A little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you do?
I’m Clair Saint-Camille, aged 24, New England. I live in a little hardwood house by the sea, and collect antique books in my spare time. My favourite food is sushi.
How did you get into instant photography?
I began shooting 35mm film, because I’m very nostalgic. I think a certain style of instant photography tends to be even more nostalgic than 35mm, especially the Impossible films, so I bought myself a Spectra and started experimenting.
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
I love my Spectra, especially if I can get my hands on Softtone film.
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I bought a Polaroid Sonar sx-70 land camera a few months ago, but haven’t had a chance to see if it functions. It’s a pretty camera, I’d love to work with it.
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
I love Polaroid Image Softtone, but it’s expensive and increasingly rare. PZ680 is a go-to.
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
I tend to bring an instant camera with me to shoots, even if I am focusing on 35mm. Because instant film is now much more expensive than 35mm, and there are only 8 or 10 tries per pack, I might attempt to take one or two good instant photographs in a shoot, and they tend to serve as stranger and more nostalgic representations of a shoot that otherwise exists in 35mm. For me, one good instant photograph is worth a handful of 35mm photographs.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
I want my voice to be more profound with an instant photograph, to carry farther. I would like each shot to stand as its own piece of art, whereas with 35mm I tend to create photo stories or editorials.
Any personal projects we should know about?
I’m just waiting for spring to get here–I am much more photographically productive when there are flowers about.
What other photographers do you look up too?
Leanne Surfleet and Anna Marcell are my favourite instant photographers. I also like many of Parker Fitzgerald’s instant photographs.
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Don’t give up. Be careful, each shot costs. Get comfortable with your camera.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
I much prefer when inspiration finds me–I’ve felt more proud of those results. Inspiration doesn’t always find me, though, so I do seek it out, and sometimes we run into each other. My inspiration comes primarily from old films and literature. I’ve been heavily inspired by Sophia Louise Sawyer, a model I work with very often. She’s in most of my instant photographs.