“Instax cameras are taken as toys and I’m here to disagree about that,” shared São Paulo-based photographer Taylor Ponto with us during a chat a couple of months ago. Knowing all too well how Instax cameras are marketed as “fun” and “stylish,” we can see how they are often mistaken as playthings instead of tools for serious photographers. However, Taylor’s photos also easily dispel this misconception by showing what Instax cameras can do given the right creative vision and direction.
Case in point is Taylor’s depiction of feminine beauty — both in its delicate and raw appeal — with the aid of the dreamy tones and colors rendered by Instax films. In this brief interview, he also gives us a quick insight into what makes instant photography — and analogue photography in general — work for him, and how it affects the way we shoots.
Tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Taylor (which is a tragicomic without an end, since I’m of Italian, Paraguayan, Portuguese, and Indian descent). I’m 31 years old and I’m a photographer for about four years now.
How has instant photography affected the way you shoot? What do you feel is its strongest feature?
Analogue photography, as a whole, is more complex. You have to think through way more, and that really pleases me. If there’s no worry with light, frameworks, atmosphere, it’s all lost. It’s like life: a chance to thrive. I can say that through the Instax I’ve come to take a bigger care with my digital work. Before I start to photograph, I analyze thoroughly the environment and the reasons that got me there, and it’s only after that I get going with the job. I can say that analogue photography and working withe Instax got me way more careful when taking photos.
How would you describe your shooting routine?
This answer maybe invalidate the previous one, but here we go: my routine is not to have a routine. I just conceptualize the night before the shoot/project, organize the time and place where the sun will be present, and on the next day, I follow everything through. I believe that technique, although extremely important, can never surpass the intuitive impulse from our hearts.
If there was a combination of camera and film you had to use your whole life, which would this be?
The Neo Classic 90. Instax cameras are taken as toys and I’m here to disagree about that. I can risk to say that I like my Neo Classic more than my Mark III.
To view more of Taylor’s work, please head to the links below: