PRYME News: A New Era of PRYME

PRYME Editions was founded in May of 2014 in the backyard of my parents house. It was the simple idea that instant film artists were underrepresented in the photographic community and needed a specific place to showcase their work. Over the last four years this goal has been achieved and I have showcased over 200+ artists in print and online formats. I am honored to say that in pursuing this goal I have sold close to 1000 copies of the various PRYME print products we have produced including PRYME Magazine, special edition books, and the 2017 Annual Journal.

As PRYME has grown as an independent publisher the instant film community itself has grown as an even better foundation for the artists we serve. Individuals such as Penny Felts from the 12:12 Project, Andrés Aguilar Caro from Polaroid of the Day, and the ExPolaroid team have given instant film artists amazing venues to showcase their work. My point being is that I have not done this alone at PRYME, it has been through the community as a whole that my publication has been able to succeed.

On that note, I am pleased to announce that Anne Silver will be taking over PRYME Editions in January of 2018. Over the last year she has been a tremendous asset to PRYME and without her, 2017 would not have happened in the way it did. She will carry the torch that I have lit within the instant film community and ensure that it remains on fire for the foreseeable future. Please join me in welcoming her as the new owner of PRYME Editions.

As for me, I am looking forward to being able to enjoy instant photography from an artist’s point of view without the use of the technology I have been utilizing to further PRYME’s goals. I will still be here to offer you inspiration, motivation, and advice when asked for it. For now, I want to inspire and motivate myself, and for once, take my own advice of disconnecting from the internet and social media to focus on my own personal growth.

Though I will be absent for sometime, or maybe forever, from the majority of social media, you can always find me in your heart screaming "Go For It!". I encourage you to start the series you have been putting off, to launch the book or 'zine you have been dreaming about, and, most importantly, focus on doing this for yourself. Don't get caught up in the numbers game of Instagram likes, website hits, and copies sold. Do all of this for you. The rest will follow as others see your dedication and passion.

As a part of my sabbatical from the digital world, I would love to continue to talk to each and everyone of my friends I have had the pleasure of meeting through this venture. Please email me at michaelbehlen@gmail.com if you would like my mailing address. It would be a great thrill to correspond to you via the old fashion way. If you hate letter writing please email me anyways, I would be glad to hear from you regardless. You can also keep up with my personal work at www.dontshakeitlikeapolaroid.com, as I don't plan to stop shooting instant film any time soon!

To all my fellow Polaoirders: Shoot Slow, Develop Fast, and Stay Instant.

Your Instant Film Obsessed Friend,

Michael Behlen

 

Lastly, I want to extend a warm thank you to the following individuals in no particular order:

Bastian Kalous: You believed in PRYME from the first time I emailed you in 2014. Your images were a major part of PRYME Magazine Issue 1 and without your contribution and kindness, PRYME would not be where we are today.

Michael Kirchoff: You are one of the kindest and most supportive individuals I have ever met. I have no words to express my gratitude to you for how much inspiration you have given me to keep PRYME moving over the years.

Amanda Mason: Thank you for everything you have done with me at PRYME. You are a wonderful person and your photography has inspired thousands of others to keep shooting and explore their imagination.

Bill Moore: You literally saved PRYME from my terrible grammar and punctuation the first years we were alive. I have enjoyed our conversations since the day you emailed me, "You need some help don't you?". You were right and you have always been an asset. Thank you for your friendship.

Nate Matos: After our break from PRYME Magazine and transition to PRYME Editions you jumped on the chance to sell a limited edition version of your Serif and Silver Compendium. Your enthusiasm and help during our exhibition in August of 2016 was tremendous and selfless. It was a pleasure meeting you in person.

Cromwell Schubarth: What can I say about Crom that everyone doesn't know? He is an instant film addict through and through and it is a highly contagious disease that he happily spreads through the interwebs. Your passion for the medium is unparalleled and it has rubbed off on me throughout the years. Cheers to you my friend.

Rudi Amedeus: Thank you for your support over the years and for your friendship. You are a scholar and a gentlemen.

Matt Smith: I just really like Matt Smith. He is a genuine man with genuine interest in his fellow Polaroiders that is almost humanitarian in nature. Thank you Matt for your friendship.

