blog by Michael Raso
April-Lea Hutchinson is a film photographer and model from London, Ontario. Shooting primarily with Polaroid and Holga cameras, April says in her own words – “I look for emotion to tell a story and reveal the beauty in my characters. Beyond the aesthetic qualities imparted by instant film and long exposures, my empathetic relationship with the person in front of the camera infuses my images with comfortable intimacy and perhaps a touch of nostalgia.”
April-Lea loves shooting with expired Polaroid color film. I recently sent her some samples of expired Polaroid 108 color instant film from our FPP Store. I followed up about her Polaroid 420 camera and experience with the color-funky-awesome Polaroid 108 film!
Michael: In the past few months a number of photographers have sought out the Polaroid 420 camera including Australian photographer Daniel Klaas. What is the allure of shooting Polaroid “pack” instant film and why do you suppose the 420 is so popular?
April-Lea: I choose to use the Polaroid 420 (and the Colorpack 2 and Polaroid 210) because it suits my temperament and just feels right in my hand. I guess I feel I have better control with it, the exposure wheel and viewfinder. What (plastic) Polaroid cameras don’t have in optical quality is really made up with the amazing film and “look” of the image! Adding to that, I prefer these types of cameras because of the instant gratification of a print vs an LED screen and the overall look and feel of a Polaroid print. The distinctive colors and the soft, fixed-focus lens all lend themselves to a very unique image It’s possible to do some strange yet complimentary visual effects just by physically manipulating the photo while it’s developing. There’s definitely something magical about a photographic chemical reaction happening right in your jacket pocket. Polaroid is classic and nostalgia all rolled into one!
Michael: Tell me about using expired Polaroid 108 pack film…why would a photographer want to use a film that is so past the expiration date??
April-Lea: I can’t speak for other photographers but I like using expired film due to the color tones and the sometimes funky results and so-called flaws. To me, this just adds to the image. Expired pack film such as 108 can be tricky to use at first. If you don’t do your research first and properly set your exposure wheel and use it in the right lighting, it could turn out to be disastrous. I have really enjoyed using the 108 thus far and like to save this type of film for special occasions/shoots.
Michael: What are your current/upcoming projects as a photographer and model?
April-Lea: My modeling work is taking me to NYC and San Francisco in the next two months. I always set up shoots and do some of my own photography while traveling (It’s a bonus having professional models as friends). I am also currently getting my work into a few magazines coming out in the fall and hope to complete my first self published book by the end of this year.
All images © April-Lea Hutchinson. All images (except top) shot on expired Polaroid 108 film.
April-Lea Hutchinson was my featured guest on The Film Photography Podcast / Episode 22 – November 26, 2010
FPP Polaroid 420 Automatic Land Camera series previous entry – Introductions
FPP Episode Episode 36 – June 1, 2011 features a spotlight on the Polaroid Automatic 420.