No. 265

8 Exposures...with Jessica Hibbard Elenstar.

Patrick Tobin | Jan 13, 11:06 AM

Hello again from 8 Exposures! This week, we’re highlighting Maryland Event Planner and photo genius Jessica Hibbard Elenstar!

1) Q: What kind of Polaroid camera(s) do you use?

A: My collection is always expanding, but my favorites are SX-70s, Spectra ProCams, and Super Shooters. I always have at least two of each in case one breaks, and multiple cameras also come in handy for shooting different film types at the same time.

2) Q: Why do you like instant photography?

A: I’m drawn to the beauty of vintage cameras, the warmth of film, and the uniquely imperfect nature of each image. Even “bad” polaroids are good, and a nice reminder for a control freak like myself to be open to surprises.

3) Q: What is your earliest memory of instant film?

A: My grandmother’s Spectra camera. I still remember her opening the crinkly silver package of film. She insisted on taking a picture of the entire family at the dinner table when we were all together, so there are many vintage shots of me as a kid with food in my mouth.

4) Q: What’s your favorite Impossible film type?

A: I went on a PZ 680 shooting binge this summer. I absolutely love the colors, and in my opinion, it’s the easiest Impossible film to use. I’ve recently been shooting the new PX 100 test film, and I’m head over heels …I’ve always been more of a color film enthusiast, but the spectacular tones and contrast are making me reconsider black & white photography.

5) Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Daily life — Mostly my cats, weekend breakfasts, plants in our garden, and little scenes I discover while walking around town. I also find any change of scenery to be hugely inspiring. Some of my favorite photos were taken in the rural mountains of Pennsylvania, the busy streets of New York City, and the scenic beaches of Oregon.

6) Q: Tell us about a project you’re working on.

A: It’s kind of lonely being one of just a few instant photographers in my small city. My background is in event planning, so I’d like to organize a fun weekend of instant photography with like-minded friends. Maybe a meetup here in Frederick, or an “analog girls” weekend in NYC.

7) Q: Who are your favorite photographers, instant or otherwise?

A: I love studying the work of female photographers of the past. I’ve followed the discovery of Vivian Maier’s photos with great interest. And I’m completely enchanted every time I pick up a book of Linda McCartney’s photographs.

I think today’s instant photography community is perhaps the most talented group of photographers ever. Jake Messenger, Heather Champ, Rommel Pecson, Jeff Hutton, and Amanda Mason are some of my favorite instant talents. I’ve learned almost everything I know about instant photography from Anne Bowerman and Dave Bias, who are the the world’s best photowalk companions.

8) Q: If you could take a photo of anyone or anything what would it be?

A: A couple months ago, I flew in a hot air balloon for the first time. The logistics of the flight were such that I couldn’t take instant photos … So I’m dying to fly again with a polaroid camera and Impossible film. I think I’ll get my chance this spring when I fly with Tailwinds Over Frederick, a local balloon company. Anyone want to join me?

Heaps of thanks to Jessica for taking part in 8 Exposures! To view more of her work, please visit her Flickr Photo Stream

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