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My photos are All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2008-2010

Me & Urban Light at BCAM/LACMA


fo-ton-o-mous [foh-ton-uh-muh s] noun

photo + autonomous = fotonomous

1.Web identity of Lydia Marcus, an individualist, Piscean & native Los Angeleno (Encino/WEHO) raised in diametrically opposed communities shaped by culture, status, sexuality, and spirituality.This multifaceted upbringing informed her ability & desire to always seek to blend out instead of blend in.

2.Blog of Lydia Marcus, a writer, photographer (Nikon & Polaroid shooter), filmmaker & unapologetic Valley girl.

The "Official Bio"

Lydia Marcus has been taking photos since early childhood but it wasn’t until she took high school photo that she began to discover her “eye” and develop a lifelong passion for photography. Since then, no classic car, neon sign or cute dog has been safe from her gaze.

Her lifelong fascination and appreciation of cars is shared through her “Curious Transport” series capturing abstract pinstripes, distressed paint, and super glossy customization. A native Los Angeleno and unapologetic “Valley girl” - Lydia’s “Sign Language” series reveals quintessential L.A. scenery – places that are thriving and much that is rapidly disappearing.

Lydia shoots in many formats - digital (Nikon D80/D40), 35mm film (Contax 137MD/T2) and her beloved Polaroid (SX-70/SLR 680 SE/195). Her most prized camera is a trusty old medium format Rolleicord she inherited from her Uncle Fritz.

Lydia’s photos have appeared online and in print for outlets including JPG Magazine, Light Leaks Magazine, AOL City Guide Los Angeles, Jet Magazine, The Advocate,,, 411 Magazine (Florida),, (Miami) 411 Magazine, Frontiers, and IN Los Angeles. As an entertainment journalist her articles have appeared in a variety of outlets including The Los Angeles Times, The Advocate, AOL City Guide Los Angeles,, Windy City Times, Release Print, Baltimore Alternative, Girlfriends, and

In 2006/2007 Lydia toured with Sandra Bernhard photographing Bernhard’s live show “Everything Bad and Beautiful.” One of her photos of Bernhard was one of the winners of JPG Magazine’s Polaroid Portrait competition. In 2007/2008, Lydia's photos were featured in four Los Angeles group shows at Shotgun Space, Julia Dean Gallery, Bel-Air Camera, and Untitled Gallery. She is the founder of two Flickr groups: Polaroid Cars and Pola Dogs. In 2009, Getty Images began representing some of her photographs through their Flickr partnership. In 2010, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum Of Art) began selling a tote bag with Lydia's image of L.A. iconic art sculpture Urban Light.

Her clients have included actress/performer Sandra Bernhard, actress/performer Jenifer Lewis, the San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce, Wolfe Video, Outfest, and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

"The effort is to find that perfectly balanced frame where everything fits. It's not exactly the same as life, it's life seen better." - Robert Adams

"...She's a Valley Girl and there is no cure, okay fine, fer sure, fer sure..."
- Frank Zappa

"Having a studio is a little like having a fancy car. It doesn’t help you take better pictures." - Annie Leibovitz in "Annie Leibovitz at Work"

to check out my photo blog go to

My Flickr photostream:
fotonomous. Get yours at

I started the Flickr Group Polaroid Cars.
Polaroid Cars. Get yours at
I started the Flickr Group Pola Dogs.
Pola Dogs. Get yours at

My Favorite Photo Books:

Andre Kertesz "The Polaroids"
Viggo Mortensen "Recent Forgeries"
Mitch Epstein "Work"
Stephen Shore "Uncommon Places"
Adam Bartos "Boulevard"
John Divola "Isolated Houses"

Inspired By:

Andy Warhol
Alfred Hitchcock
Donna Deitch
Vito Russo
Tom Hatten
My Mom (Beverly Burton Marcus)
My Aunt (Lisa Marcus Schiller)
Roger Ebert
Barbara Walters
Viggo Mortensen
Andre Kertesz

A list of all of my Polaroid Cameras:
(Time Zero Film)
- SX-70 Alpha (brownish/orange leather with white body - hand me down from my Uncle)
- SX-70 Sonar (Black leather/Silver body)
- One Step (SX-70 version) - White with Polaroid rainbow stripe - first integral film camera my family bought. Shot with this in late elementary school and early junior high years.
(600 Film)
- Sun 600 LMS
- One Step Auto Focus (Purple - rounder clamshell design mid-late 90's)
- One Step (generic black - early 2000)
- One (latest style, Silver)
- SLR 680 SE - the camera i pick up when i use 600/779 film. simply awesome.
- Impulse SE (black body) - one of the best 600 cameras
(Spectra / Image Film)
- Spectra 1200si
- Spectra ProCam
- Spectra Onyx
- Spectra 1200FF
- Minolta Instant Pro (same body as Spectra)
(Captiva / Joycam / 500 Film)
- Captiva SLR
- Joycam (Black, Silver Metallic, Light Blue Metallic)
(iZone Film)
- iZone (light Green translucent)
(mio / Fuji Instax Mini Film)
- mio
(3 1/4 x4 1/4 PEEL APART PACK FILM)
- 110 B Pathfinder (converted to 3.25x4.25)
- 195
- ProPack
- Big Shot
- Super Shooter Plus - first Polaroid camera my family owned. I grew up using this as a kid.
- 203 MiniPortrait
- 402 MiniPortrait
- 403 MiniPortrait (it doesn't work)
- 4 image passport photo / miniportrait (non Polaroid brand)
- Daylab Copysystem Pro

Digital Cameras:

Nikon D80
Nikon D40 - (digital SLR i grab the most - it's so lightweight and fun to use)
Nikon Coolpix S2 (put into semi-retirement now that I've upgraded to a Sony T100)
Sony Cybershot DSC-T100

Film Cameras:

Contax 137MD / Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f1.7
Contax T2
Olympus XA
Olympus XA4
Leica Mini Zoom
Rolleicord Va (inherited from my Uncle)
Yashica Electro 35 GSN
Nikon FG (hand me down from my Uncle)
Canon AE-1 Program (my first 35mm SLR)
Canon AF35M (my first 35mm camera)
Nikon L35AF
Nikonos V (35mm / f/2.5)
Nikon N80

Polaroidesque Cameras / Films:

Fuji Instax 200 (Fuji Instax Wide Film)
Fuji Instax Mini Film (shot with Polaroid mio)


Epson R1800
Kodak 1400
Canon Selphy CP510


Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8
Nikon 85mm f/1.4 AF-D
Nikon 50mm f1.8
Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 (Sold)
Nikon 18-200 VR
Nikon 18-55
Nikon 24mm f2.8
Nikon 105 f2.8 Micro
Sigma 10-20mm
Lensbaby 2.0


Nikon SB-800
Nikon SB-600
Nikon SB-400
Nikon SB-26
Nikon SB-15

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May 2007
Los Angeles CA
I am:
Female and Single
writer / photographer / filmmaker