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Photo Diary: Kimi Selfridge


Meet Kimi Selfridge, a photographer who shoots exclusively on instant film and expired 35mm film. She's also a cool Brooklyn babe. We asked her for some of her tips and tricks for getting instant film to come out just right, and she shot a wintery tour of Brooklyn, just for us.
Interview by Katie Gregory



Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Miami and moved to NYC when I was 19-years-old. I started playing around with disposable cameras when I was a kid, and really got into film photography in high school. I bought my first Polaroid camera at 19, and my obsession with instant film was born. I founded my brand Tan Camera almost two years ago; it's sort of an umbrella of my styling and photography work, my mixed media art, my personal blog, and a still-in-progress line of clothing and accessories.



What are some of your favorite cameras (instant or otherwise) to use?
Fuji Instax Wide, Polaroid 600, and Polaroid Spectra.



What's your #1 tip for getting instant pics to come out nicely?
Practice really makes perfect. With Impossible Project's brand new Polaroid film, it's important to set the lighten/darken dial on the front of the camera slightly to the lighten side. For the older film, slightly to the darken side. And in cold weather, make sure to put the Impossible Project film face down against your bare skin for about 3 minutes. (Not kidding!) For Instax, it's less temperamental. I usually prefer to leave the settings as is, and work more with framing my subject.



Are you more into Instax or Polaroid? What's better for beginners to use?
I love both for different reasons. Instax film is consistently reliable, but Impossible Project's Polaroid film (when it develops properly) is like a true piece of art. I'd recommend Instax for beginners.



You do a lot with double exposure. Is there a secret to getting that to come out properly?
Another example of practice makes perfect. I always try to space out my first exposure from my second and third exposure so you can see the layers, as opposed to everything being piled on top of each other.



If people are looking to develop real film, where's the best place for them to go?
Fortunately, most (if not all) drugstores still develop film, so that's always an option. Otherwise, if the photographer is looking to print their work at a higher quality, I suggest perusing Yelp to find professional photo labs.



Any disposable box cameras that are better than others?
When it comes to disposable cameras, part of the fun is that there are no settings (except a flash) and I like when they are faded or grainy, so in my opinion, it doesn’t really matter. But if you are trying to take bright, clear photos, Kodak or Fuji are good options.



Where can we find you online?
My website Tan Camera, Tumblr and Instagram.