today i have a very special guest to share with you. she is the editor of light leaks magazine and an amazing photographer with a deep love for film.
please let me introduce you to:
1.) what draws you to photography?
Oh gosh. I could go on for pages here. I'm in love with just about everything there is to photography. From the heft of my K1000 to my barely-there, it'll-break-if-I-drop-it Banner; the click (or thunk) of the shutter to the sound of an ejecting Polaroid; the smell of developer chemicals to the stink of Polaroid goo; the mad rush to the photo lab to pick up newly developed rolls to the slow hours spent scanning negatives... I love talking about photography and cameras, although I'm not a huge fan of talking about my own work. I love spending time documenting subjects and moments that others would never notice. But most of all, I love that my grandpa loved photography. I love that my grandma gave me his cameras, his film, his Polaroids. I love that his hobby is alive and well in me.
2.) do you prefer digital or film? why?
I'm a film girl wholeheartedly because that's what I learned with, fell in love with, and just feel right about. I'm a sucker for square format and I can't inherently get that with digital, and cropping just seems unnatural to me. I have to use a digital SLR at work (I'm a photographer at www.backcountry.com and seasonally for the US Forest Service) and I feel like I'm using my DSLR like someone working in an office uses a stapler or a copy machine. Digital feels like a boring piece of office equipment rather than a worn-in and well-loved tool of my trade.
3.) what is your favorite camera to shoot with?
I'm never good at answering this question because I've got too many favorites. I've most recently fallen head over heels for my Banner Diana clone. It's perfectly soft and blurry, leaks light at the most opportune times despite the gobs of gaffers tape on the outside, and vignettes ever so nicely. It was such a nice change from all the super-sharp digital images I've made out in the field for the Forest Service this summer. I had never been a fan of overly blurred images, but this little Banner changed my mind the second I saw my first roll. My all-time favorite though is my Polaroid SLR 680, a "Sold as-is, worked the last time my dad used it in the 80's." lucky eBay find. I took a chance and -- I hope I'm not tempting fate here -- she hasn't let me down since.
4.) can you share three favorite photos you took & why you picked them?
- It was the Fourth of July last year and we were all up at the family cabin having a BBQ. My niece Maggie had been out swimming and came inside to relax for a while when I asked her if she wanted to see a magic trick. I told her to look right into the little glass circle and the magic would start. She stared right down the lens and flinched when the Polaroid popped out. I let her pull it from the camera and she sat in my lap holding the little piece of instant film in both of her hands. Moments later, she squealed and said, "How did you do that?!" We shot several more that afternoon but the cat was out of the bag. She knew it was a camera so she posed. This one Polaroid is pure magic. This girl is my heart.
- My husband and I were on a road trip this spring to south central Utah. We'd both been to the area when we were kids but didn't remember it, and we'd never been together. I took along my Kodak Duaflex III because a new place always calls for a new camera, and although I'd ran a roll or two through it before, I fell in love with the camera here, right at this spot at Sunset Point. I had a Polaroid Automatic 104 around my neck, unfolded and bellows out, and this simple little box camera in my hands, and I kept getting the funniest looks from people. I loved it, and I loved this tree.
- We'd spent the longest year of our lives dealing with real estate agents, lenders, flaky buyers, home inspections, and houses we just couldn't love, when one rainy March day I saw a one-inch thumbnail on my monitor of a beautiful little red brick house shaded by a massive sycamore. Before I even clicked on the thumbnail, I knew right then and there that that would be our house. Six weeks later, we carried the last cardboard box out of our first home, and excitingly unpacked it at our new home, the one I saw in the thumbnail.
Three days after we moved in, we put together our cheap Ikea patio furniture and fell hard for our cozy redwood deck where we'd play Rummy in the warm evening light, kept company by the little family of quail and a glowing citronella candle. This photo is a memory of our first perfect summer in our new house, and we're still just as giddy about this place as we were the day we signed the papers. Plus, I just love the remaining sunlight glinting off my husband's wedding ring.
5.) can you name a few photographers who have influenced your work?
My inspiration and influence comes from my contacts on Flickr. I'm a bit of a junkie and check it throughout the day to see new work that is constantly inspiring and moving me from people like Brian Ferry, Mary Wells, Andrea Jenkins, Sean Rohde, David Teter, and Hannah Huffman just to name a few.
steph, thank you so much for participating in this weeks spotlight. you can find more of steph's photography...
on her blogflickr
and her shop!
now i'll leave you with a few of my favorites from steph's flickr stream. enjoy!