YVR Lucid Dreams: Ariela Badenas

Child in window sitting at a table eating pizza. Landscape reflecting off the window.

“Film photography requires a lot of time and attention to detail, but most importantly, intention: why would I choose one camera or emulsion over another? How should I meter this scene? Which developer should I use to bring the image to life? With being able to take full control of the process from composing the image in the camera, to the development and digitization of the negative, I am able to transform a tangible (and supposedly fixed) object into its final form. Every step of the process is a choice. And every iteration of the scanned negative is unique.”

These are thoughts local photographer Ariela Badenas has during her street photography shoots.

Based in the unceded land of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations (also known as Vancouver, Canada), Ariela, has a passion for capturing Vancouver’s beauty in the mundane. 

Ariela’s innate curiosity for the world and how it works sparks her love of film photography. She’s not afraid to play around with shapes, colours, scenes, and frames. Ariela is not only an incredible local artist, but also an artist in the science lab — she pursued Chemistry as well! 

Film photography is where her passion for art and science intersect. Her analogue photography captures the dreaminess of mundane life with her subjects often being families and children enjoying the little things in life.

Dreaminess of the Mundane

Family playing on seawall with the ocean and cityscape in the backdrop. A father pulls a wagon and a little tags along on an electric skateboard device.

Ariela also captures the uniqueness of YVR. She draws attention to the easter eggs all across Vancouver, bringing focus to things we’d most likely fail to notice. We’d most likely walk by a beautiful house without appreciating the details in its design. We’d most likely walk past a happy family without smiling with them. Ariela is able to appreciate these things and in turn, share those moments with us.

In her collections, Ariela often showcases candid images of couples. She shares the simplicity of love through powerful photos which usually positions the couple far in the back of the shot. In a way, she’s showing the mundane and beauty in genuinely loving someone else.

Through her street photography and authentic blog, Ariela offers a refreshing take on Vancouver and film photography.

“Like a painter, it is my medium of choice because I am able to create the images that I want to. Soft and nuanced, almost like watching a lucid dream or peering into someone’s memory.”

 –   Ariela Badenas

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