Based out of Vancouver, Aidan Castelo has been using Instant photography as a way to meet people. What started off as a way to make ends meet and travel around, evolved into a passion project. Nine countries, more than a thousand pictures shot, and a pandemic later, Aidan might not be traveling around the world anymore, but that doesn't keep him from immortalizing his daily life on instant film shot with the Lomo' Instant Wide.
How did you get into photography?
I was looking for a way to make money as I traveled; like a busker might. I don’t play any instruments but I knew I could take photos. I was living in Edmonton at the time where it gets to -30 degrees celsius in the winter. When spring rolled around I went out one night and started approaching people and asking if they’d like a Polaroid photo. Most people would offer a “tip” and I made close to $100 the first night. I kept doing that for 6 months and ended up going as far as Italy.
Why do you still shoot instant film?
It’s fun! When I started taking pictures the aim was taking as many as I could per day, I rarely stayed with the people as their photos developed. These days it’s mostly about meeting new people and capturing a moment, not about making $.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Bill Cunningham, Scott Schuman, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York) Louis Mendes. The film “Everybody Street” and the book “Street Photography Now” are great
What do you like to shoot?
So far, mostly people.
From the pictures you sent us, do you have a favorite one?
The one with Harlan and the train. It was the first photo I took with my new camera! Right before I took this photo I took another with the lens cap on. It was kind of a funny moment. The train passing reminds me of travel stories that Harlan introduced me to, like Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac and Down and out in Paris and London by George Orwell. Those books and Harlan were really influential to me as a teenager. So the train seemed fitting.
What camera do you shoot with?
Lately, I’ve been shooting with the Lomo Instant Wide camera, if not that then the Instax Wide 300.
Do you like it, and is it easy to use?
Yeah! I really like the design and the multiple-exposure option.
Any tips to share on using Instax Wide film?
Approach new people, offer them a photo, and see what happens!
To follow more of Aidan's work, head over to his Instagram.