Alleha Navarro: Most of you don't know Alleha because she does not shoot instant photography. She has been the person I can message, email, call, and think with over the course of these last four years. She has heard 100's of terrible ideas and a couple of good ones. Thank you for your support, wisdom, and knowing when to tell me I am wrong. 

Amy Heaton: Thank you for all of your support, referrals, and help you have given me over the years through The Impossible Project and Polaroid Originals. I know you will continue to be an asset to Anne Silver as 2018 begins to take shape.

I would also like to thank the following people for allowing me to put your work into print and into the hands of instant film lovers across the world:

Susanne Klostermann, Marco Spaggiari, Lisa Toboz, Joann Edmonds, William Miller, Ina Echtemach, Laura Su Bischoff, Thomas Zamolo, Alexandra Smith, Paul Greevs, Flo Ouen, Chrystal Nause, Nicole Gelinas, Lucrezia Senserini, Paul Bauman, Eva Flaskas, Maureen Bond, Kerry Bellinger, Polaroid SF, Maija Karisma, Mikael Bidard, Toby Hancock, Jordan Kendall, Carmen De Vos, Peter McCabe, Emily Soto, Marisa Redburn, Marian Rainer-Harbach, Luigi Vigliotti, Daniel Klaas, Oliver Blohm, Philippe Bourgoin, Penny Felts, Troy Bradford, Mikael Kennedy, Anne Locquen, Melissa Bernazzani, Lukas Brinkmann, Patrick Winfield, Diane Fenster, Alice Adrenochrome, Maurizio Galimberti, Ben Innocent, Marco Spaggiari, Alex Bouchon, Tom Hofmann, Claude Peschel Dutombe, Douglas E. Pope, Nicholas Abriola, Chloe Aftel, Heather Polley, Caleb Jenkins, Francesco Romoli, Anna Marcell, Anna Malina, Oskar Smolokowski, Dan Rubin, Herr Merzi, Brian Henry, Daniel Stein, Walter Sans, Megan Thompson, Clay Lipsky, Matther O'Brien, Polly Chandler, Dan Isaac Wallin, and Francesco Sambati. 


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Michael Behlen is a photography enthusiast from Fresno, CA. He works in finance and spends his free time shooting instant film and seeing live music, usually a combination of the two. He was the founder of PRYME Editions. Connect with Michael Behlen on his Website and on Instagram!


NSFW Q&A: Eddie Cheng's Monograph: Visual Musings of a Creative Seeking and Analogue Perspective

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Eddie Cheng (also known as eymc275) is a British photographer who lives in London. He works as a freelance photographer and designer. Cheng studied commercial and advertising photography in college during the 1980’s, during which he became very familiar with using medium and large format film cameras. After graduating from college, he worked as a professional photographer shooting architecture and doing commercial work for advertisers. Cheng was using Polaroid film, particularly 669 and 55, but this was used for making proofs and testing lighting and exposure. Cheng has also worked in graphic design and advertising. The diversity of his background and skills influences his work greatly.  

After experiencing a health crisis and being forced to take time off of work, Cheng began to challenge himself to do genres of photography he had not yet done before, no was particularly interested in. Throughout his long and impressive career, he has challenged himself continually to learn new skills, new techniques, new ways of seeing and shooting, which has led him into new territory. This time the result of his challenge to himself has become his new project, which is entitled Monograph: Visual Musings of a Creative Seeking and Analogue Perspective . 

Monograph is Cheng’s take on fine art nude photography. For this project, Cheng decided to push himself in terms of technical ability too, choosing to use a variety of photographic media to produce a cohesive set of work. With an emphasis on shapes, poses and the differing media characteristics, he wanted to keep the technical aspects fairly simple by choosing to use a single flash strobe and a plain background in a studio. Using four cameras—Wista 45VX, Hasselblad 500c/m, MiNT SLR670S, Nikon D4—plus an Impossible Instant Lab. Part of the reason for choosing to photograph this project on four different media formats, aside from the technical challenges, was that he wanted to see how differently each format would render the photographs.

Being a photographer who does not really shoot art nudes, he wanted to work with someone who was more familiar and experienced with that genre, so he teamed up with Nic Button because she is an experienced model who specializes in art nude. Having worked with her before, he knew that they’d get along fine, that he could rely on her to create poses and shapes that would look interesting on camera.

