| Mar 9, 11:00 AM
Hi friends, and welcome back to 8 Exposures, our weekly instant film Q & A series. This entry turns the spotlight on California-based photographer Matthew Fry
Q1) What kind of Polaroid camera(s) do you use?
I have a Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE with a Polaroid Polatronic 2350 flash. I love it, and it looks as good as it shoots. I used to have a Onestep Closeup 600, but I gave that to Nettie Harris after a shoot. Actually, I guess I have two other 600s somewhere around here. That’s the great thing about Polaroids, someone always has one laying around from back in the day.
Q2) Why do you like instant photography?
I think most everyone would say that it gives them something tangible in a world consumed by digital. But I only shoot film, so instant is my version of digital. I don’t have to wait days to see it, I have it there in my hands the moment I shoot it. And I always love the anticipation as it turns from blue, slowly forming the shapes and colors. It’s like opening a christmas present for me.
Q3) What is your earliest memory of instant film?
I was just talking to my wife about this. You should have seen her face when she described how she couldn’t leave it alone, she had to shake it and play with it. She doesn’t even remember what the photos were, just the pure enjoyment with the anticipation of what it would become.
Q4) What’s your favorite Impossible film type?
I’m in love with PX 680 Color Shade! Everything about it.. the colors, the textures, the little dots in the dark. My friend Laura, from L’ecole des Femmes said it best, “it takes the subject and turns it into a painting”. I mean, you can take the most boring wall and end up with the most beautiful textures and subtle colors. It’s a work of art. It’s not perfect and that’s why I love it.
Q5) What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
I love to photograph women. I think there’s nothing more beautiful and telling than a morning shoot with someone; in whatever they woke up in, just being themselves in their own place. I love scars and wrinkles and skin.. I love hands and necklines.. I love people as they are. I was just talking with a writer last night who reminded me of something I had been told before, “Take a simple story and tell it complicated”. That’s what I love. I want to tell the story of someone in that moment, as they are.
Q6) Tell us about a project you’re working on.
One project that I hope to start this year is a book based off of a tumblr I have, www.theheroinesproject.com. It would be letters and photos that have been submitted to the site, and some photographs of mine. I want to travel, and shoot women of all shapes and sizes. I want to show beauty in every type, no matter who you are or what you’ve been through.
I have also been doing a lot of work with the clothing line, L’ecole des Femmes, out of Los Angeles. I don’t generally do fashion, but there is such a mutual respect between myself and Laura Sfez, Owner/Designer at L’ecole. She loves what I do and she lets me do my thing; and I love her line, and the girls look amazing in it.
Q7) Who are your favorite photographers, instant or otherwise?
I don’t really follow a lot of photographers, but the only one that comes to mind when talking about instant is a close friend of mine. She is the one that introduced me to The Impossible Project and she shoots the most beautiful images. Her name is Rachel Shimizu and she shot one of my favorite images ever. It’s of the Brooklyn Bridge, and though it’s been shot more than I can count, I’ve never seen one like this.
Q8) If you could take a photo of anyone or anything what would it be?
I’m not really sure about this one…
I would love to shoot my wife if she would ever let me! She’s not big at all on being photographed; I just wish I could show her how beautiful she is… other than my wife, i’m pretty happy with the people that I have worked with. most everyone I really want to shoot, I have already or I am already scheduled to shoot. Though there are a few that I really wish I could travel to shoot. Not models or famous, just some great people in my life.
I grew up mostly in Dallas, Texas and spent four years in the Navy. I love environmental portraiture and a little fashion every now and then. I’m happily married, residing in Echo Park, California.