DOCUMENT the Fresh – Interviews: Rosina “Teri” Memolo

Who or what first got you interested in photography?

My mom had a dark room as early as I can remember and a great set of Nikon SLRs that I still have. While other parents were charting their kid’s growth by plopping their hands in plaster, my mom was making monoprints of our hands in the darkroom on photographic paper. I was always around red safe lights and trays of chemicals. I used to love to hang out in the dark and watch the image appear in the developer like it was magic.

Early on what were some of the first things that you began to document? 

I remember shooting my mom’s wedding when I was 12 with my little disc camera and the pics turning out really well (a feat since the disc negatives were tiny).

I remember some beautiful black and white shots on the mall with dramatic lighting, scenes of the museums and kids playing. The pics turned out nothing like a typical 13 year old’s, except for the clowning pics of my friend, me and a box of Little Debbies.

Mostly, I remember taking close ups of objects. I really liked playing with the depth of field of the macro lenses, of course I had no idea what I was doing, it just was fun to me.

What is it about photography that you most enjoy?

I enjoy the challenge of making the image in the camera what I see in real life or what I want to see. I also enjoy telling a story with photographs.

For the entire read clickIn addition to straight photography, I have been integrating my images onto unlikely surfaces, layering laser prints or laser transfers onto wood and other mostly found and repurposed surfaces. I love exploring methods of showing work that do not involve traditional matting and framing.

Talk about the first event and or concert that you shot.  How’d it go?

The first concert that I remember shooting was in Lafayette Park across from the White House as a Positive Force protest. I was probably around 16, and I remember specifically shooting SoulSide (Dischord Band). I was sitting in the grass on a beautiful summer day at the feet of my favorite band and taking pictures of them. It came to me naturally and was all sorts of bliss for me at the time…

Depending on the concert, shooting at them and at live events can be a harrowing experience.  Any tricks of the trade on getting the “right” shot?

  1. Hold real still.
  2. Use the stage lighting it’s much more expensive than your flash.
  3. Duck when Method Man stage dives (or sprays water or beer or whatever)

What have been some of your favorite events and or concerts that you’ve shot

The first Coachella was one of my favorites and an epic event that continues today. It was the craziest hitched ride from LA with Jon BonJovi’s brother in blistering daytime heat. I had access to pretty much everything inside from a long standing connection to Urb Magazine. I got to bask in the beautiful desert sun without baking too bad, see tons of bands and DJs and hang with Jurassic 5, one of my all time favorite bands because they are smart AND fun. To this day Chali Tuna’s voice takes me back to those beautiful nights in Palm Desert.

When shooting a show are there specific angles or even signature shots that you like to get?

I almost always shoot some footwear, whether it be heels, sandals or some fresh sneakers. So far, no one else has gotten really excited about this! I use the stage lighting and other people’s flashes rather than my own on-camera flash. (photo on the right shot by one of Rosina’s students)

Shooting musicians and or groups at an event can be an experience (both good and bad).  Any stories that you care to share?

I always have a good time with the Wu… Nuff said.

Being that you teach photography to young kids are there any trends that you’ve noticed in their creativity behind the lens? 

Does the trend to flash people in the face without focusing count? J I shot a job once with one of my students and I noticed he complimented what I shot perfectly, what I mean by that is, he shot very detailed oriented and we got much of the same things, but we both got details that the other didn’t, filling in each other’s holes so to speak. I continue to be amazed by my students’ vision.

Why do you think photography has experienced a resurgence?

People LOVE to create images, and they are much more accessible now with the digital point and shoots as well as mobile phones with cameras. There are cool mobile apps that mimic darkroom techniques for people who’ve never even smelled developer! Even Polaroid is hip again. It’s sweet to me, we crave the tangible memories technology eliminates from our lives.

What do you have coming up and or what are you currently working on?

I’m working on a show of Corner Stores for a gallery called Corner Store Arts. There will be a community project with kids and other cool details in conjunction.

I am also working towards contributing more work in public spaces, projections and wheat pastes. I love to beautify abandoned and under construction spaces.

My students got accepted as a group project to contribute to the JR TED Award project Inside Out. We are working to gain support from the community to hang large, intense black and white portraits of students shot by students to represent the future of the community and remind people that the children are a number one priority.

To view more of Rosina’s work visit her blog Happy Accidents.

For more info about the DOCUMENT the Fresh photo exhibition click here.

For more info about the DOCUMENT the Fresh panel discussion click here.


About gmoney77

My name is Gerald Watson and I do lifestyle marketing for various companies/agencies. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the people I work with, the work I do as well as the shit I see on the regular.

Posted on October 26, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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