Instant film artist Julie-Anne Cassidy lives and works in Montreal, Canada. She is a photographer and stylist focusing on food, travel, and lifestyle images. She studied photography in Vancouver, B.C., at the Emily Carr Institute of Fine Arts, Focal Point Visual Arts Center, and Vancouver Photo Workshops.
Cassidy is an advocate of slow, simple living. She loves how the unpredictable, delightfully temperamental nature of instant cameras and film teach us to slow down, relinquish control, and give in to the simple joys of following our instincts. Because of this Cassidy prefers the happy accidents of Polaroid films to the hyper-real look of digital photographs. For Cassidy it is the spots, stains, and scratches that give her images the personality and dreamlike qualities she craves.
When not abroad, she spends much of her time at home, thoroughly enjoying making a mess of her kitchen, with her camera in hand, and finding any excuse for a dinner party! Connect with Cassidy on her website: www.julieannecassidyphotography.com
Photographer: Julie-Anne Cassidy
Series: Vietnam Through The Polaroid Lens
Packs of Film Shot: 15
Date Shot: January 2015
Cassidy traveled to Vietnam, in January of 2015, with 15 packs of film and a Polaroid SX-70. We asked her a couple questions about her time there.
Why did you decide to go to Vietnam?
The food! Just kidding, sort of. Though I have traveled a lot, it was my first time in Asia and I wanted to stay away from the more touristy resorts and beaches. Vietnam felt like the perfect introduction because it has it all: fascinating culture and history, unreal natural beauty, and crazy scooter-packed cities where you have to be courageous to even cross the street!
Why did you choose to bring your instant camera?
Because it's the best toy ever, period. I took my Polaroid camera with me on a trip to Portugal, and to Maine last year, and I am hooked! From now on, I will create a series of photographs from each place I visit. One day, I am going to have a huge collection of Polaroids from all over the world and they will fit together beautifully because of the timelessness of Polaroid images. I love how elements of technology, present day references, and details are disguised in the blurry softness. They are like fuzzy memories.
How did using only instant film in your travels influence the time you spent abroad? "Traveling with an instant camera is the closest thing to a technological detox; I don't have the need to search for wifi or the option of uploading, sharing, “hashtagging.” It is liberating. The pricey cost of film doesn't allow the luxury of multiple prints either so I have to choose my frame with even greater consideration. I take in the scenes and moments around me without the obsessive need to immortalize everything or that awful feeling that I may be missing out on a great shot. I walk slower, pause more often, and am more in the moment.
What is with your food obsession?
I have an insatiable curiosity for trying new things to eat when abroad. Food is a big introduction to a foreign culture, especially when I don't speak the language. It helps me connect with local people everywhere I go; a lot of first contacts are made through food. I also love how food helps people gather. A homemade meal is a perfect excuse to leave all technologies and troubles aside and just talk. That's what life is all about for me.
Where do you plan to travel to next?
It's a toss up between New Orleans, Turkey, and the smallest, most secluded Greek island I can find. Hopefully all of the above though. :)