It’s Monday, time for another Artist Spotlight. If this is your first time to the blog, welcome, we’re glad you stopped by to check us out. We like to start each week off by featuring photographers and artist that inspire us. This week the spotlight is on Portland based photographer, Myles Katherine.
After graduating from Lynchburg College in Virginia, Myles took her Studio Art and Photography degree on the road and ended up in Oregon. Her body of work includes fine art, fashion and wedding photography. Seeing Myles work on Instagram, we are always taken back by the ethereal feel of her images. Please take a moment to view more of Myles work and follow along with her adventures on the interwebs at the following links.
How did you get into instant photography?
I’ve always loved the look of instant film. It has a soft and dreamy quality that doesn’t really come with any other type of film. I remember looking through my parents old polaroid images and falling in love with the tones and colors. When my dad gave me an old Polaroid camera that his construction company used to use to photograph job sites, I was so excited. When I discovered that it still worked, it became an important part of my photo shoots.
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
I’ve been using a Polaroid Impulse for the past few years and it’s been great. It’s simple and easy to use.
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I actually have an old Polaroid land camera that I haven’t used yet. It doesn’t look like it’s going to work, but I have high hopes! I love double exposures and it would be amazing to create them with instant film.
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
I love the black and white Impossible film. I have an obsession with black and white photography. There’s something haunting and nostalgic about it that you just don’t get with color images.
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
I try to shoot a pack of Impossible film during every photo shoot, along with a few rolls of Holga images and my digital camera. I like having a variety of photos to choose from. I’m also extremely indecisive so I can’t just stick with one thing.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
I’m definitely drawn to more simple compositions when it comes to instant photography. I think it’s important to capture the subject honestly, without too many distractions. The film speaks for itself. I guess I’m always searching for a moment of quietude and self-discovery. A sort of in-between state that will give the image a sense of peace and truthfulness. My other work has a similar quality to it, though my brain kind of goes into a different mode when I’m shooting with my Holga. I’m trying to create a mood and an energy that is haunting and ethereal, even if it isn’t present. With instant film, I just let the film create the mood while I search for the moment.
Any personal projects we should know about?
While I love instant film, and it has become a huge part of my photographic process, I’m currently working towards a larger goal that focuses on the Holga. I’ve been using the Holga for years, trying to fully understand and utilize it to its highest potential. There’s something magical about it, and it has given me hope and has carried me through my entire photographic journey. I’m not sure what my goal is, exactly, but I know that I’m not quite there yet. I’ve been struggling with anxiety problems for years and my Holga images are the closest I can get to expressing those fears and insecurities in a visual way.
What other photographers do you look up too?
I moved to Portland, Oregon about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been so inspired by the photographers here. Anja Verdugo, Robert Hamilton, Jon Duenas, Eliza Lazo de Valdez and so many more. There’s something special happening here. There is so much talent to be shared and it gives me the drive to keep shooting, even when I don’t want to.
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Be picky with your shots. Instant film is expensive and you will easily burn through a pack if you aren’t careful. I try to pace myself with it when I’m doing a photo shoot. And sometimes the image will turn out completely different that you imagined, but this can be a beautiful thing.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
I’ve noticed that I don’t really feel inspired until I’m actually shooting. I use the environment and the subject to inspire me. If I try to force ideas when I’m getting ready for a photo shoot, it doesn’t seem to work and I just end up getting frustrated. I think the adrenaline that I experience when I’m shooting also helps me come up with ideas. I try not to be too influenced by the photographers that I admire, because it causes me to lose focus on my own personal style. I think it’s important to enjoy other photographers work, but not mimic it.