No. 702

8 Exposures...with Photominimal

Patrick Tobin, | Jan 14, 11:00 AM

Hello instant film fanatics, and welcome back to 8 Exposures, our popular instant film Q&A series. This week, we are happy to bring you former Canadian and current Tennessean Photominimal

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

My favourite cameras are my Spectra Pro and my Polaroid SLR 690. I also use a 100 Automatic Land Camera.

2) Why do you like instant photography?

It’s extraordinary to be able to witness, in just a very few moments, how chemistry and light come together in the instant image. There is something about the tangible, palpable, instant photograph that still mystifies me. Somehow, these images contain depths that I haven’t felt in other media.

3) What is your earliest memory of instant film?

My parents took few photographs. As a child, I remember seeing a film in which someone used a Polaroid camera. I really wanted one, but they were too expensive for us. My mother ended up getting me a 110 camera, which is how I got started taking pictures.

4) What’s your favorite Impossible film type?

My favourite film has to be the mysterious Fade to Black. I suppose that, technically, that film wasn’t really an Impossible product. But it was the Impossible Project that saw the possibilities of that wonderful film, and made it available to me. I only ever shot one package of that film, and I think those images are among the most beautiful I have ever taken. I am also deeply, deeply, in love with Impossible’s new colour film.

5) What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

With instant photography, my favourite subjects are wonderful models with amazing clothes. I love how instant film captures transparency and translucency; how it renders complex textures, and how it manages to evoke feeling and mood.

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

My current obsession is to combine my interest in a diminished eroticism, with the terrible, vinyl-clad landscapes that are so prevalent in this part of the world. We are always told that the end of the world will be a cataclysm. I disagree. I think that suburban America is actually how the world ends. By bringing suburbia together with my model photography, I want to try to say something about the containment and extinction of desire.

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

My current favourite photographer is Graciela Iturbide. She is not too well known in the United States, but she studied with the great Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Her photographs somehow combine so many disparate elements, and they are always beautiful and thought-provoking. I am also taken with Alejandro Cartegena’s photographs of Mexican suburbia. Finally, I am always inspired by the extraordinary power of April-lea Hutchison’s work, a photographer and model based in London, Ontario.

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

Many years ago, I travelled to China, and met a family that lived in a small cave on the upper Yangtze. I photographed the oldest son of the family in front of their cave. I would love to be able to return to that place again, and give my photograph to this son. And I’d like to take his portrait again.

About Photominimal

Photominimal is my nom d’art. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, I now live in Nashville, Tennessee. I took up instant photography several years ago, as a kind of respite from the terrible dullness of suburban America.

To see more of Photominimal’s work, visit his website at You can also follow him on Twitter at @photominimal.

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