Artist Spotlight: Jarrod Reno

by Josh Ulmer

by Josh Ulmer

It’s Thursday! That means it’s time for another Artist Spotlight. If you are a new reader of  Snap It See It , this our weekly post featuring artist and photographers with a clear and unique voice with Instant Photography.

This week we are very happy to bring you the work of Jarrod Reno. Jarrod is a father, husband, film based photographer and craftsman. Truth be told, I came across Jarrod through post of his woodwork on Instagram. He makes some amazing rings and combs among other things. I hope to own one of his beard combs one day. Anyways, that lead me to his photography, which lead me to his instant work. needless to say, I’m a fan. Do yourself a favor and take the same journey as I did. Check out his site and show him some love.

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• A little about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.

Im turning 33 this year. Have been married for a little over 8 years. Me and Tess have four kiddos. Olive (6) Boston (5) Sailor (3) and Rosie (1.5). They are a joy most of the time when they’re not bouncing off the walls 😉 I’m currently a full time creator and have been since last November. Its been quite a ride, I left a secure and fairly high paying Sales/Marketing gig at a major microphone company and since then have made about an 1/8 of what I was making. With that said… I’ve learned to have faith in the path set out before me and not stress about putting food on the table. I’m blessed to be doing what I love and our needs are being met, sometimes at the last second but timing certainly doesn’t matter. As a family we’re still figuring out how my work can mesh with our lives since its no longer an 8-5 gig. I’ve set out to do photography full time but fired up the old flame of woodworking which runs in my family and has been a fun addition to my creative life. I’m looking forward to grow in both areas.

How did you get into instant photography?

When our oldest daughter, Olive was born I picked up a digital p&s. It was the first camera that I owned. At the time I was fresh out of design/film school and had a very weathered style when it came to my design work and so I’d pull the photos into Photoshop and weather ’em up. Then one day I looked at the Polaroid 100 that was sitting on my shelf (picked it up at a thrift shop because it looked cool) and did a little research on if I could get it to work. Was beside myself if I could shoot analog and get the look I was trying to get with my digital camera. Theres a magic expired film,especially instant film captures that worked so well with photographing my kids. Not long after I picked up an SX-70 and bought Polaroid 600 in bulk, cleared out my town pretty quick as it was still stocked up at Walmart back then. It kind of went from there.

What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?

Too hard to choose between an SX70 and Polaroid 195.

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

Uhhhh. I honestly don’t think there has been one that has slipped by. I have bought and then sold so many different cameras trying to find a select few to focus on. The one that I do miss is the Mamiya Universal with the 2.8 lens. The lens is so rare and gives an amazing vortex look. Not sure why I sold that.

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

The newest PX70. The stuff is wonderful and very predictable.

How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?

Well for the most part I try and shoot 4-8 shots of Impossible per shoot along with a handful through the Polaroid 195. I stocked up on 669 and ID-UV some years ago so am pulling from that… slowly. I will cry the day I shoot my last pack. Other than that I’ll shoot Fuji 3000B.

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

Im primarily a film shooter so that in general has made me a slow photographer, I like to take my time and work for shots, interact with who Im shooting… instant film exaggerates this even further. I’ll usually pull out the polaroid when I’ve found a grove and really good light. I think my vision is quiet and intimate, theres nothing like a close polaroid portrait.

Any personal projects we should know about?

Im currently working through a series of local craftsman portraits. I’ve been intrigued with slowing life down and de-digitizing so finding others that are of this frame of mind has been awesome and photographically interesting.

What other photographers do you look up too?

A year ago I’d give you a list full of current names you’d most likely recognized as there are a good handful of amazing artists that are at the forefront of the ‘industry’ although what I found was myself becoming more so a fan of photography rather than a better photographer myself. Since then I’ve shut down my google reader and only keep up with some close friends who shoot and then studying old masters that have passed on. With the internet and social media its so easy to draw inspiration from our peers rather than our own lives… even worse is we so easily think that our ‘successful’ peers have the magic ingredient, the golden technique and we can become obsessed with learning to shoot like ‘so and so’. Because of this I’ve delved into the past, photographers who were from an age where artistic fame and success wasn’t at the forefront of their minds. To name a few…. Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Irving Penn is a favorite, Richard Avedon…

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

Get a good camera…If you’ll be shooting Impossible Project film then get an old fold up SX70… stay away from the model 3’s. Don’t get discouraged if you’re first few packs are a little whonky. Pay close attention to your light/dark dial and the light of your scene. Figure out how the meter in the camera is reading the light and adjust to your liking. Find the patterns, it may take time. If you’re going with pack film, pick up a Polaroid Auto 100 or 250, they’re solid cameras and easy to use.

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

I try to be present, patient and trust my gut. Im genuinely interested in people and their story so thats what I shoot.

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