a little bit of everything and a whole lot of film

25 May 2020

Interview | Isabella Lipuma

She, of the pink taffeta and the dark, dark hair, the watermelon lipgloss and the crystal tattoos; a wood nymph, film camera in hand, frolicking through the concrete gardens of New York City, exploring the glittery underbelly of Los Angeles, traversing the rainy streets of London in search of art that speaks to the heart, seeking her beloved rococo treasures in the decadent corners of Versailles; with a beauty shelf that would rival any one of the features on Into the Gloss and a penchant for old Hollywood glamour, Isabella is a girl after my own dark, rainbow tinged heart.

1. Place of birth?
Isabella: Bryn Mawr, PA

2. Where has been the most inspiring place you have travelled to and what has made it so inspiring for you?
Isabella: Versailles - rococo has my heart. The endless chandeliers, gilded angels and Easter pastels over sprawling gardens inspire me tremendously.

3. Top 5 things on your bucket list?
Isabella: Go to Tokyo (specifically to Harajuku and to the Yayoi Kusama and Team Lab museums), learn to speak Italian fluently, become a published writer, buy a house down the shore, live happily ever after.

4. What is your greatest extravagance?
Isabella: Makeup and skincare products, hands down! I am so entrenched in customer culture.

5. What made you delve into film photography and long have you been shooting film?
Isabella: I was really inspired by the crispness of Emily Faulstich's Wildfox photos when I was young, and learned to adore Lauren Greenfield and Nan Goldin, too. It took me long to realise that the controlled foreground/background focus came from film, so I took an analogue photography class in college. I ended up getting a C, but continued experimenting despite it. I've been shooting film for about 4 years.

6. Favourite film stock?
Isabella: Fujifilm Superia 800, but it's hard to find.

7. Why film though?
Isabella: The simultaneous crispness and graininess of the subject in focus.

8. YouTube or Instagram?
Isabella: Instagram.

9. Colour or black & white?
Isabella: Colour all the way!

10. Introvert or extrovert?
Isabella: Extrovert... I'm so ready for Quarantina to be over.

11. Early bird or night owl?
Isabella: Honestly, neither. I hit my stride in the evening.

12. Name 3 songs that would sum up your 2020.
Isabella: Saw You in a Dream by The Japanese House, I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, Hackensack by Fountains of Wayne.

13. Name 3 books that you can read over and over again. 
Isabella: Shopgirl by Steve Martin. Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block. Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami.

14. What was one insecurity you had about yourself and what did you do to overcome it?
Isabella: I'm definitely still working on cultivating confidence. I think that the trick is to just deep dive and do things, publish things, send out your work without thinking about it too much. A kind of "act now, brood later" attitude is what I'm going for.

15. Describe yourself in one word.
Isabella: Intense!

16. What makes you happy?
Isabella: Watching the Sopranos, day trips to New York City, writing letters to loved ones.

17. Name 3 (people, things, era, music) that have inspired you greatly.
Isabella: My grandmother's diaries, Francesca Lia Block, the Wildfox girls.

all photos by Isabella Lipuma

Follow her:
Instagram: @iwokeupforthis


  1. What a wonderful, colorful collection of photos. Thank you for sharing the interview with Isabella LiPuma. She's a thoughtful, creative, congenial photographer.

    1. aw, thank you so much! she is a definitely all that and more x


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