Shooting With Instant Film

Shooting With Instant Film

Revelation: The thing that surprises me the most about my art is how little I surprise myself.

Terrible revelation, I know. I’m in the process of fixing that. In a few weeks I’ll be locking myself in a house to experimentally create the darkest art I can. And, a few days ago, I challenged myself to stop caring so much about what comes out of my photo shoots. I took my Instax Mini camera out and shot with instant film, experimenting, and trying to woo my past adventurous creative soul out to play.

It worked! I had an incredibly fun time creating with no boundaries, no expectations.

I went into the shoot with no plan, just a vague idea of what could be done with my little orange camera. After a couple of frames, I decided I might try some mixed media. Instead of something shot entirely on that little film camera, I would blend the film into my digital process.

The results? Eh, I’m not so sure about them. But that was never the point. The point was to do something out of my nature; to play without consequence or care for the final outcome. I went into Photoshop not knowing what to do, but attempting something nonetheless.

The result is an image that blends film with digital, that got me to think outside the box, and, apart from almost being eaten by fire ants, gave me an unforgettable evening in the desert.

Sometimes adventures aren’t the big kind that take you around the world. Sometimes they happen in our homes or backyards, with the simplest tools. Adventure, for me, is a mindset. It is a willingness to try new things, no matter how small they seem.

An adventurous mindset can bring about enormous change – emotionally, in your art, in your life. I take active steps to see myself as an adventurer; to let myself believe that even these small things, like an instant film shoot in the desert, constitutes adventure. Because, at the end of the day, big adventures might not be within our means. But we can take small steps to broaden our horizons.

Not long ago someone asked me if I get nervous to try new things for the sake of keeping up professional appearances. I thought about it for a while, because at one point, my answer would have been yes. But now my attitude has changed entirely.

I want to dispel any myths surrounding professionalism in art. Yes, we should master our craft and know it intimately, but not at the sacrifice of innovation. I choose to change what professional looks like; instead of always trying to producing something perfect, I’d rather produce a hundred mediocre images in the pursuit of greatness.

What types of art would you mix to create mixed media?
Have you done something experimental this week?



13 thoughts on “Shooting With Instant Film

  1. So glad you didn’t use the molasses in the desert with the fire ant’s. Really beautiful work.

  2. I love the art you created. More inspiration of course. I’ve been experimenting with adding glitter to my fine art prints. Types of art: I want to try some art mixing my photographs with my collection of “found” jewelry pieces.

    This week: I was gifted an underwater camera for my birthday. I actually could NOT put it in the water. I’ve spent 20 years trying to keep cameras out of the elements. After my husband submerged it to convince me that it was OK– I had a blast filming friends in the swimming pool. So many ideas now…

    1. Oh my gosh I SO know that feeling! I have an underwater camera and it was incredibly scary the first few times! Have tons of fun, I can’t wait to see what you make!

  3. I’ve never shot with the instax cameras but I use the Fuji printer quite a lot tethered to my Fuji x-100 camera. It uses the same film but I’m not bound by the limits of the cheaper camera. They make small portable printers for the wide, square and mini film. There is an app to use on the phone to print from other cameras like my Sony’s.

  4. OMG! What a great job. I am completely overwhelmed by this work. Loved it! In the past, I had actually thought about creating something by mixing other arts, but I never went for it. To tell you the truth, I have not created anything lately! Or rather, I have, content in video. Brooke, I got a wrist tattoo!

  5. For your first mixed media piece, this turned out quite nice. I once had the idea to create a painting and then incorporate it into a photo, but I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe it is time I give it a shot. πŸ™‚
    Glad to see you survived the ants, I thought there was a spider or something. It sure was entertaining watching you hope around! LOL πŸ˜‰

  6. This was such a fun video to watch! The end result was pretty awesome. I love how well you matched your pose with the photo and I love the birds flying out of the other photo. I have used mixed media before in my work. For example in this blog: I drew the swirls on her neck and face. I also glued some black and white darkroom prints on plywood that was painted to look like my living room (and did a 360 prints). Just last week, I was frolicking around in the ocean with a bedsheet trying to get pictures for my most recent self-portrait. That is pretty out of the ordinary for me. Thank you for sharing another awesome blog!

  7. You created another masterpiece! You have the golden touch to whatever you set out to accomplish.

    I did go out and practice yesterday – didn’t create a masterpiece but sure gave it a good try and I will keep at it.

  8. Brooke, I started following you because I love your images. Now I follow you because I love your images AND I love your approach to art and life. Very inspiring.

    This latest image is gorgeous.

  9. Hi Brooke!
    Well yes….I have been experimenting this week actually. In my visual journal with photos and paint. I am utterly curious and always try new things, I have to, otherwise I become bored really quickly. So….paint with pictures, that is what I am experimenting with. Very mixed media πŸ˜€
    Enjoy your weekend!

  10. I think I would shoot an infrared image and then paint it with my own version of what I thought the colors should be. I am amazed at your creativity and constant search to create new things. Truly remarkable.

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