We're always on the lookout for photographers to feature and we're so stoked to have come across the work of Chase Hart. Well, can you blame us? Chase has a way with colors and concepts and the moment we saw his feed, we just knew we had to reach out to him for an interview. He's a 35mm photographer based in Portland, Oregon and he's got some serious sills with a camera. Read on to find out what makes him tick in this short interview.
Hello, Chase. Welcome to the Lomography Online Magazine! How did you get started on your photographic journey?
Honestly, I don't even know where and when photography started for me? I grew up in a pretty cool art community and I can't remember a time when I didn't have a camera in my hand. My first access to a darkroom came when I was about 14 years old and from then on it was pretty serious for me. I'd spend up to 12 hours a day in the lab for days on end haha my fingernails never turned black but it wasn't for lack of trying.
How would you define photography?
When you burn some silver halide crystals.
What's your favorite thing about it?
My favorite part of photography is probably how it motivates me to fill my days traveling and discovering new places. Maybe a little cliche but photography may be the end result but its really the journey to the locations, colors, and people I meet that's satisfying to me.
We're a fan of your 35mm work. Why do you use that format?
I personally have the most control with 35mm, makes the most sense in the way I think. Also economically shooting rolls of 36 compared to medium format roll sizes is cheaper and you get more photos. I'm not interested in having the best gear, the first camera I ever fell in love with is a Nikon N80 and they're still only $40. It's just a simple thing using 35mm and I'm into that.
What makes you stay with film photography?
The feel, the minimal editing, the double exposures and soaked rolls. Shooting film feels more authentic but not only that, I have so many options without even editing the photo. Shoot digital and the photo only has a look and feel after you make it look like film? The process is the fun part, the anticipation of developing film and looking at it for the first time is an excitement shooting digital will never give you. Physical media that you can touch will always feel more satisfying to me.
Your shots are just pure eye candy. We noticed that you play around with a lot of vibrant colors. Was that a style you were going for?
I'm just naturally attracted to colors, I pretty much stay away from whites and blacks. Also I really don't like the color green in photos, I almost avoid it entirely. I've also really been into Kodacolor film. It's Kodaks 60/70's stock and it has really farm warm tones that make everything feel vintage if you shoot it proper. (If you're listening, Kodak, feel free to send me some boxes of it.) Not aiming for a specific style really, I just shoot and that style just happened to become my thing.
How do you come up with your concepts?
Concepts are a product of the seasons for me here in Portland. In the winter I shoot a lot more studio stuff, by the time spring comes around, I like to use flower fields and roses. Summer means more trips to the ocean and deserts. Hopefully, you can tell that I'm really into colors. I build a lot of my looks around colors, I'll find one piece or a space I like then I build off of that.
Who would you say is your favorite model to work with? Why?
Of course, it's Abigail Vansteenberghe. She very much inspires me to shoot more often and go outside my bubble. Because of her, I started shooting more fashion-oriented looks and I think that's what I'm most interested in right now. Also she can shoot any style, easily the most versatile model I've ever worked with. I'd say that Abby is probably in 9/10 of my favorite photos I've ever taken. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to gush over her.
What inspires you?
Who are the artists that you follow regularly?
Right now I'm into a few photographers, Zoey Grossman because of her aesthetic. Davis Ayer because of his processes and his mastery of pack film. Dana Trippe because her vintage sci-fi looks are so inspiring. If you're looking for inspiration yourself, I highly recommend checking them out.
If you could work with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
If you happen to have access to a time machine I'd love to go back and shoot some 60s mod stuff. Colors, patterns, fonts, all the interior design of that era is so inspiring to me. If I could work with Jane Birkin in the 60s, that would be my thing, that and hopefully the time machine has room for Abby as well.
Lastly, what's next for Chase Hart?
I think this summer is really going to be fashion-focused, more agency work more fashion editorials. I like to challenge myself to get into more fashion magazines so I'm going to take on many projects. I also finally got another super 8 I can't wait to get back into. So wha'ts next? Burning as much film as I can get my hands on.