Q&A: Molly Lichten ’15 Famous on Flickr

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Molly Lichten ’15 makes art, shares it with fellow Swatties and blogs about it on This Beating Heart via Flickr. She also has a Facebook page. The Daily Gazette interviewed her over email.

When did your love of photography begin?

Y’know, I’ve always loved taking pictures. From throw-aways to point-and-shoots to finally my DSLR and film babies. I don’t think I really become serious about photography, though, until about two years ago when I got my first DSLR. After purchasing it, I quickly became fixated on learning the ins and outs of photography, and have been taking pictures ever since.

Who are your biggest influences? In life or specific to photography? 

As cliché as it sounds, I’m inspired by everything. From a cracked pavement to a wrinkly face to the sun arching its way across the sky. Because photography, to me, is not just about framing aesthetically pleasing or conceptually interesting shots. It is about capturing moments. It is about learning how to see. Then taking what you see and translating it into a two-dimensional medium.

Do you post everyday? How much editing goes into each picture? How do you find time to still photograph with the craziness of Swarthmore?

I try to post as often as possible, though to be honest, it’s been hard since coming here. Now that I’m taking photography this semester, I’ve been able to devote time to taking pictures again, to documenting our time in this bewitchingly beautiful place.

The amount of editing that goes into each picture really depends on each photograph and the type of end result I am looking for. Some, like this photograph I post sooc (straight out of the camera) without any colour or lighting tweaks. Others, like this one are the products of extreme boredom, ample time, and hours of playing around in photoshop.

What of your friends at home, roommate and hallmates, do they know about your sites? What do they say?

Y’know, I’m not sure whether everyone knows about my photography pages and whatnot, but it feels as if I’m always constantly badgering someone to model for or go on photo adventures with me, and thankfully, at least one or two people are usually happy to oblige. Basically, they are all really sweet and supportive. I couldn’t ask for better (or prettier) friends, and wandering through the crum with my camera and fellow swatties has been, and continues to be one of my favourite things to do at Swat.

Which pictures from your sites are your favorites? Could you link them to this article? Which is your favorite? You sometimes photograph on campus, right? What/who/where are you dying to photograph?

Here are a couple of my favourites, it would be impossible to choose just one.

Pink MistLillies and DustOne day I will go out in flames.UntitledLooseleaf Whispers

I do take pictures on campus! One of the things I’ve really been wanting to shoot is Magill Walk during a snowstorm. I’ve also heard about ruins on the outskirts of the Crum, and have been wanting to visit the train trestle and roof of Papazian.

How do you feel about being an up-and-coming internet sensation?

It’s all a bit overwhelming, though I’d hardly say I’m an internet sensation! It’s exciting, though. It’s exciting to get to share my photographs and have people actually like and respond to them! It inspires me to keep going, y’know?

Correction: The article previously stated that Lichten in the class of 2014, she is in the class of 2015.

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