Friends on Film

Words and images by Lilli Waters

By March 31, 2021April 14th, 2021The Collective

Friends on Film is a portrait series documenting family and friends photographed on medium format film, after social distancing restrictions during Covid-19 were eased in the state of Victoria, and people were permitted to visit friends in their homes whilst practicing social distancing.

This series was inspired by isolation and the need for human connection and sharing of our own individual experiences of this strange time.

For me, unable to work and having a newfound amount of time on my hands, I was unable to find purpose and joy in a bonding ritual by capturing these portraits.

I am attempting to embrace what was an enforced slowing down and use this approach in my practice. I do this by using film and allocating only two rolls of film per person, a maximum of 20 photographs per sitting. Every shot is carefully considered, far removed from working in the digital realm where an ability to shoot endless images removes the risk but also the magic.

The analog camera lens for me is a portal into a different way of seeing, a re-evaluation of how I feel about photography, which is ultimately just a way to connect with other humans. 

Lilli Waters

Lilli Waters

Lilli Waters is an award-winning photographer, who divides her time between art and commercial projects. Her work explores the human condition through the feminine form – the tension between strength and vulnerability, darkness and luminosity. Her images are haunting, dramatic and evocative – story landscapes that invite the viewer to become the subject and connect with the themes explored deep within. Lilli’s images have appeared in publications around the globe – including Jane by the Grey Attic (Aus), Vogue Living (Aus), Belle Magazine (Aus), Art Aesthetica (UK), Austrian Living (Austria), and The Opera Magazine (Germany) – as well as appeared in feature films, including Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed (USA). She has shot for a range of commercial clients, including Uniqlo, Anna Sui, Mimco, Bloomberg, Finlayson, Universal Pictures, HarperCollins and Victorian Police Museum. Her work has been exhibited to much acclaim in Italy, Germany, Japan, the UK, the USA, and Australia. She has been a finalist in the Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art (2021), Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (2020), Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize (2020), Du Reitz Art Awards (2020), Percival Photographic Art Prize (2020), National Portrait Prize (2019), Australian Photography Awards (2018) and Art Aesthetica Art Award (2018), to name a few. Lilli is highly experienced in directing talent to create story, and has recently been extending her work into film, directing emotive short films and music videos. Her films include Summer Love for Stephanie Cherote (2020), The Driver for Jacob Cole (2019), and Utero – Other’s Dream (2018). Lilli lives in Melbourne, Australia.