Andrés Aguilar Caro begins his career in photography at the same time he begins to study journalism. Disillusioned with XXI Century journalism, he starts to focus on documentary photography, and, specializing in photojournalism, he start working as a freelance photographer and editor for international media. In 2010 he gets his hands on the first instant format camera and starts working with it parallel to his digital equipment, recording some of his more intimate works in this new format. In 2013 he leaves aside his career as a freelancer to create his personal project: Polaroid of the day, until today. Polaroid of the day is a platform for cultural and artistic support for amateur and professional photographers of the instant format, and in which everything is about art, capturing it in very personal images and where photography is the goal of the whole project. www.polaroidoftheday.com
Andrés was the helping hand behind Romanian Polaroid Photographers’ debut show last year in Barcelona.
Interview by Ioana Cristina Casapu
What is your relationship with instant photography?
Instant photography has been the engine of my professional experience. I started with analogue photography because of my passion to keep a memory from all my personal moments and because I wanted to learn the mechanical and physical process behind it, the darkness of the darkroom and moments alone with the developing process – for many people a time for reflection. For me this was a moment of inspiration and I was thinking about how to take this process one step further regarding my work. Out of that reflection, my quick turn to instant photography was born.
What is the state of mind your work embodies?
All and none: I think that all emotions are mixed when your image contains everything around you and everything has to be described within this image.
Share a personal moment or experience with instant film that changed your outlook on photography at large.
The process of “peeling” is magical, I never feel so many hormones running through my veins than as when I open the image for the first time and discover a new world that my eyes have seen for just one second and when shooting, time managed to stop for a blink of an eye.
The best instant photography tip you’ve learned in your experience with this format.
More than advice, it has been a technique. Open 600 format pictures in two and separate the layers with the help of a hair dryer, the negative of the image is transparent, it is one of the best techniques I know to play with the chemical, with frankly fantastic results. The moral of this technique is that in instant photography nothing is impossible.
Which is your favorite instant film format and why?
It is hard to choose one in particular because each one I use is for different purposes. But I cannot deny that double exposures with my camera 320 (100 format) are my favorites when out shooting.
Why is instant photography important?
For many photographers like me, it is getting away from the conventional but still preserving the professional details of a camera. To experiment with photography I consider quality, when assessing the work that comes into my hands.
How did setting up Polaroid of the day change your instant film work and networking?
Photographers and the community around instant photography are like a big family, so sometimes I feel I have uncles, cousins and distant relatives around the world. In my hands they have left their material and have confidence that I care for it, and that I see an important source of creation in their work, which I want to speak about. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that something you do with passion reaches out to so many people, and they feel that your role is important, regarding disclosure and cultural and artistic creation. Also as the published photos are taken by me, it is an honor to share them with the world, with all advantages of the internet, being able to reach out to every corner in the world.
I like to look at instant film as at “the possibility of an island” that French writer Michel Houellebecq writes about in one of his bestselling novels. How can Polaroid still change the world?
The concept of stopping the time with an instant photo is something that can be applied to everyday life. You are sometimes unable to stop, admire the detail that illuminates a facade or a shade that caresses the cheek, simple and daily details that bring us to a more sensitive and less distant reality, in which we are used to live.
If you had the chance to shoot the last instant film cartridge in the world, what would you like to photograph?
My family, they mean everything to me.