We are back on the blog with another Artist Spotlight. If you are new to the blog, this is a weekly feature, where we spotlight photographers and artist that are inspiring others with there instant film work.
This week, the spotlight is on Colorado based photographer Shelly. We have been following Shelly’s work on Twitter and Flickr for some time now. I’ve wanted to feature her for sometime now because how awesome she is. However, life has gotten in the way and finally we are here! I always look forward to the images she produces on her Macro 5, they are absolutely the coolest macro shots around, in fact we will be featuring more of those later!. Shelly is originally from New Mexico, but now lives in Colorado, where she works in social media and marketing – specifically, she is a graphic designer! To see more of Shelly’ work, please visit the following links.
How did you get into instant photography?
I really enjoy photography that has an alternative aspect to it – I shoot almost exclusively on film and I’m into toy cameras, pinholes, etc. Instant seemed a natural extension of that at first because it was also a “different” format, but I was hesitant about jumping into a whole new area. But, I finally bought my first Impossible film in 2012, and that was pretty much all she wrote.
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
I have used them ALL – you name it, I’ve probably tried it. My favorite pack film camera is my Polaroid 250 – I’ve tried others, but that’s the one I’ll always keep. I am a HUGE Spectra fan – I’ve used several ‘regular’ Spectra cameras but my favorite is the Polaroid Macro 5! I love my SX70 Alpha 1 Model 2, who I’ve nicknamed Alphie, my Polaroid Sun660, and my Instant Lab. Goodness – I was supposed to pick just one, wasn’t I?
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I am DYING for a Goose! 🙂 I really want a Polaroid 600SE. They keep eluding me on eBay, but I shall have one someday!
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
My favorite Impossible has been the Color Protection line – just loved that stuff. I’m also a big fan of any of the Black Frame films. Just tonight, I got to try the new Black and White for Spectra. It’s going to be a game-changer. It really is THAT good. When it comes to pack films, my favorites are pretty much any expired Polaroid I can get my hands on! I love the color shifts and unpredictable results.
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
My workflow tends to be pretty driven by what end result I’m looking for – I might shoot medium format one day, pinhole the next, etc. Instant is my go-to film for when I want on-the-spot results.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
They say that shooting film makes you slow down and think about your shots. Well, shooting a film that only gives you 8 shots REALLY makes you slow down and think about your shots. 🙂 My instant work tends to be much more careful and planned out.
Any personal projects we should know about?
Instant is sprinkled through all of my projects. 🙂 My biggest personal project right now consists of doll photography, and instant film has really factored into that, particularly with my Macro 5 and Instant Lab work.
What other photographers do you look up too?
Oh gosh – I would need a whole separate blog to do everyone justice. 🙂 My favorite instant photographer is Jerome Cimolai, whose work can be found on Flickr. He does these amazing 3D projects, they’re just awesome. I would have never stuck with instant photography, and become the artist I am today, without Anne Bowerman at The Impossible Project – she was always there to provide help and hints when I was first starting with Impossible, and if it hadn’t been for her, I’d have given up on the stuff long ago. So many more – I’m afraid to start naming them because I know I’ll leave someone out! I follow some of the most amazing instant photographers on Twitter though – check out my list because they are all just so great.
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Be patient. Also, be patient. Then…be patient. 🙂 You can do all the reading and research out there, but nothing beats sticking a pack of film in your camera and figuring it out as you go. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and know that at least your first one or two packs are going to be devoted to learning your camera and the film in it. Also, tap into the instant community that is out there! They are incredibly supportive and helpful.
Where does most of your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
I am lucky in that I almost never lack for inspiration – if anything, the ideas come faster than I can make them happen! Just when you think you’ve run out, a new film is released, or spring comes and brings green things and flowers, or an awesome photo that you see during Polaroid Week gives you an idea of your own.