GETTING TO KNOW: ARIEANNE EVANS

Inspired by her unique photography philosophy that embraces the intimacy of friendship, ILYSM commissioned artist Arieanne Evans aka FRIENDSONFILM  to photograph our latest collections. 

For those recently familiarizing themselves with your work, what is the story/philosophy behind your online credited name FRIENDSONFILM?

As a photographer, my intention is to understand the complex identities of my photo subjects by visualizing a type of intimacy that can only be brought out by a dear friend. Hence the name, FRIENDSONFILM. Everyone I photograph I consider to be a friend and I try to make sure everyone I’m photographing is comfortable and being 100% themselves, 100% of the time.

I love the narrative you include with some of your imagery. You recently shot some striking photos of @raq.star paying homage to photographs of her mother. Can you tell us a little more about your collaboration and inspiration behind this shoot?

The original photos of Raquel’s mother were captured by her photographer in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1991. The photos of Raquel were captured by me; FRIENDSONFILM, of Durham, North Carolina in 2021. Raquel originally planned this photoshoot back in 2020 with intentions to share the images with her mom on what would’ve been her 52nd birthday. “Ode to Alicia “‘Michelle” Cochran” is a dedication to all the women that we’ve lost in our lives.  

In an age of digital, your work is such a love letter to film - can you tell us what attracts you to this medium? 

Looking through old family albums was, and still is, a past time that I enjoy. As a photographer, I strive to make contemporary imagery that lends notion to an older time period but with a fresh twist. It’s all in the tones and the grain factor of an image. The medium of film photography makes any image look vintage but the content of the image has the potential to give it a contemporary feel & that’s what I love about film. With film, any image can be seen as timeless. 

Your imagery has such an intimate warmth, it is so refreshing to spot one of your photos against stale IG feeds of forced portraiture - whenever I see your images I feel honored to experience a little moment of time and the energy between you and your subjects. I would love to hear about your journey as a photographer so far, and the things you are drawn to in your work over the years? Have you noticed any patterns about yourself emerge?

In 2019, I started making images my junior year at Spelman College. My original intention was to document my time there as a student, using my friends and environment as the blueprint. As time went on, I evolved into FRIENDSONFILM, capturing the culture of the Atlanta University Center anonymously because at that time, I wasn’t posting many pictures of myself, only others. All of which can be viewed in the “AUC Archive” I’ve procured on my website > friendsonfilm.photography. Presently, I still intend to capture the culture however it chooses to present itself to me. I’m drawn to the feeling of nostalgia, utilizing colors that stimulate the mind and breaking the rules visually by mixing prints and more recently, creating digital collages with my photos. 

What's the most arresting image you have seen lately?

I recently came across this advertisement for Bottega Veneta where models were posed on insanely intricate patterned chairs with wardrobe to match, made with what looks like the same fabric or pattern as the chair. I mentioned before that I love a good mixed pattern concept but this was next level kind of patterning. It created a camouflage like visual that tricked the eye and also made me want to buy whatever was being sold. That’s what I call good advertising.  

You recently collaborated with ILYSM on two photoshoots - walk us through the inspiration behind these shoots and how they relate to how you see ILYSM?

When I think of ILYSM, I think of a brand without boundaries and an incredible amount of inclusivity. The idea for “Black Awareness” was inspired by American artist Kerry James Marshall. Marshall has a way of painting Black figures with different highlights and lowlights from several variations of the color black. When thinking about the Triple Black Tabis’, I figured that there are already three shades of Black to work with, why not see how many shades of black exist through the lens of a film camera? “Black Magic” came a bit more organically but I knew that in contrast to the Triple Black Tabi, they’re literally day and night. The reflective Tabi has a particularly radiant element to it so I quite literally highlighted that idea and created a super shoe, because if it glows like that then it’s got to be magic. Amirite?

What's next for you and how can the ILYSM community support you? 

FRIENDSONFILM & FRIENDSONFILMSTUDIOS (@friendsonfilmstudios) are currently expanding and developing projects that’ll make their way to a timeline near you sooner than you think. Photo prints, vinyl stickers, t-shirts and look books for upcoming collaborations are in the works as we speak. We’re also open to collaborations of any kind and can be contacted through booking at our website: friendsonfilm.photography 

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