Artist Spotlight: Briana Morrison

Sx70 (Self Portrait) Expired PX70

Sx70 (Self Portrait) Expired PX70

Welcome back to another Artist Spotlight. This week we are excited to bring you a talented and sweet gal, Briana Morrison. Recently, Briana was on the Frame Network’s  FILM Show as a guest producer. Fun fact, on episode 3 she was shown peeling some instant film. Make sure to look for it next time you watch that episode!
“I’m a Portland, Oregon based fine art, boudoir and wedding photographer, though I love to dabble in all sorts of photography including fashion, lifestyle, food and travel.  I have a massive love for film photography though I do enjoy shooting both film and digital.  Polaroid, or instant, photography holds an even dearer place in my heart.  I picked up my first Sx70 in 2009 and have been in love ever since.”
 How did you get into instant photography?

After years in art school and getting caught up with digital wedding photography I started to lose my passion.  I got bored, and really, that’s the best way to kill your creativity.  In 2009 I started researching new film cameras and alternative processes, that’s when I came across some really wonderful Polaroid photographers and decided I just had to try it.  As soon as I held my first Sx70 in my hands I knew it was a love affair that would never die.  I took my camera to Europe after I graduated from college and used up my very last two packs of 600 film.  Luckily, that was right at the same time that The Impossible Project came out with their very first film so I had something to return home to.  Since then, my collection of Polaroid cameras has grown and instant photography continues to be constant creative outlet.

What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?

Every camera yields such different results that it’s hard to choose a favorite, though there are three in my collection that I can’t imagine going without.  My Sx70 is my oldest companion and I absolutely love this camera for travel, food, and detail photography.  The Polaroid Spectra is a great camera to take along to weddings and portrait sessions because of it’s auto focus and ease of use.  It’s a much faster camera than the Sx70 and I’ve fallen in love with the multiple exposure capabilities.  The newest addition to my collection is the Polaroid Land Camera 180.  I fell in love with this one while touring around Morocco with Jen Altman and Heidi Swanson, both are amazing instant photographers that can work some serious magic with the 180.  I don’t pull this one out quite so often because it’s a little messier and slower to shoot with but I absolutely love the images it can capture.

What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?

I would love to try The Impossible Projects large format film in an old 8×10 camera one of these days.  I’d also love to try out a Mamiya Universal with a Polaroid back. I’ve seen beautiful creations from both of these cameras.

What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?

I really love The Impossible Project’s PX70 and PZ680 color protection films.  If you let them sit just long enough, before scanning, the emulsion gets a number of tiny little cracks in it.  Once scanned and blown up the images look like beautiful old oil paintings.

How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?

There are times in my daily routine when the only camera I care to have with me is an instant film camera.  Sometimes it’s the only camera in my closet that speaks to me… During weddings, boudoir, and portrait sessions I like to have at least one Polaroid camera on me at all times.  When the light is just right and the moment to slow down a little presents itself, I’ll pull out my instant camera and capture a little magic. I absolutely love it when I can share an image with my clients right then and there, no editing needed, perfect from the start.

How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)

I like to think it doesn’t differ too much, especially now.  I’m no longer afraid to get experimental with my instant photography.  Though, now that I think about it, instant films, especially Impossible films, really call for different light.  Where I might shoot a model with a stripe of light across her face, I’d be less likely to do so with instant film.  But maybe not, it’s always worth a little experimentation and I may discover that I love the effect it gives me.  It may be more apt to say that I’ve become a better, more experimental photographer since I started shooting with instant film, and I’m so thankful for it!

Any personal projects we should know about?

 
Kim Smith-Miller and I have been working on The Impossible Diptych Project for a few months now.  Every week we photograph something in our daily lives with the same type of camera and then combine them into a diptych.  There is never any preplanning, and we don’t use photo prompts, but each week we come up with something beautifully complementary.  We’ve had to temporarily put the project on hold while I settle into my new life in Portland and Kim adventures in Iceland but it will be back up and running by October (at the latest).
 
I’ve also got a Polaroid workshop in the works and I’m really excited to get it all put together.  I’m expecting it will be ready this winter or early spring.  More details will be shared on my blog as soon as they’re ready.
 

What other photographers do you look up too?

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that there are a ton of really talented instant photographers out there.  Some of my early influencers include Susannah Conway, Jen Altman, and Amanda Gilligan.  In recent years I’ve fallen for Heidi Swanson’s food and travel photography, Jade Sheldon’s lifestyle photography, as well as Jan Scholtz {NSFW} and Chloe Aftel’s images of women.

What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?

In the beginning, you’re going to make mistakes.  Don’t let them deter you!  Spend some time researching the various instant cameras out there and choose one that fits your shooting style, invest in some film and let yourself be ok with imperfections.  Sometimes I find that it’s the imperfections that turn a great photograph into a piece of art.  And always, experiment to your heart’s content, trying new things will really open you up to the vast array of beauty instant photography has to offer.

Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?

I’m inspired by beauty, whether in the simple elements of my home, a grand landscape, unique fashion, a plate of food, or the elegant lines of a woman’s body.  I do my best to surround myself with inspiriting elements and when those don’t do the trick, I step outside for a little fresh air.  Old architecture, lush gardens, and antique shopping never cease to prompt a new idea.

 

Comments

  1. Love the diptych series.

  2. Elisa Krynitz says:

    Really impressed by the double exposure picture!!

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  1. […] you might well know, I’m a BIG lover of Polaroid photography and the Impossible Project films. I shoot with Polaroid cameras as often as I can and have a little […]

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