Macayli Hausmann is an analogue photographer based in St. Louis, Missouri and Oakland, California. She recently put the Diana Instant Square to the test by setting it up in the studio for a shoot. Let's take a look at her results and hear about the process.
Hi Macayli, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
Hello! My name is Macayli and I’m primarily an analogue photographer, currently based in St. Louis, MO. I graduated with a BFA in Photography in 2016 from the San Francisco Art Institute. I use photography as a means to not only document but also to sort through my thoughts, experiences and feelings.
What made you decide to shoot with the Diana Instant Square?
I wanted to use a product that allowed me to keep a square frame and also manually control the settings, so the Diana Instant Square seemed like a good fit.
What was the concept you had in mind while shooting?
I had seen a friend with her hair tucked into her turtleneck and loved how it looked and quickly took a photo of it. We parted for the day before I saw how the photo turned out, and it hadn’t turned out how I had envisioned, so for a whole week I kept thinking about that photo. This led me to invite her to my studio to retake the shot, and the rest of the photos came organically from that.
Was your approach to shooting with the Diana Instant Square any different than your normal approach to shooting?
I used the Diana Instant Square the same way I would any of my other cameras. I brought it with me throughout my daily life to see if anything caught my eye, as well as into the studio for a more structured shoot. The only difference was knowing that I had a limited amount of frames, which encouraged me to be thoughtful while photographing.
Do you have a favorite photo from the shoot? Is there a story behind it?
My favorite is the one of Nina resting her chin on her palm and making direct eye contact with the camera. Working with the Instant camera engaged the subject in a different way and felt more personal than a traditional 35 mm. I could definitely see myself beginning or ending some shoots using this format.
What was your favorite feature of the Diana Instant Square?
The flash! I found it to be super powerful and it brought out tones and colors in a different and sometimes unpredictable way.
Do you have any tips or tricks for the camera?
Order extra film if you can. It took me a few frames to get the settings where I wanted them. But also be prepared to let go of some control of how it might turn out!
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share?
I’ve got a collaborative photo book in the works with another photographer based in Brooklyn that I’m excited about!