Photographer and fashion assistant Jennifer Hirschmann takes instant photography to a very unique level. She composes stunning photographs within the frame of her instant cameras and superimposes the snapshots into their natural environment—curating a space within her photos to “further inform the audience of the environment.” We had the opportunity to chat with her about working with the Lomo'Instant Wide and Fujifilm Instax 210, as well as the inspiration behind her “instant-gram” page mini.pic.
Here’s what she had to say about her droste effects and a new project in the works.
About My Practice
I’m a freelance photographer and fashion assistant. I was born in Switzerland, moved to Florida at the age of 3 and then to England at 13. I studied Studio Art and Psychology in college, which later brought me to a career in photography and fashion assisting in magazines. My interest in photography started at age 11 with a simple film camera with which I was taught dark room practices. Here I connected with the process of developing your own exposures and learned an appreciation for the technical aspects of the art. For my 16th birthday I was gifted an SLR camera and for the next decade I almost exclusively shot digital. As digital technology rapidly evolved, I found myself spending less time out shooting and more time in post-production. The lure of instant photography was the challenge of putting all the prep work into preshutter click, resulting in ejecting a perfect frame without any further manipulation. There are inherent limitations to shooting with an instant camera, which has been a welcome challenge after working digital, where everything is a possibility. Shooting instant has taught me to relinquish some of my O.C.D. tendencies, and instead enjoy the imperfections.
Beautiful things don’t ask for attention.
In today’s fast-paced culture, we are becoming increasingly immune to all the wonderful things happening organically around us. We have such a plethora of visual information to process on a daily basis so that often the smaller elements of our environment go unnoticed. I was only appreciating the ‘big picture’ version of my environment. With this project I have had to retrain my eye to appreciate all the beautiful minute elements that make up that bigger picture.
mini.pic was born out of a desire to keep busy creatively while waiting for my permanent residency to process in the USA. I had just finished working fashion magazine rounds in London, and relocated to Florida to be with my husband while he was finishing school. Moving from the heart of a fast-paced city to a quiet beach town was a serendipitous event that allowed me to put my digital practice on hold in order to explore the possibilities of instant film. Being in a reflective phase of my life and career, I was curiously drawn to the nostalgic quality of instant film.
Favourite mini.pic Photo So Far
‘Ferngully.’ This was my first “ahha” moment with the Lomo’Instant Wide!
This shot came after a couple of film packs were ultimately filed away in my ‘trial and error’ folder. I was trying to find the closeup attachment’s ‘sweet spot’, and repeatedly wasn’t quite nailing it. I came across these small ferns and stubbornly decided I was going to stay there until I could walk away with a successful frame. After spending some time double checking my settings and distance I fired off this shot. There was such a delicate and ethereal feel to the exposure that I hadn’t previously achieved with my Fuji 210.
First Impression of the Lomo’Instant Wide
The camera design is undeniably fun for a wide frame instant. As with all instant cameras, there’s a learning curve while getting a feel for the equipment’s capabilities. I found the Lomo’Instant Wide a bit harder than the Fuji to become intuitive, however that may be attributed to the various functions the user is able to manipulate.
The ability to ‘play’ more creatively was what really drew me to the Lomo’Instant Wide—example, double (or unlimited) exposures, wide angle and macro attachments, light painting, etc.
Favourite Feature of the Lomo’Instant Wide
My favorite so far is the closeup lens attachment. There’s something personal and intimate about a micro environment, and I find those shots most charming. I was initially drawn to the Lomo’Instant Wide camera for its low-light abilities and multiple exposures, so I’m really looking forward to putting those functions to use soon!
Advice For First-Time Users of the Lomo’Instant Wide
The appeal of the instant camera is the ability to point and shoot with the instant gratification of physically holding your image. My advice would be: don’t become frustrated if you’re not immediately getting perfect frames! As mentioned, there is a bit of a learning curve, but once you find the camera’s sweet spot you will be endlessly amused by its output.
About the Photo Titles
When first starting mini.pic, I saw the the captions as another opportunity to have fun! Depending on my mood and the subject matter, the caption serves the purpose of either being comical, sarcastic, ironic, or thought-provoking. The process of choosing titles is either completely spur of the moment, or like gears grinding… 95% of the time I come up with the caption while I’m shooting the frame. For the 5% that don’t happen as organically, I’ve debated letting followers leave their input and choosing the best fit.
About the Photo Backgrounds
I have always been interested in patterns and textures in nature, so instinctively I was drawn to shooting and presenting my frames like this. I especially liked the idea of placing the instant exposure back into its own subject matter to further inform the audience of the environment. People have commented that it’s been amusing to try and recognize what part of the instant photo the background came from. I enjoy this unexpected interactive outcome between audience and photo. An added bonus was that I hadn’t seen this idea done elsewhere, so I was hoping it would differentiate my work and create a signature style.
I am currently working on a diptych series that abstracts plants into sculptural forms. (Sneak peak seen here!)
Ultimately I would love to see a book come together that features a selection of instant camera photographers that have distinct styles of shooting to showcase the versatility of the medium.
We’re thrilled to have spoken with Jennifer about mini.pic and the Lomo'Instant Wide we’re so grateful to see an exclusive sneak peak of her new work! To check out more of Jennifer’s instant photography, head over to the mini.pic Instagram page.
written by Azin Teimoori on 2016-03-21 #news #people #macro #interview #instant #instax #showcase #lomoamigo #instax-wide #instant-photography #lomo-instant-wide #lomo-instant #first-impressions #mini-pic #jennifer-hirschmann #instantshowcase