Leonard Drorian is a photographer based in Los Angeles shooting primarily on 35mm and Polaroid film. He has a master’s degree in cinema from UCLA and is drawn to vintage styles and analog aesthetics. He also likes coffee, swimming, and going to the movies.
How did the idea for the series with Teri come about?
It was summer in LA and I wanted to take some vintage Hollywood poolside photos. Teri had a retro red bathing suit and she did her own hair and makeup. Her look reminded me of Farrah Fawcett in the 70’s. Afterwards I had some film left in my camera, so we went to the photogenic Los Feliz Village neighborhood and finished the second roll on the streets. A nice lady was selling pink roses, so we picked one up as a prop.
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
Yes. As photographers we can be critical of culturally dictated standards of beauty, question our own social conditioning, and help change how people see things. We can and should choose to photograph women of different ethnicities and bodies of different shapes and sizes.
What inspires you?
Black coffee, night swimming, and going to the movies.
How would you define beauty?
Some things that come to mind are seeing the cliffs of Scotland from a landing plane, moonlight, deer, nature in general, women, kindness, generosity, parquet courts, baseball diamonds, mid-century modern design, world maps, classic cars, rainy streets, and the Leica M3.
Film or digital?
Film. I learned to shoot on a Pentax K1000, probably the most no frills camera ever made. I loved the weight of it in my hand, and having 24-36 frames on a roll forced me to slow down and value each shot. I also love taking portraits on Polaroid film.
What makes you happy and what’s next for you?
I’m happy when things are balanced and I’m making time to exercise, eat well, sleep enough, connect with people, spend time with family and friends, have fun, travel, and create. I hope what’s next for me is to keep shooting and growing, both as a photographer and as a person.