Meet Matt Schwartz is the founder of New York based “She Hit Pause Studios” where he has been creating and selling his version of the pin-up girl for the past 10 years. His work has been described as "walking into a memory". All of his models are friends or people who have purchased his work.
REAL NAME: Matt Schwartz
CITY: Brooklyn, NY
Please lay out for us the average day in the life of Matt Schwartz. How much time do you spend in the studio, out shooting or conducting exhibitions?
It varies from day to day. Sometimes I shoot for a few hours and then work on the business side the rest of the day. Some days I am running around the city buying film + dropping off shot film. Every day is totally different. In the spring and summer I am mainly exhibiting. Some days I just sleep surrounded by books.
Today I am shipping orders, doing a few interviews for blogs and getting ready to leave on a 2 week surf/photo trip to the Dominican Republic.
Not only are you a photographer you also focus your energy on being a musician and writer. What is the creative manifesto (if you have one) behind your work? Do you have a mission so to speak or message you try to convey?
With music I was releasing what was inside of me and with photography I am capturing the beauty that I see around me.
How long have you been a Lomographer (or are you new to this whole thing?).
I am fairly new to the lomo family. I have been shooting with lomos for the past 6 months.
Tell us about the instant film technique you use in your work and why you have chosen this medium.
For my work I use instant photos and make instant photo transfers. I take instants, pull apart the film and then rub the negative onto water color paper. It gives all of my images a softness. This technique gives my voice as a photographer a microphone. I’m not sure if I’m screaming in it or whispering. Maybe a little of both.
You have descried your style of photography as, “hitting pause on a moment” which is also the inspiration for your studios name. What would you say the roll of analogue is in capturing this feeling and do you use digital as well?
To me analogue is solid and real. There is a weight to each image, as they all count. I do not take any digital photos. I plan to be the last man standing with film.
Describe your thought from concept to desired outcome for a photograph. Where do you find your inspiration and do you put a lot of time into designing a set?
Sometimes an idea comes from a prop (toy plane) or some cool clothes that I really like. I’m always making mental notes and writing down photo ideas. A few weeks ago I was driving around and had all of these ideas written on masking tape, covering my steering wheel. Once I find someone that I am interested in photographing, I have this list as my arsenal. Props and clothes get recycled with “models” until I feel that they have been captured perfectly. All of the people in my shoots are friends or people that have purchased my work.
As you are no stranger to the process of using instant film, what did you like about the combination of the Lomo LC-A+ and Instant Back+?
I liked how solid it felt. I also liked the challenge of the space that I had to tell my story in. Now looking at some of the images I shot I can’t imagine them any other size.
If your gallery seen here had a soundtrack what would it be (title of song and artist please).
Skinny Love by Bon Iver
Your advice for people starting out with the Lomo LC-A Instant Back+ would be…
Have fun. There are no mistakes. Get to know the camera and how you and it can work together. Take chances. Let the technical aspect of photography go
Any parting words of wisdom to leave us hanging about photography or life in general?
Well during my shoot with Monica, she remarked how I was opening each pack of film with my teeth. She said it reminded her of the passion people use when they open condoms.
Try and do everything in life 100 percent. If you don’t opportunities will come and you will not have the work ethic or abilities to be prepared. With that said, there is a lot of f*&%ing around at she hit pause studios. We just work like maniacs when we need to.