It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for an 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. While we try to provide our readers with a new spotlight each week, I’ll be the first to admit we have been lacking in this department lately. Feedback from the community are the best way to make these spotlights happen, 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!
Today we are featuring Ruth Storey. We have featured Ruth’s work a few time in our Featured Friday post and now its time to find out a little more about the person behind the lens. Please take the time to check out more of Ruth’s work and show her some love through her social media links.
• A little about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.
I’ve lived in a few places in the UK but I’ve finally settled in Sheffield, right on the edge of the Peak District National Park which is just beautiful. I’m 35 and live with my lovely husband James and our children Euan (9) and Isla (3).
I’m a Probation Officer by trade but have been at home with my two kids for the last 3 years which has been great. As well as giving me a wonderful opportunity to spend precious time with the kids it also allows me time to get out with my cameras. I recently set up a small online shop selling framed triptychs and emulsion lifts on canvas.
How did you get into instant photography?
I’ve known Ben Innocent for years (his sister is married to my brother!) and I was fascinated by his instant photography, I found his images completely magical. For a long time I kept thinking about getting myself a camera and finally got an SX-70 1000 land camera last year and fell instantly in love.
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
I’m in love with my folding SX-70 which I got for Christmas. It’s a phenomenal piece of engineering and is so ascetically beautiful. I completely adore it.
I was also gifted a polaroid 250 land camera by the wonderful Ashley Good and I honestly couldn’t believe the image quality you get with these land cameras. FP-100C is such wonderful film, here’s hoping the savepackfilm campaign is successful!
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
It’s a pipe dream but I would absolutely love to shoot some 8×10.
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
The guys at Impossible are working wonders with their film, I shot some of the Gen 3 color film recently and was blown away! My favourite ever pack of film was a pack of expired black and white SX-70 film with colour frames and I absolutely loved it. I only had one pack though and every time I order a bag of expired film I cross my fingers that there’ll be some in it!
I’ve only had one pack of FP-3000B and it was great, I’m always on the look out for more but the prices often put me off.
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
Photography for me is beautiful, peaceful and tranquil, it couldn’t be more different to my role as a Probation Officer (or being at home with the kids for that matter!) I’m currently very blessed in that I have time to get out and shoot. I’m not constrained by work which means I have the time to shoot but it also means I have no regular income and this is an expensive hobby! But I’ve been lucky and I get quiet a few commissions for triptychs and canvases of the Peak District. It’s no effort driving out into the beautiful countryside to shoot pictures for people which gets me enough money to buy film for my own use.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
I find the whole process very tranquil. More often than not it is a solitary experience for me, I usually go out shooting on my own (unless I’m out exploring with the family) and I love the way it slows me down. I find a real peace when I’m taking photos and enjoy being creative, particularly with emulsion lifts.
Any personal projects we should know about?
I’m currently working on more emulsion lifts on canvas. I really want to do some more FP-100C lifts, I’ve only done one and I enjoyed the different technique and challenges compared to integral.
What other photographers do you look up too?
The instant film community is like nothing I’ve ever known! Everyone is so incredibly lovely, kind and supportive! Ben Innocent got me into instant photography and he is still a massive inspiration to me. I am constantly amazed by the work of Ina Echternach, Matt Smith and Bastian K, their images are completely magical. Toby Hancock, Ashley Good and Paul Ravenscroft have all been super supportive and their work is so inspiring. I could list loads of instant photographers who I look up to!!
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Shoot what makes you happy. Get involved with the community on Instagram/twitter etc as you will be constantly inspired and amazed by what you can achieve with this medium. And finally, invest in expired film, it’s cheaper but with decent results which is great when you’re starting out.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?