Snap It See It

We are so excited to bring you this interview with Chris Kale of the instant film site Snap It See It. This site was an instant hit (ha, who liked that pun??) and is bringing together artists from all over who make incredible images on instant film.

From Chris: The site is run by me, Francisco Chavira and Justin Molina. Francisco and Justin are friends and live in California. I live in North Carolina, but through Instagram we all met. I came up with the idea for the site last year and pitched it to Francisco. It’s amazing how fast it has taken off. We average between 400 and 1000 hits a day. To us thats crazy since we’ve only been live 4 months.

And introducing the Snap It See It team, and some of their work:
Francisco Chavira
 Justin Molina
Chris Kale
I interviewed Chris to really dig into what they’re doing over at Snap It See It!

Tell us a bit about Snap It See It and what your goals are with the site.

I approached Francisco last year with an idea for a blog. Honestly, I was thinking something Tumblr style where we just re-blogged work we liked and wrote the occasional post or commentary. But the more we brainstormed and came up with ideas, we knew we could do more. Francisco told me about his friend Justin and once he came on board, Snap It See It was born.

So far the blog has been a great success. I think we filled a gap between the film or brand specific blogs and sites out there. From the first time we spoke about it, we wanted to include all types of instant photography and mediums. And that we have done!

We have had several people ask about the name. It’s a mouthful I know, but to us it sums up what is great about instant film. You snap it, then see it. There is no import to Lr, running a preset, exporting to Ps and doing whatever else before it becomes a jpeg on your Mac. It’s an image in your hands at the time you take it and I have yet to see a person not smile when you hand them that print.

As far as goals go, we want to become a resource. We want to keep bringing fresh content and featuring amazing artist. We’re still young (4 months old) but as content is added, we want people to be able to look back through the post and get inspired. We want people who have never shot instant film to pick up a camera and shoot. If that happens, we will consider ourselves a success.

Thanks to companies like The Impossible Project, we have been able to have giveaways and get projects like our 600 On A 600 off the ground.

-We love what you’re doing with the 600 on a 600 project! Tell us a bit about why you started this project, and what has come from it so far

The 600 Project has been amazing. What started as a math problem in Starbucks one day has turned into a great little journey.

Originally, I thought we would launch the project with a few people on board and fill in spots as the camera traveled. You read that right, the camera. 75 photographers (x) 8 exposures (=) 600. Well, 225 photographers and 3 cameras later, it kinda grew.

Seriously, the support behind this project has been great. We have 2 cameras in North America right now and a camera in South America that will make it’s way to Europe and on from there.

The idea behind the project was to show what could be done with a Polaroid 600 camera and one pack of Impossible film. We’re talking the kind of camera you find at Goodwill or a yard sell. It’s amazing, the thought people have put into their shots and the information some photographers shared with their images. We have people telling stories, doing lifts and transfers. A few photographers have stepped out of the genre they are know for and really surprised us.

This is definitely a project to watch and learn from.

-The Weekly Assignments are a new addition to the site – how are you choosing your themes? What are you looking for from the submissions?

Assignments are something we have wanted to do for a while. Like a lot of photographers, I find myself shooting the same things over and over. We thought that by putting weekly assignments out there, we could accomplish a couple things. One being blog content, which is always good. But more importantly, we thought we could help push people to look for things they normally wouldn’t.

So far, the assignments / themes have just been one word suggestions I came up with. We said from the beginning that they are open to interpretation. The theme “past” had everything form shots of an old tractor to prints made on an iInstant Lab from old 35mm slides.

Right know we have told people the can submit previous work, but long term goals would be to have people go out and shoot.

I’m trying to keep the assignments posted a month out and you can submit early. More info can be found on the blog. And, if anyone has a suggestion for an assignment, let us know.

-You’ve featured some awesome photographers with your Artist Spotlights. How are you choosing who to feature, and what are some guidelines you can give to people hoping to submit for this?

Right now, all of our Artist Spotlights have been of photographers who’s work we follow. When we started discussing the feature, we each made a list of people we wanted, and started emailing. Being such a new blog, there have been plenty of no-reply’s, but the people who have answered back have been amazing and very supportive. We have several great interviews lined up and we still have our fingers crossed that some of those original no-reply’s will make it on one day.

