Artist Spotlight: Matt Day

img339Welcome back to this weeks Artist Spotlight. You may remember a month or so back, we had Matt on our blog with a themed post. (you can see that post here) Well, we have continued to follow his work and he has been posting a lot to Instagram with the #snapitseeit hashtag. We figured it was finally time to let y’all get to know Matt a little bit more.

“Hey guys, my name is Matt Day. I’m 22 years old, I live in southern Ohio in the great town of Chillicothe, and I am a photographer. Though I make a living through portrait photography, my real passion lies in my personal work which is 100% shot on film. I hope you guys like what you see and feel free to check out my blog and Instagram to see much more!”

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Every photo was taken with my Polaroid SX-70 on Impossible Project PX-70 Color Protection. Easy enough!


How did you get into instant photography?

I got into instant photography through working with my dad. He runs a business where he engraves tombstones in cemeteries. Whenever the family of the deceased lives out of town, he would always take a Polaroid with a One Step 600 and mail it to the family so that they could see the finished work. I remember my parents using it when I was a kid for candid family photos, but seeing my dad use it in the cemetery seemed to strike me a little more. When I was 16, I bought the same camera he used at a local thrift shop and most of my paychecks from working for my dad went to good ol’ Polaroid 600 film from the local Kroger.

What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?

My favorite camera is the Polaroid SX-70, hands down. I’ve shot with a lot of different instant cameras and they all have their own mystique, but the SX-70 is my favorite. The design, the quality, everything about it. It just works. It’s the one I use for 99% of my instant work. Always have that one on me in the camera bag.

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

I’ve never shot with the Polaroid Big Shot, but I’ve heard they’re a lot of fun. They seem to be a cult camera so I’d like to shoot with one and find out what all the fuss is about.

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

My favorite Impossible film is the latest from Impossible, the PX-70 Color Protection. Polaroid elitists can complain all they want about how long it takes to develop, I don’t care. I shot the original Polaroid film religiously and this stuff blows that out of the water. It has the look that instant film goes hand in hand with. The absolute best. Occasionally, I’ll shoot pack film in my Polaroid 250 Automatic and when I do, it’s usually Fuji FP-3000B. Lots of good tones in that film.

How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?

Seeing as how I make a living with portrait photography, it’s always fun for a client when I break out my SX-70 for a few photos. Usually when we get half of the work done, I’ll shoot a few with my SX-70. Then when the shoot is all over with, the photos are fully developed by then and when I pull them out of my pocket to give to them, it’s always exciting. People still love that tangible photo in their hand to take home with them. People outside of photography don’t really “get” the point of shooting film these days, but they’re always excited to see an instant photo for the first time.

As for personal work, well I’m shooting it almost every day!

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

I think my voice with instant photography is different from the rest of my personal work. 99% of what I shoot on roll film is on Tri-X, a black and white film. So shooting with mostly PX-70, it’s not only in color, it’s in a very unique range of colors. There are certain things that I see to photograph where I naturally grab my SX-70 instead of my Leica. The really close, intimate things fit with instant film. It’s the little moments of each day when I grab my SX-70. At the same time, I like capturing a really big landscape on instant film. I think the look of holding something massive like the Smoky Mountains within a white border in your pocket is pretty rad. It’s a romantic thing.

Any personal projects we should know about?

Right now, I’m currently working on a photobook that I plan to release around the New Year. I don’t wanna say too much about it just yet.. Until then, I’m also planning on releasing a couple of zines in the near future. And I’m shooting every single day, so it’s constantly a work in progress.

What other photographers do you look up too?

I look up to a lot of photographers, but I think I mostly look up to friends of mine that also shoot, whether it be instant film or just film in general. Cassel Bowen, Bryan Bowie, Ray Echevers, Raymond Molinar, George Barnett, and there are plenty more. All of them have very different styles but I think you just naturally vibe off of your friends and get hyped on what they’re doing and you get hyped for them. I also look up to a ton of skateboard photographers. I seriously think that they may be the most underrated photographers out there. Guys like Grant Brittain, Joe Brook, Arto Saari, Ed Templeton, Mike O’Meally, Matt Price, Ryan Allan, Atiba Jefferson, Jonathan Mehring, JT Rhoades… Every time I pick up the latest skate magazines each month, I’m blown away by the photography.

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

Experiment. Have fun. If you’re a perfectionist, it’s not for you.

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

Most of my inspiration just happens at the moment when I raise the camera to my eye. It’s usually something that I see and immediately decide to document. I never really shoot anything conceptual or thought out. I just like to document more than anything, for whatever the reason at the moment may be.


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