I began this project using the same equipment that I used for my BFA Senior Thesis: a LensBaby Composer lens on my personal Canon EOS 30D or a loaned Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The reason for the LensBaby Composer lens was because of how the focus can be purposefully manipulated to direct the viewers’ eyes to the subject. Also, the LensBaby lens systems replicate how our own eyes view things: not clear focus all the time. Retouching would be done to add clarity, color balance and typical dust cleaning to the images.
For my subjects, I would have them hold a sign which they wrote their name on to “put your name here”.
Since being gifted with the Fuji Instax Wide 210 Instant Film Camera in 2014, I have photographed all my P•Y•N•H portraits utilizing the Fuji Instax Wide 210 Instant Film. Once photographed, I have the subject sign their name on the actual instant film. From there, I scan the images using an Epson film scanner, and then do only color correcting to match the original print and dust clean up from any debris not removed prior to scanning.
In 2015, I was gifted with a Lomography Instant Wide Instant Film Camera which I now use for my primary instant film camera.
Instant film provides not only myself, but viewers as well, something that in this digital age we don’t get to see a lot: a real natural image. Due to the nature of instant film, there is no post-editing to be done, nor do I allow myself to do any digitally. I keep the original integrity of the image (save the dust/scratched that may appear due to lack of proper cleaning or storage).
Also, the instant film’s natural borders allows for the bulky, somewhat hard to travel with signs to no longer be a problem. Now, the signature is forever tied to the exact image. Without one, I do not have the other.