We are always looking for new artist to feature. One thing I think that has set us apart is diversity. Our goal has been to showcase photographers shooting all forms of instant film and we even have a wet plate photographer coming up.

Anybody who would like to be featured can just drop us a line and include a link to your work. The only guideline we have is that we will not post nudity on the blog.

Have someone you’d like to see featured? Let us know about them, then Tweet, IG, Tumble or whatever to let that person know we are out here.

Artist Spotlight / Kim Oberski
Artist Spotlight / Kristopher Orr
Artist Spotlight / George Weiss III

-Each Friday you feature a selection of images from your Flickr group. How does the Flickr community impact Snap It See It?

We love Flickr! Actually, we started the Flickr group as a place to submit images for the first giveaway we had. When that contest was over, people kept adding their images to the pool and it has continued to grow. We wanted a way to show some appreciation to the people that continue to add images to the group and thats where Feature Friday came from.

Just our way of saying thanks to the amazing group of photographers that support our efforts. If you haven’t checked out the group pool, you should! Seriously, some amazing work in there.

-As you know, every Let The Kids team member attended the Film Is Not Dead workshop. Can you talk to us a bit about the project you’ve got in the works with the FIND community? 

Sure. I love what Jon is doing with his workshop. I don’t see it as a “how to shoot like me class”, but more of a investment in time management and the tools needed to develop a craft. With film, each shot cost money and Jon stresses this. In turn, you take your time and learn the craft of photography. There is no Spray and Pray unless you’re Bill Gates.

The same can be said of instant photography. Each shot costs money. Depending on the film you are shooting, a shot might cost you 30 bucks. You take your time. You learn your camera. You invest time, and at the end of the day, you are rewarded.

When I told Impossible that I wanted to take their SX-70 Sonar to the Austin FIND workshop they were thrilled. I had planned to use the time to do a review of the camera for the blog and document my trip. What the people of the workshop didn’t know is that they would all get hands on time with the camera and some of Impossibles newest flush of film.

The way Jon structures the workshop, there should be some great opportunities to use the camera in an environment where I think  instant film shines. Making memories with friends!

I think it’s a great combo. Film Is Not Dead meets the company that raised the dead.

-What kind of impact do you think Impossible Project is having on the instant film community? 

Honestly, I feel they are the driving force behind the movement we are seeing. Sure, Fuji is making pack film and they have the Instax line, but I think Impossible has really become the spokesman for instant film. At some point, all the old expired Polaroid film will be gone. But there are a million cameras out there. You can find them anywhere! For Impossible to step up and invest the time to keep this medium alive is amazing. They have made it possible for my son to shoot a Polaroid camera.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Fuji 3000B and 100C. My Instax mini is a blast at parties, but I don’t see Fuji doing anything to really say “Keep Instant Film Alive!”

Impossible has an informative website. They are very active in social media. And best of all, they have given people a way to shoot a $5.00 thrift store camera and get the instant itch. That might lead to the purchase of an SX-70 or a Land Camera. Who knows, that person could then invest in a Mamiya RZ and start shooting medium format film.

-Just for fun: what are your instant camera and films of choice these days?

Oh lord, thats a loaded question. I love having control over the image I’m about to take. I’m a trust your meter kind of guy. I have tried so many cameras this past year, but  I just cant seem to give up my Mamiya Universal and Fuji FP-3000B. That being said, I’m about to spend a week with an SX-70 Sonar and several packs of Impossibles new CP film. If this combo is any thing like Francisco and Justin claim it will be, I may have a new favorite.

Francisco and Justin have both been shooting SX-70’s for a couple years now. Both of these guys swear by these cameras. One look at their work and you can see why.

-You mentioned a giveaway that would include the photographers we featured. Can you give us the details yet?

We have not announced this on our site, so this is the first anyone has heard of it. We will be giving away an SX-70 Sonar and two packs of Impossible film. This is one of the reconditioned units that Impossible sells. It is beautiful!

We will have an official announcement on our site with all the details in a few weeks, so stay tuned.

I can say, it will be a drawing type giveaway. Like you mentioned in your post last week, the photographers you featured will be automatically entered!

Thanks so much for your time, Chris! We’re so excited to see more from Snap It See it!


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