A couple weeks ago I got the chance to speak to and interview Bunny Lynch, a creative photographer from North Carolina. She recently completed two incredible photography projects using double exposure to combine photos from nature and photos of models. They are entitled “In the Woods” and “In the Clouds.” Both are highly expressive, unique, and expertly crafted. Read on to hear the conversation I had with Bunny and see selections from each project. Please note that there is nudity, so please don’t continue if you are underage.
NS: If you had to explain what you’re “all about” to a complete stranger, what would you say? How would you describe yourself?
Bunny Lynch: These are the words I’d use to describe myself: natural, honest, friendly, simple, colorful.
I’m all about friends and family, spending quality time with others, and going out enjoying nature. I don’t need a lot to be happy, just my camera, a friend, and a place outdoors to explore.
NS: What’s your artistic dream (if you have one)? Are you hoping to make your living doing this? What do you do now besides photography?
BL: My dream would be to have my work in galleries and travel the world. I would love to make a living that way. I want to always grow and change with my work as well. I know I wouldn’t be happy if I just always did the same thing.
At the moment I support myself by working the front desk at a doctor’s office. It’s really rewarding because I get to meet so many new people and (in a way) help them feel better.
NS: Is Bunny your real name, or an alias?
BL: Bunny has been my nickname since I was about five years old. The only time I use my real name is on legal documents. =]
NS: What themes are you exploring in your work?
BL: In my dream world, people are part of the trees and the clouds. I wanted to literally put people in these magical places, so I did. For “In the Clouds” I primarily use couples as models and explore intimacy, vulnerability, trust, and contentment. I have them sleep in the clouds. For “In the Woods” the model becomes a wood nymph or faerie or some other kind of human/nature hybrid. I like exploring the way the model’s body and the leaves or the rocks become one and the same. I make the model part of the earth.
NS: Can you talk about the process you use in creating these images. Do you use film? What equipment do you use? How do you achieve such an awesome double-exposure look?
BL: I use film exclusively, both 35mm and 120. My main camera is a Pentax K1000, but I also use a Yashica Mat EM, Holga 120CFN, and a panoramic pinhole camera that my Dad and I made a couple of years ago. The photographs from my “In the Clouds” and “In the Woods” series were taken with my Pentax. I get the double exposures by taking a whole roll of the clouds or the woods, rewinding it, and shooting over that same film with the model(s). I do everything in-camera and I never do any post-processing (except for the occasional crop).
NS: You use nudity in your work. What can you tell us about that? Do you think others use nudity in a shallow way? Why do you use it? What kind of models do you seek?
BL: I lean towards nudity because it’s timeless and it’s the most natural state someone can be in. I don’t want anyone to look at my photographs and say “Oh, I remember those clothes, she took this picture in 2012.” I think clothes would be a distraction. I don’t want anything to get in the way of the people becoming part of the environment.
I also feel like people become closer to each other when they trust them enough to be vulnerable. Some people are terrified of others seeing them naked, and others love attention and get it in any way they can (because, you know, you definitely get attention when you’re naked). I think it’s important for people to be comfortable in their own bodies. I do think that some people use nudity in a way that just gets them attention, but if that’s what makes them happy then I’m not going to tell them to stop. =]
I look for models that I would be comfortable with and who would be comfortable with me. The first models I ever used for “In the Clouds” were my parents. (I know, I know, “OMG you’ve seen your parents naked?!?!”) I’m very close with my parents and they’re very supportive and have always been there for me. I couldn’t imagine anyone else who would be better together than my parents. They deserve to get to sleep in the clouds.
I was lucky enough to get to shoot with Cam Damage for “In the Woods.” I like models who are confident and willing to explore ideas, those are the kind of models I look for.
series: “In the Clouds“
NS: What do you admire in other artists? What inspires you most to create? Can you share some goodies that we can look into?
BL: I look for artists that don’t always do what’s safe. When an artist is able to come up with a new idea and execute it even when others might not like it or think its weird.
I’m inspired most when I’m outside. It’s pretty cliche but it’s true. I want to take the moments of beauty like sunlight coming through the leaves and make them permanent.
Artists you should check out:
- Dan Smith
- Rich Burroughs
- J Caldwell
- Theron Humphrey
- Corwin Prescott
- Marina Bychkova
- Ian Ruhter
- Alex Rodriguez
- Audrey Kawasaki
NS: What mistakes have you made as an artist? What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
BL: The biggest mistake I’ve made is to not believe in myself. It’s so easy to not do something in fear of failure, and it’s hard to put yourself out there and know you have what it takes. You’ll never go anywhere until you stop doubting yourself and just do it. I wish I knew that when I was younger. I used to stop before I started because I was scared that I wouldn’t be good enough.
NS: Can you give some advice to the artists of the Nonsense Society? We admire you. Point us in the right direction.
BL: Do what you love and don’t let anybody bring you down. Even if you never make any money from your art, just the fact that you made it and you’re proud of it means a heck of a lot more than money. Also, always look at art. Old art, new art, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, installations, everything. You’ll never grow and change with your art if you don’t get inspiration.