Natasha Dardashti staff writer
Since she was 10-years-old, junior Andrea Di Battista has always had a camera in her hands.
Her years of photography were heavily supported by her grandfather. Upon finding out about Di Battista’s interest in photography, he gave her his own film camera.
“He gave it [the film camera] to me the last time he came here to visit us…that was when he was diagnosed with cancer. It was completely insane. My whole world was switched upside down, and now that I have his camera, now that he’s gone, he’s a lot closer to me than what we were before. It’s something I’m going to keep with me for my whole life,” Di Battista said.
Di Battista’s relationship with her grandfather had never been close before he was diagnosed with cancer. During this time, he relocated from Venezuela (where Di Battista was born) to America in order to receive the proper treatment that was not available in Venezuela.
“He had to stay in my room for like a month or two. I slept on the couch, but I was fine with it. I would talk to him every once in awhile, because I knew he got lonely sometimes. That just got us a lot closer than we ever would have gotten,” Di Battista said.
Di Battista has always been interested in photography since moving from Panama to Los Angeles four years ago. Though she was hesitant about working in Beverly’s darkroom at first, it took her little to no time to realize she preferred darkroom photography to digital.
“I feel like there are so many things I can play with in the darkroom, and it’s just a lot more raw than digital,” Di Battista said. “Since we only have black and white developer in the darkroom, we only do black and white film in photography. That’s kind of limiting, but it’s a different way of thinking of photography than just digital.”
The gift of her grandfather’s camera inspired Di Battista to continue her art of photography through her grandfather is not with her anymore.
“It gives me a way of looking at things differently. Every time I take a picture, it’s always different from what I was looking at. It just gives me perspective of how when I look at things, it’s not really what they are,” Di Battista said.