances in camera technology, there’s still a very special place in the photography community for film photographers like Sissi Lu. Sissi shows us that beauty is timeless in film and with people.

We went back, closer to basics with Sissi, and talked about her, her development, and her project, A Word to the Young. As artists and the younger generation, we have a lot of wisdom to take in from our peers

Humble beginnings…

Sissi Lu film photographer
Sissi Lu, captured on 35mm by @mos-neammanee @Img.mos

Sissi started photography in college where she originally studied music but switched visual arts after finding her passion in photography. Since then she began her journey into film photography starting with a Nikon F3 and moving onto the well-renowned Hasselblad.

With only a year of sharing her work, she gained a huge following on Instagram and a continually growing youtube channel where she vlogs photo walks and her art project a Word to the Young.

A word to the young

Sissi’s long-term project a Word to the Young archives timeless wisdom for all generations whether it’s love, money, art. The older generation has a lot of experience and wisdom to share.

In a time with a huge generational divide, Sissi bridges the generational gap to connect the younger generation with the older. 

“I thought it was so unfair for older people to want to look young, instead of embracing their age, which I think wisdom, and knowledge comes from age. I think they should be rather proud of that”

– Sissi Lu

A Word to the Young captures portraits of the older generations along with advice that stems from years of wisdom and experience. Sissi captures these portraits on film, a medium which not many photographers explore due to the technological advances of digital photography.

Each portrait is beautiful, the expression and detail encapsulate age in a magnificent way.

A word to the older generation

One of the messages emphasized in Word to the Young is teaching the younger generation to not brush away older people because of their appearance, the other message is for the older generation.

Sissi wants viewers of her art to know the beauty that comes from being older. 

“I always tell them, when I approach them that they look beautiful. I think often they have  forgotten how beautiful they are, and just how  kinda their smile is.” 

– Sissi Lu

Navigating the new network while keeping it old school

For photographers, exposure online is as important as the exposure while taking the photo.

In such a short time frame of shooting film photography and showcasing her work, Sissi has gained an impressive following with more than 27 thousand followers on her Instagram.

“Think of it [social media] as where you show your friends on the internet what you do. Keep it genuine and keep it pure. If you’re very genuine and pure, they will start liking what you do”. 

– Sissi Lu

What makes a good film photograph 

For aspiring film photographers of all generations, Sissi offers her own piece of advice. When asked the question “what makes a good photograph”, every photographer will have a subjective answer. Some may say use of light, color, or expression, for Sissi it’s about accessibility. 

“A good photograph shouldn’t take an artist’s eye to notice. A good photograph should translate to any people. The people who don’t speak your language, the people who don’t understand your story, the people who just pass by, could be young, could be old. ”

“A good photograph should translate what you mean to anyone…”

– Sissi Lu

In the description for Sissi’s YouTube channel, UNDR DVLP she says “we are always learning, and that’s what makes us underdeveloped.” As creatives and as humans in general, this is the most important piece of wisdom we need to be reminded of every day. 

Final words from film photographer Sissi Lu