Jainé: The moment I saw your polaroids, I was instantly hooked. When did you start taking polaroids?
Grant: I started using Polaroid film in 2006. I had been experimenting with minimalist compositions using a digital camera but the images looked too sterile. I had seen some Polaroids on flickr and I was attracted to the variability that was built into the process. It permitted me to make crisp compositions with just a touch of imperfection.
J: You seem to be drawn to geometric shapes and bold colors. Where does your inspiration come from?
G: I guess I have lots of influences. I like the color field paintings of Kenneth Noland and Barnett Newman and work by Frank Stella and Mark Rothko. I also like very clean Swiss-like graphic design. Mostly though I want to find beauty that is hidden in plain sight.
J: I love that your polaroids can stand up on their own. Can you explain your process on making the plexiroids?
G: Those prints that I made are reproductions printed on Fuji Crystal Archive polyester and encapsulated between two sheets of Plexiglas with a transparent, archival adhesive. The larger prints have mounting anchors molded into the back for easy hanging and to pop them out from the wall so that they appear to float. It is a very challenging process from a quality-control standpoint. There can't be any air bubbles and they all need to be the same size. There is a lot of production work involved. I recently made a smaller-sized print that is a lot more affordable. They are really nice because they are the same size as an actual Polaroid but they are thick enough to stand on their own.
J: Do you carry your polaroid camera with you all the time? Which one do you use?
G: It is often with me. I have a couple of SX-70s and an SLR 680 but I really prefer the SX-70.
J: Since polaroid film is discontinued, did you stock up before it was all gone?
G: I do have quite a stash of film but I recently realized that for the color work, it is already too expired. I can't get the uniform color fields that I used to. I think it is still acceptable for vintage-y looking people photos though.
J: Have you tried the new PX film from the impossible project? If yes, what are your impressions?
G: My impression is that the Impossible Project is single-handedly saving instant photography for those who approach it artistically. Their film continues to improve and, by heating the new Push color film, the colors are strikingly vibrant and true. They are a hard-working group and deserve all of their success. I have nothing but respect and admiration for them.
J: What is the latest project you are working on?
G: I am finishing up my documentary about the last year of Polaroid film. I'm very excited about it and can't wait to see it.
J: If you weren't taking photographs, what else would you be doing?
G: I would be a raconteur.
A BIG thank you to Grant for taking the time out to do this interview. we hope you enjoyed it!
*all images provided by grant hamilton