While going on a trip, we all have experienced that feeling of a forgotten camera, or a broken one or running out of batteries with no spare in your backpack. Whenever one of those eventualities come up, we have always had a solution: disposable cameras. These well-known devices are handy and cheap. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about any technical knowledge, they are really easy to use.
Stuart Chapman (www.stuartchapman.design) is the wizard behind this indisposable curtain. He designed, planned and performed a project that nowadays counts with more than 3000 rolls received and almost twenty thousand followers on social media. We are among their followers and recently we have decided to participate, during this August 2017 we will use a disposable camera and send the photographs in order to be part of the Indisposable Project.
Interview with S. Chapman
1. How did the project come up?
Indisposable Concept is a creative project that celebrates film photography and the creative process. The project encourages people to be part of a community, to share the world they live in by capturing stories and telling them in a unique and personal way. The idea came from my brain with the motivation to create something different that I could holistically drive by myself without any outside interference or corporate structure. I wanted to work on a project with no boundaries. I wanted to create a platform for everyday creative people to be able to share their stories via a different kind of medium, in this case, disposable cameras and film.
2. Any plans for the future?
I plan to keep moving the project forward. It's a passion project that doesn't generate any money at the moment so the project takes a back seat at time due to work and other life demands.
3. You have published three issues, was the process difficult?
The process was fun but very time consuming. Over the years I've accumulated a lot of content so thought it would be great to share more of the stories behind the contributors via a magazine format. I give people the opportunity to fill out a Q&A that I use to feature with the photos they shoot.
4. Why disposable cameras?
Disposable cameras allow for a raw, real and untamed approach to photography. You feel something that isn’t there when you shoot digitally. You’re allowed to let go and lose control of what you’re doing. You can leave the technicalities behind and enjoy the motion and purity of the moment. You can focus on the right place to stand, observe the light, access the subject, rather than worrying about which lens is the right one to use or am I going to run out of battery. You can't delete any of the photos and you have no idea what's living inside your camera. It's exciting and out of your control.
5. Do you think disposable cameras can be a tool for professional photographers?
I think it's fun to experiment with all types of cameras and formats. Enjoy the process of using different tools and learning from what they teach you. I think they have their place, maybe a second or third camera choice, depends what look you were going for.
6. What do you expect from the future of analogue photography?
Everything in life is cycular. Things come back into fashion and trend at different times. Who knows how long it will last. I feel we are in the middle of an analogue renaissance with younger people embracing and appreciating the tangible qualities of film and vinyl mediums. I think people enjoy stepping away from their digital worlds to take time out, enjoy the process of the analogue way of life. Hopefully this appreciation for analogue continues to grow and diversify.
7. Are you willing to continue this project for long or is it a short-term one?
Hopefully I can maintain the motivation and inspiration to continue the IC project for the long-term. Time will tell.
8. Could you explain the ''why'' of the ''selfie rule''?
The Selfie rule exists so that we can use this photo from the roll as a profile pic on our website. It's a fun way to capture the person behind the roll. It puts a face to the name.
9. Why did you decide not to process the rolls?
Film processing labs are few and far between here on the Gold Coast, Australia where I live. I was getting the cameras sent in and processing the rolls with my own money for about three years. It was just getting too expensive and time consuming. I decided that if people really want to be part of the project they can purchase the disposable camera and get the film processed themselves. This may change again in the future, but unfortunately money plays a big factor in processing film.