Artist Spotlight: Katlyn Hubner

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, but we apologize that we have missed a few. Believe us, we have interviews out, but it’s a busy time of year for a lot of people and getting them back can take time. 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!

self portrait polaroid 2

This week, the spotlight is on Tacoma photographer, Katlyn Hubner. Katlyn actually submitted some Spectra images for consideration to be featured on the blog. Her work had such a unique look to it, 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.

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

My name is Katlyn Hubner and I am an active artist in Tacoma Washington, originally from Baltimore Maryland. Other than what I learned about art in high school I began art modeling across America at the age of 18 through 24. As the years went past, increasingly I wanted to make personal art besides using my body as a tool for others compositions. During the whole time I traveled I always kept about 5 polaroid cameras with me to document my trips on the road. Meanwhile I have stepped aside from modeling full time into painting in my studio and always making time for polaroids in between.

How did you get into instant photography?

Instant photography was always amusing to me. Luckily as a child my friends and I had little polaroid cameras we would play with and the nostalgia of watching the images develop in front of me has never left me. I began to take photos for painting references, and then when I began to travel I found it so hard to paint on the road, so I sketched and took polaroids as often as I could. Shooting polaroids or instant film is such an amusing challenge to me knowing that I have only have one chance to really capture what I am looking for. The whole of process of the film being a little print immediately is so gratifying aswell. I have been lucky enough to have people give me digital cameras in the past, however I noticed I never took the memory card out of them over years, and kept taking polaroids. Eventually I sold everything I owned for digital photography and bought a bunch more polaroid cameras and film, and have been just completely obsessed with them. 

What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?

My favorite camera to use is the Spectra. I love the self timer on it to take double exposures, and the square format of it. I have to say the film that comes with it I feel has the sharpest results as well. Its a very sturdy and strong camera too, I totally dropped mine in the ocean and it still works!

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

Someday I would love to play with the Polaroid Macro 5 Camera. Its probably the only polaroid camera that I haven’t used. The camera seems so fun to be able to use the depth of field with it, and to have more control over what the lens is possible of.

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

My favorite film type would have to be the Impossible spectra film. It may take forever to develop currently but the colors that come out are so lovely! Its so interesting how temperature sensitive it is as well, I have a radiator in my studio and I have definitely been able to see the room temperature well with the film, it looked almost cotton candy like, with pink on the bottom and more green tones on the top. I totally play off of these color tones with my props I put into my images as well.

How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?

I have definitely incorporated Instant film into my workflow. Polaroids have been a part of my life for years, and they allow me to capture candids of people I don’t feel I would normally get, or now I have been working on making more set related images. Every time I take a polaroid I have a rush of excitement waiting to see how it will develop. Its important to me to stay active with taking them because of how instantly gratifying they are, when as when I am painting it takes hours and hours and hours. I feel instant film truly balances me out creatively.

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

The polaroids I make I feel are very different from my paintings. The whole process from developing an idea of what I want to create, finding the right model to pull it off, and setting the stage makes me a complete control freak about it. I feel OCD sometimes from nit-picking about the littlest things when I am taking the photos, making sure the pose is right, or the props are hanging correctly, and the lighting. My painting are much sloppier, and I am okay with mistakes in them, while in the polaroids, I mean business. I feel more comfortable making dark compositions that are moodier with polaroids. To me, the polaroids give me the ability to make up characters, or feelings, or designs to bring to life that I normally wouldn’t with any other medium. 

Any personal projects we should know about?

I do plan on making a book of these photographs someday. Its all becoming a large series I am exploring, and maybe someday I will have large prints of them hanging. 

What other photographers do you look up too?

Steven Klein is my favorite photographer in the world. Hands down. I love how he mixed dark ness with high fashion, I feel like whenever I see his photos its totally between dreams, reality and theatre. Following him I would have to say Herb Ritts, and Gregory Crewdson. 

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

Take your time with the polaroids. Use self restraint whenever you take your first polaroid because the weather, and temperature with the impossible project film will make your film do all sorts of wild things. So don’t blow through 25 dollars in 5 minutes before you know what you are getting. 

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

Most of my inspiration comes when I am driving around. For some reason, its probably not the safest way, but with sitting alone in my car while I am scooting around I get ideas all the time. Its just a matter of putting them in my sketchbook quickly so that I do not forget them. If I am having a deadline to make something I set aside a couple hours to doodle and come up with something. I like to put a lot of thought into the photos before I take them so there is a plan. Its rare that I am spontaneous with a concept.

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