Recently, we put a call out for some suggestions on artist to feature. Annie Hall was mentioned by several photographers we look up, so we knew we had to check her out. There are a few things that stood out to me about Annie. 1) She is shooting a lot of Instax Wide and 2) She is fairly new to the world of instant photography but is killing it, and having fun too.
If you would like to see more of Annie’s work, check out the links below. She has not posted a ton of instant work, but we hope that changes in the future. Her wedding work however is beautiful and her travel photography takes you away. Go get inspired!
A little bit about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.
I’m currently nomadic between northern California and southern California. I graduated with a B.A. in film and media studies last year thinking I’d get into film production, but photography started as a hobby in my freshman year and has spiraled out of control with no end in sight. I can’t imagine myself not working with a still camera. Someone once told me that life is more interesting at 24fps, but I like to think of the path I’ve chosen as capturing a moment in time rather than recording the passing of it.
Now, I work as a documentary wedding photographer and occasionally a behind the scenes still photographer for film productions. I love to capture things as they naturally happen without disturbing or directing anyone.
1. How did you get into instant photography?
My first instant camera was one of those small instax minis that takes credit card-sized photos. I hated the lack of control, so I tried out the SX-70 with some Impossible Project film. I didn’t have much luck with it and it was costly, so I grabbed an Instax 210 Wide and have been having a blast with it. I was later gifted a polaroid back for my Mamiya RB67.
2. What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
For days where I want to be a bright-eyed young soul in sunny open spaces, I love to go light and shoot with my Instax 210. For more purposeful portraits, I use my Mamiya RB67 with the polaroid back.
3. What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I would love to try the Polaroid 195 and finally utilize the entire image area of the pack film along with full manual controls. One day!
4. What’s your favorite Impossible or pack film type?
I love shooting in low light and I love black and white, so definitely 3000B.
5. How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
I currently only use instant film for personal shooting, but I have and would love to continue bringing it onto portrait and engagement sessions.
6. How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? Does it differ from your other work?
The whole process of instant photography is itself somewhat enlightening to me as it actively shows me what I find “worthy” of preserving on instant film. I’m normally pretty selective when I shoot (with digital and film), but most of that ends up just being documentation. When I bring out the instant film, it’s usually because there was a very specific feeling I wanted to preserve.
Sometimes I’ll go to a location with my instant gear and end up not shooting anything, whereas if I brought a digital camera I would’ve shot something because I felt I might as well. I don’t feel that way with instants.
I’m not sure I’ve found a real voice or vision with instant film yet, but I do know that when I do fire off a frame, what I shoot has to matter to someone, whether it’s myself or someone else. That’s why I love to shoot couples and families and then hand them something they can hold immediately. Overall, it’s shown me what I find significant, and I expect it to guide me into a specific direction and perhaps make me rethink what matters to me.
7. Any personal projects we should know about?
At the moment, no. I’d like to hone in my technical skill with instants first before I embark on something. I’ve been entertaining the idea of doing an instant photo-a-day thing, but I am starting to find documenting others’ lives more interesting, so maybe something with that.
8. What other photographers do you look up to?
I’ve always looked up to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s approach to photography. Most recently I’ve been really inspired by the way Alain Leboille documents his family.
9. What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Be prepared to make some really stupid mistakes, like forgetting to take out the dark slide before firing off and pulling out the film… *hangs head shamefully*, completely busting the exposures, and in general having a bad first couple of packs from messing up. I’m still making mistakes but always learning. Find out what exactly you want to accomplish before buying that new camera.
10. Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
I’m inspired by people who have such a unique way of seeing the world that it manifests itself in all forms of their expression – in writing, in digital photography, film photography, instant, iphone, and even what they choose to show the world.
I spoonfeed myself bits of inspiration at a time from things I know and follow, and usually I find new things by happy accidents. Having too much at one time might overwhelm me and make me forget to follow and build my own voice.