We talked to music photographer Jay Whitehead about shooting with the Lomo'Instant Automat Glass on a recent tour with band Gengahr. She shared some of her experiences and talked to us about what makes instant photography so much fun.
Hi Jay, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hey! I’m a photographer based in London, working primarily in live music and touring photography! My job is to go on tour with bands and document everything they get up to - from the ins and outs of traveling through to the live show each night. I first found myself getting into photography in early 2018 and have been working in the music industry ever since. I recently completed a 7-week world tour with London based band Gengahr, which is where I took the majority of these snaps with the Lomo’Instant Automat Glass!
How did you get on using the Lomo'Instant Automat Glass?
I seriously love this little camera. It’s so fun and easy to use but still packs a punch and you can really tell it’s got the capacity to shoot in all different kinds of lights and settings. It’s a nice size to hold but it’s really lightweight, which is great for me as a traveling photographer. It’s also built really ergonomically so I can easily fit it in my Pelican case along with my other gear.
I found it a great asset to have alongside my digital (and other film) cameras as using it made me rethink how I could be shooting the scene in front of me. The nature of my job means that I see similar settings each night at the venues the band play at - so having this new medium to play with really helped me to expand how I’m shooting and conveying what’s going on.
Tell us about your photos. what did you choose to shoot?
I predominantly used the camera in dark settings (i.e inside the dressing rooms at venues) and found that the flash on this camera is more than capable of lighting up your subjects whilst still feeling moody. I found myself reaching for this camera a lot during my work on this tour - and got into the habit of shooting instant just before the band went on stage each night.
Not only was it fun to use this camera myself, but I know the guys in the band loved playing with it too. Taking an instant shot of the band together each night just
before they went on stage gave us a chance to have a small breather and calm our nerves; having everyone together to just take a moment and snap a fun photo was a totally new element that I loved and hope to continue to do on future tours.
Did you find the process of shooting with instant changed the way you photograph?
I think shooting with this instant has mainly expanded my perspective - allowing me to take a step back and realize that there can be a great shot in places where I originally thought there wasn’t. My style of digital photography lends itself to more observational photojournalism, and I think this is emulated in the instant film that I shot. However, shooting instant also allowed me to embrace more posed and planned photography. I really love how the instant film maintains an intimate feel, which is something that I always strive to capture with my digital work. Overall I have to thank this camera for allowing me to take a step back and have a bit of fun with photography. It’s not always about the intricate details, sometimes it’s about just capturing what feels right at the moment.
Any tips for anyone using this camera?
The Lomo'Instant Automat Glass has a lot of capacity and a great array of features, but I think the main advice I’d give is to let go of the details and just shoot, shoot, shoot! The camera can compensate for any small misjudgments in exposure, what it can’t compensate for is a missed moment. I quickly moved past trying to take a ‘perfect photo’ and just began to pick it up in a hurry and snap something without giving it much thought - this is how some of my favourite shots turned out. What I’m saying is - don’t take it too seriously, just have fun and let the camera work its magic.
Any plans for 2020?
With a bit of luck, Gengahr has a very busy festival season, which ultimately means I’m very busy as well. As with the past few years, I also spend the festival season working with a number of other bands too. I’m looking forward to an October UK tour with Gengahr plus the potential of more tours coming through! Last year I spent some time touring Europe with Young The Giant and Noah Kahan - hopefully, I’ll be seeing them again at the end of this year.. if not, hopefully in 2021!
To see more of Jay's work visit her website.