"I grew up watching The Girls Next Door, and I always loved the aesthetic of Playboy" – photographer Carianne Older on her cinematic portraits

film photo of two playboy bunnies
Playboy Bunny Girls (Image credit: Carianne Older)

Ever since Carianne Older picked up a camera, she has been empowering women with her distinctive style of film photography. Also known as PeggyShootsfilm, unlike most photographers of the digital age Carianne really does shoot almost entirely on film – a medium that despite rising prices has recently seen a massive resurgence.

Carianne's work is divinely feminine. Her portraits are a mix of kitsch, kinky and quirky but above all, they celebrate the female form and the diversity of womanhood. From soft, dreamy, vintage Hollywood-style shots of women adorned in sparkles to a modern boudoir style of women in powerful poses, Carianne's work is varied but unified. 

As a self-taught film photographer, Carianne was lucky enough to land a job working for two Broadway theaters and for the CEO of one of the biggest talent agencies in New York. She has since become a full-time freelance photographer, videographer and creative director, adding her whimsical vintage flavor to shoots with actors, musicians, influencers and even Playboy Bunnies. 

We caught up with Carianne to discuss how she's battled the rising cost of film, whether she still gets nervous before big shoots, and what's been the highlight of her career so far. 

Do you get nervous before shoots when you're photographing superstars like Christina Aguilera?

Of course! I always get a little nervous before I shoot people I've looked up to forever – it's more of a nervous excitement, though!

Christina Aguilera as The Corpse Bride (Image credit: Carianne Older)

What camera do you use and do you have a favorite film type?

My favorite camera is my Canon AE-1 and my favorite film is Cinestill 400 Dynamic!

Have you ever come away from a shoot thinking it went terribly or regret not getting certain shots?

I definitely have a few times, especially because I mainly shoot on film. But whenever I get the film back, I am always so satisfied and I know that I got every shot that I was meant to get.

(Image credit: Carianne Older)

Rising film costs are making it harder for some photographers to continue using the medium. Have you felt the pinch?

I definitely have… it's pretty sad that the costs have almost tripled and it makes me upset that it's not as accessible any more. It's really sad that some people have stopped shooting on film entirely because it has gotten so pricey. Shooting film is an art form; a roll of film should cost $10 or less. 

Is there one particular person you've loved shooting with?

The photos haven't come out yet but I loved shooting with the band Pierce the Veil! It was my first time shooting a boy band and I cannot wait to share the photos soon! 

How do you think your style has changed since you started?

Shockingly it hasn't really changed… it's just elevated. I think my style has always been consistent, which is crazy to say. I've just honed in on my craft a lot more since I started shooting. 

Who are your biggest influences, and where do you get inspiration for your shoots?

David Lynch is my main inspiration forever – I love his entire body of work. I remember watching Twin Peaks as a teenager wondering how I could recreate The Lodge… and for Halloween this year, Campout Magazine hired me to shoot a recreation of The Lodge! 

On Instagram you mention you've been a fan of Playboy since you were a little girl. Was shooting Bunnies in the Wild the highlight of your career? And if not, what was it?

It absolutely was! I grew up watching The Girls Next Door, and I always loved the aesthetic of Playboy, so photographing the relaunch of the iconic bunny suit was truly the highlight of my career thus far.

Check out the best film cameras such as the classic Nikon FM2 and Carianne's favorite, the Canon AE-1.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.