Since he is also a graphic designer, typography and the printed page also play very important roles in his work, as well as having big influences on how he composes his photographs. Therefore, in producing Monograph, a lot of thought went into the design and page layout, as well as the material. The idea was to display the photographs in a simple, contemporary, flowing layout that is very purposeful yet unobtrusive. The viewer should not have to think about the page layout whilst enjoying the content. Finally he wanted the finish to have a tactile quality that, upon picking it up, will give a ‘soft, delicate and velvety’ feel – which is why every page has been laminated with a ‘soft touch’ covering.

As a bonus, every copy of the Monograph comes with a 1:1 signed print of the New55 instant photograph which was scanned and then printed on 300gsm uncoated paper stock and then double mounted to produce a 600gsm print. To maximize the colour accuracy to the original print, the scan went through multiple stages of colour matching and refinement until it reached a point where the printed version was barely distinguishable from the original (which was tested by placing the original amongst a batch of test prints).

PRYME Editions is proud to announce that we will be the sole distributor of Cheng's brand new monograph of which we have 50 limited edition signed and numbered editions. Each edition comes with an signed and numbered limited edition print from the Monograph. Grab yours today in our Shop!

You can connect with Eddie Cheng on Instagram and his website

You were born and raised, as you put it, in a “no-nonsense” town to traditional parents who expected you to fall into a “normal” career. What made you want to pursue a career in photography?  
This may seem like a strange answer, but it was the design of the SLR cameras that made me take an interest in photography at the very beginning. I liked the designs of the Olympus OM1 and the Nikon FM/F2, and they made me curious about what these machines could do. 

You attended university and studied Commercial & Advertising Photography in the 80’s. How did this foundation help mold you into the photographer you are today?
Actually, I choose college over university (again, probably contrary to my parents’ desires) because the course I chose was, in my view, more hands-on and would hopefully be more useful in a real-world job.

Over the course of your career you seem to take leaps into other areas of creative work that combine your past expertise to enable you to “progress” either in business or with personal satisfaction. Why do you feel you make these leaps, and how have these actions affected your career as a whole?  
Put simply, I get bored easily. Taking these big leaps of faith into different, but complementary, creative disciplines is my equivalent of a poker game’s “all-in” move. The new challenge gives me a buzz and new impetus to up my game, and, hopefully, stay fresh and relevant for my career as well as for client work.  

Overall, I think my career has benefited hugely from these leaps, as I still adore my job, and the buzz I get every time I do something creative that satisfies both myself as well as my clients is immense. Being able to have a career that I love, that feeds me well, keeps a roof over my head, gives me a comfortable lifestyle, yet makes my family proud is not a bad achievement from a “black sheep.”  

In your most recent creative leap of faith, you have taken up something you once hated, fashion photography. Can you tell us about the process and how you have evolved from hating something to becoming quite good at capturing the human form?  
This came about during the lowest point in my adult life and career. Due to serious health problems, I had to take a complete break from work for a year in the hope of allowing my body to heal. However, whilst my body was healing slowly, my mind was slowly going stir crazy due to boredom of mostly being housebound and in constant pain.  

I needed to do something to take my mind off the pain and boredom, so, once again, I resorted to setting myself up with another challenge with something I neither liked nor knew much about. That challenge was fashion photography. Within a few short months, I found that not only was I enjoying what I was doing, but I was able to create some imagery with the merest hint of a style emerging. What I didn’t anticipate was the interest I began to get from other people, and I started to get other creatives approaching me with a desire to work together.

Despite the spotlight, I eventually became bored of what I was shooting and started to look for diversification to see if I could evolve, maintain the standard, create something interesting, and still enjoy what I was doing. Bit by bit, my creative curiosity was leading me towards erotica, not just because I find the human form beautiful, but also because it allowed me to portray emotions, atmosphere, shapes, abstraction, narrative, and to loosen and broaden my horizons. Erotica is now, arguably, one of my favorite genres to photograph due to the level of creative freedom it gives me.

