What do you get when you take a gaggle of nimble, voraciously photogenic girls; wrap them up in some chokers and ripped tights; and then capture them all in a collection of grainy images? Film Hooligans
is what you get—the website and sometimes-zine, started by NYC-based model Lida Fox
and her friend Aida Nizankovska
, that acts as a continuous photo diary and glimpse into the lives of New York’s cutest models. We sat down with Fox and Nizankovska to talk go-to cameras, favorite spots, and what they will and won’t publish online. Peep the interview and titillating photos below.
Photos by Jack Doyle Smith.
How did you come up with the name Film Hooligans?
Lida Fox: [It] was actually the joke name we made up when referring to our film project while we tried to think of a better name, but then we liked it, and it worked, so it stuck! Now we have to live with it all the time.
Aida Nizankovska: I actually really like our name. Back when we first started referring to the website as “Film Hooligans,” we agreed it was going to be a temporary name. Now I think it really conveys the spirit of what we stand for; it’s spontaneous and mad, just like the photos we share on there. Looking back, I think it is the most appropriate name we could have picked.
Shot by Aida Nizankovska.
You started in front of the camera—what made you want to start taking photos?
LF: The photos that I take are so different than the ones created when modeling. Those are entirely planned out and organized according to clothes, the place, the set, the timing, and the lighting. Mine are documentary style to record what happens outside of all that in the spur of the moment. Sometimes much more exciting things happen when the moment is real and unplanned as opposed to manufactured. Don’t get me wrong, I love those shoots too, but this is just a different thing.
AN: [Laughs] Of course. ‘Cause I’m a top model.
Shot by Lida Fox.
The photos you take are super raw and real—is there anything or any part of the night you won’t publish online?
LF: Sometimes, yes. If there’s any photo I think a friend might be uncomfortable with, I’ll ask them before I post it online.
AN: I don’t think I ever taken a photo down for any reason. The whole idea was to [showcase] full rolls, even the bad pictures. But Lida has a point; if ever someone wasn’t happy with a picture, I would take it down, of course.
(L) Shot by Jack Doyle Smith. (R) Shot by Zachary Chick.
Where are your favorite spots to shoot in New York and L.A.?
LF: Really the spot doesn’t matter as long as there’s great energy and a good setting. A lot of my favorite moments have been taken outside, actually—either on the street or on rooftops or in parks, where there’s some sort of action happening. I think it feeds into the spontaneity and unpredictability of the moment—or if it’s on the way somewhere, the excitement of what’s coming next.
(L) Shot by Lida Fox. (R top) Shot by Lida Fox. (R bottom) Shot by Zachary Chick.
AN: I don’t really have a favorite spot in NYC. For me, any place is good as long as we’re all together doing stupid, fun stuff. Although experience shows that best times and best photos are from Paris
. I love Paris with all my heart, it’s such a magical place. People really let loose and enjoy themselves there and it shows on the photos I’ve taken there. The lifestyle in Paris is also very different and the way people spend their free time. It’s also very varied. I could be taking pictures of people doing classy stuff surrounded by beautiful elegant buildings, and later in the day the very same people going crazy in a fetish club with pink furry walls. It’s amazing.
Both photos shot by Lida Fox.
What’s your go-to camera for a night out?
LN: At the moment, I don’t have a go-to; I’m trying out a few different, really cheap ones I found in thrift stores and then will pick a favorite. All of my old favorites are currently broken! On the go, it’s nice to have one that’s durable but light, takes photos quickly, and captures good color. Yashica T4 is a legend but somehow it’s not my favorite. I just asked a friend to pick me up another Konica Big Mini while they’re in Tokyo. Also, many of the ones I find in junk bins are from the ’80s and provide pretty interesting results!
Shot by Aida Nizankovska.
AN: I only have one camera at the moment, my immortal, brick-sized Pentax, which is excellent for going out. It’s a bit heavy but it takes amazing pictures. My friends keep complaining that the flash is blindingly bright though! [Laughs]
Do you prefer to shoot film or digital?
LN: Always film for this kind of thing—that’s why it’s [called] Film Hooligans! Part of all the fun is the surprise of waiting to see how each photo turned out because you can’t just go back and take it again. Plus in this increasingly instant and digitalized time, it’s nice to go back to something both tangible and unpredictable. Film is too special to be forgotten.
(L) Shot by Lida Fox. (R) Shot by Zachary Chick.
AN: Film! Always! The world is really digitalized and artificial now. Film is vey raw and real—there’s no faking it. I want to be able to document my youth, not fake it with Photoshop and dog filters. The best photos I’ve ever seen were taken by my mum when she was a young rebel and these are all film. I’d like to have pictures like that to show to my kids one day.
Shot by Aida Nizankovska.