We are back on the blog with another Artist Spotlight. If you are new to the blog, this is a feature, where we spotlight photographers and artist that are inspiring others with there instant film work. We try to provide our readers with a new spotlight each week, so if you would like to be featured or know of someone you would like to see on the blog, drop us a line. We love putting people in the spotlight!
This week, the spotlight is on Canadian photographer, Džesika Devic. We found Džesika on Instagram a while back and knew we wanted to feature her. Her work was all interesting, but it was the portraits that drew us in. As always, we wanted to know a little more about the person behind the camera. Please take a moment and check out her feeds on social media and show her some love.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.
I’m from a town near Toronto. I like to spend hours scanning film, and listening to peoples conversations, talking to strangers, taking pictures, and I do volunteer work.
How did you get into instant photography?
When I was 18, I got my first film camera. I was obsessed with the manual control I could have that affected the results of the photos. As I read more about it, i wanted to start experimenting with other forms of analog. This also stemmed from my love of going through my parents Polaroid photographs when I was a kid.
So I ordered my first Polaroid camera. The spectra. I did no research on Polaroid cameras, because when I want something, I don’t want to waste time doing research. I just like to get my hands on it and figure it out. That is half of the fun for me. My camera came in. It was 9$ off eBay. It smelled like cigarette smoke and had a grimy texture to it. I put in my first pack of film and took a self portrait. It lagged, the self timer seemed broken, it didn’t really close properly, and it ended up taking a double exposure. I eventually learned how to use it in its broken state. I had to press the lever right after taking the first photo, so it wouldn’t spit out all 10 photos. It was frustrating, and it just made me want to try harder.
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
I like the sx70 because of its focus. I remember before I really got into photography, seeing a photo, and it had this great vintage look to it, and the whole image was intentionally blurry. I still think about that photo. I always thought, I would love to know everything used to take that photo. Once I found the sx70, I felt I found the look I always wanted when I thought of that photo.
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I would like to try a land camera. Again, the process of peeling it fascinates me and looks like half of the fun.
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
I like the impossible color pack.
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
I do weddings, engagements, and lifestyle portraits. I advertise the fact that I incorporate analog with the shoots.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
I especially like using Polaroid when traveling. It makes me think of families in the 70s going on a trip. I often think of that scenario when using my Polaroid camera and traveling. I also can play a lot more with colors, and incorporate the use of colors in the composition. More than I would if I was shooting regular 35mm film. I like how exaggerated and emphasized the colors can be.
Any personal projects we should know about?
I have recently began printing my photographs on scarves that can be soon be purchased. Eventually it will be put onto other forms of clothing. I never liked how when an image was printed on clothing, it would only be one small square of the clothing. I wanted it to cover the whole thing. So that is what I have been working on and finally accomplished. I will be releasing those very soon.
I am also bored with my work. I feel like it’s something I’ve seen a million times. There are good photos, and there are photos that make me feel something.
Im just working on cleaning my palette creatively. Not settling for something that just looks good but hopefully gives me something to feel excited about.
What other photographers do you look up too?
Elliot Erwitt was the first photographer I discovered when I first was getting into taking pictures. His work opened up a whole new world for me.
I also love William Eggleston. His photos make me look twice, which has always been a good indicator of an interesting photographer to me.
When I read about how he started taking photos, it reminds me of how I feel sometimes now.
His work is a good drive for me.
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Be prepared to spend a lot of money because it’s addictive. Like, real addictive.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
It comes from many things. Just thinking, dreaming, music. A lot of it comes from observing things around at all times. People will walk by on the street and I will instantly feel excited to take their photo without their noticing. I will get so excited and cannot believe that I just happened to be where I was when this person just walked by, dressed the way they were, or to see the expression they had on their face. Inspiration just comes.