Stories

Behind the lens with Devin Blaskovich

01 What’s your background and how did you first get into photography?
I’m originally a performing artist, but I picked up photography in 2013 when I bought a 35mm camera to take pictures of my time in New York. I’ve been shooting ever since.
02 Why film photography over digital? (What type of film do you typically like to shoot on? Why?)
 There’s the pseudo-pretentious answer that typically starts with the phrase “Well, digital photography is just 0’s and 1’s and film is a real, tangible thing that you can hold and feel.” This answer does actually carry validity in that physical permanence, but to be honest the real reason I personally shoot film instead of digital is more of the kinds of cameras and formats that digital just doesn’t carry, and it’s these alternative mediums that begin a dialogue and provide a service beyond the imagery for clients/artists/myself.

03 You previously worked with ‘The Impossible Project’. Tell us a little bit about that and your experience?
The Impossible Project is a company that purchased the last Polaroid factory in the Netherlands and is the only company making integral instant film for the original Polaroid cameras. I worked both at the Gallery Space in SoHo while that was around and at the Camera Technicians department doing camera/film testing and importing. Through my experience recently the Project is riding this dichotomy of both providing the only service uniting a community of instant film photographers through a new artistic medium, while simultaneously disregarding this community at hand for a more corporate, monetary-driven behavior as of recently.

 

04You were raised in San Diego. How long have you been in New York and how has being here influenced your work?
I’ve been in New York for five years, living all over Queens, Manhattan, and finally Brooklyn where I reside now. The thing that is the greatest redeeming value of NYC is not simply the networking, but providing you with a consistent work ethic and the availability and/or confidence to tailor/make a job (or assortment of jobs) that is truly unique to your skillset.

05 What are some of your favorite places to find inspiration in New York?
My path of finding inspiration for the last few years has always stemmed from the source. I have made it apriority to collaborate with the current creators of process, from films to cameras to print. This has led to my work with medium creators with New York branches such as Lomography, Film Ferrania, and The Impossible Project, as well as working to create my own mediums; whether that be Frankenstein-esque combinations of camera parts to make a completely new camera- system or the creation/combination of new and old film processes to make an emulsion completely unique and actually original in a base sense.

06How would you describe the type of work you do with up and coming models, and how did that begin?
When I first began in photography I used to document the start and fall of all intimate relationships I had as a young adult. That, combined with the perceived “aesthetic” of film, led to a body of work that a few people related to, and wanted to recreate for themselves. These sort of “vignettes” into an intimate connection with someone at a professional and non-personal level, although my oeuvre in photography has changed, have become one of the mainly sought-after types of work from me.

"The thing that is the greatest redeeming value of NYC is not simply the networking, but providing you with a consistent work ethic and the availability and/or confidence to tailor/make a job (or assortment of jobs) that is truly unique to your skillset."
07 Who are some of the photographers you most admire and why?
I am a huge glutton for content and photographic history with countless sources of inspiration; these people using the same mediums as I do on a contemporary level in the heyday of these older photographic processes. Names such as Nan Goldin, Avedon, Andre Kertesz, Arnold Newman, Araki, and Ansel spring to mind within seconds (Most likely because I categorize alphabetically in my mind), with dozens of others following immediately afterwords. These photographers did the kind of photography that you see today not only much better, but dated almost a hundred years ago. My favorite contemporary photographer at this moment is the actor Adam Goldberg actually, who makes incredible work combining old and new mediums along the lines of what I’m currently trying to make. I’m also incredibly inspired by my New York-based contemporaries working in large format/instant film like Josh Wool, Julien Piscioneri, Bastian Kalous, Analog Grammar and the people at the Prenumbra Foundation.

08 What’s on the horizon?(What are you most excited about professionally or personally in the months ahead).
For me right now I’ve been working in experimental mediums coupled with an 8x10 camera, as well as a project that I’m a part of building our own 20x24 large format camera, a feat accomplished by very few. I want to couple this with both my environmental portraiture and some abstract work I haven’t released yet to be in book form in 2016. This and constantly working and creating with more individuals and collectives (like you guys) that are interested in the medium of analog photography and its resurgence in the modernity of New York in the 21st century.

09 Being that our first introduction came when you were shopping at Modern Anthology, would you share your top (3) picks / must haves from the shop with us?
The raglan warm up sweatshirt by National Athletic Goods, the leather journal holder by Billykirk, and a 4oz pewter pocket flask.

10 Finally, any tips for film enthusiasts out there?
Know what you are doing, learn actual photography and how light works. Take from the history, as these photographers from the 1900s were doing what you think is original now, without the buffer of being able to experiment with thousands of test images that cost nothing and the hours of Photoshop that can change any image completely with a simple click and slider. Do your 10,000 hours of practice. Always continue learning.
Follow Devin Blaskovich:www.instagram.com/blaskovichs/
Follow kaitlyn Mikayla: www.instagram.com/kaitlynmikayla/
Photography by: Luis Paez
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