Polaroids with Studio LWP

Ken Davie, who goes by the name of Studio LWP on Model Mayhem, is a retired commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He got his first camera as a kid in 1977 after borrowing a Polaroid SX-70 one too many times from his relatives. By his early 20s he was assisting professional photographers in Los Angeles and Orange County. Back then shooting Polaroids wasn’t trendy or cool; it was an everyday tool for anyone shooting professionally. “I remember the days of shooting 8×10 Polaroids and not giving it a second thought as that was just a step you took before shooting the chromes.”

Photographer: Studio LWP

After many years shooting digital exclusively, he realized he missed shooting large format Polaroid, “mostly type 54, 55 and 59, as well as types 664, 665, 669 and 689.” However, those films were rare, scarce and unpredictable, so he started shooting with integral film from The Impossible Project and Fuji Instax.

Photographer: Studio LWP

In 2015 he discovered “a couple of boxes of types 669 and 54 packed away in my shed for well over a decade so I decided to assemble one of my view cameras and shoot.” Unfortunately, because the film was subjected to a wide variety of temperatures over the years the resulting images were either white or had streaks due to dry developer pods. Shortly after that he read that Fuji was discontinuing FP-100C and so he bought a couple of cases of it.

Photographer: Studio LWP

Ken’s advice for anyone interested in shooting instant film: “Buy lots of film and think about your shots before pressing the shutter button or you’ll go broke! Don’t be scared to try crazy ideas and don’t be scared to fail, but do learn to be critical of your work, and buy Helmut Newton’s book of Polaroids to see what’s possible sans Photoshop.”

Photographer: Studio LWP

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