In your most recent Monograph: Visual Musings of a Creative Seeking and Analogue Perspective, you have challenged yourself to utilize many different film media, from 35mm to large format, to capture artistic nude images. Just like earlier in your career, has this been another method or catalyst to make a sort of “progress” by challenging yourself?
Yes, absolutely. Without these periodic challenges, I very much doubt that my work could be as diverse as it is now. The decision to use several different media and the choice of artistic nude as the subject matter were deliberately aimed at not just being a challenge, but as an aid toward improving my technical skills, as well as my creative thinking, which, in the longer term, will be beneficial to both my work and my career. It’s my way of evolving and progressing.   

Your artistic nude work presented in Monograph shows an emphasis on shapes, poses, and the differing media characteristics of each film. How did you go about creating and compiling your images for this specific project? Were they all created especially for Monograph? How did you choose which images to include and how to sequence them in the book?  
The images seen in Monograph were photographed specifically for the project, and because of that, I wanted the subject matter to be different from my norm. In this instance, as artistic nude is not really in my realm of expertise, I chose to work with a model —Nic Button— who had specific experience in the genre and could, therefore, provide more interesting shapes or poses. When I was conceptualizing the project, I had a very specific “look” in mind, which was based on low-key and darker tones. ] From this, I decided to create most of my imagery in black and white but with a few key pieces in color. Due to my design and commercial background, the production and execution of this project was sone in the manner of a graphic design project, rather than a photographic one. Therefore, the typographic elements and imager grids played a large part in forming the overall look of the magazine and, to an important extent, dictated which photos made the final selection and where in the layout they fell.  

After using so many different types of film and camera equipment for the project, have you learned anything about yourself through this process?
Not anything “new” per se, but it has confirmed that large format (especially instant) photography is still firmly embedded at the top of my loves, but is followed very closely by Polaroid. It has also made me think about producing some more artistic nude work and trying to improve on what I have done so far.  

If you had to choose your favorite image from this publication, what would it be and why?
That is an easy one to answer— the color New 55 photograph. Peeling that print away from its cover sheet and seeing the result gave me the same incredible buzz that I get with every “great” image I create, but at perhaps 10x the buzz level. It is perhaps one of my favorites ever created.  

As the graphic designer and printer who put together your own Monograph, it really combines all of the skills you have learned and utilized over the course of your career. What can you share with us about making this project from the perspective of design? How did you decide on the size, design and materials used?  
For the vast majority of photographers, the imagery stops a the image itself. However, in my opinion, to present a body of work so that it can be appreciated as broadly as possible in today’s multitude of media formats, a lot more than just imagery must be considered. Everything from the typography— font usage, ligatures/glyphs, leading and kerning (spaces between lines of text and space between individual characters/letters), the “flow” of text/paragraphs, color and volume of text— to the type of material, choice of production process, types of finishes (lamination, die cutting, embossing, foiling, varnishing, and many more)... These all have to be considered as part of the overall composition.

As an example, every page of the Monograph has been finished with a “soft touch” laminate to give a very specific tactile feel. I want the viewers to not just see the imagery, but also to have a sensation of almost touching skin when they hold it. The typography has been designed to be informative, elegant, beautiful, yet “light on the eyes,” so that it does not intrude when it does not have to, so that is is elegant but not overly intrusive when it does. It has also been designed so that the viewer is not only led by the imagery, but also by the typography through the course of the magazine. Everything on each page is where it is for a (mostly creative) reason and is part of the overall composition.

Do you plan on showing these images anywhere in an exhibition setting? Do you have anything else planned with the images from this project?  
The imager were produced exclusively for the Monograph, though I do hope to show the New 55 and maybe a few of the other images beyond the scope of the magazine. There are currently no definitive plans as yet.  

What are your photography plans for 2018?
I am hoping to be part of a joint exhibition in London, and if so, then some of the Monograph images might just make it into my selection. I am also keen to try and produce a new Monograph with more pages but using different materials and/or finishing techniques. You will likely see mo producing more work on medium and large format-- I have quite a few boxes of Polaroid and Fuji film in my fridge that need to be used. I will also, in conjunction with Airbnb,be hosting some Polaroid workshops on the streets of London, aimed at beginners and/or people looking for a more creative perspective for their Polaroid photography.  

Finally, along with two or three other photographer friends, I will likely be taking part in at least one Chop Gear Challenge. It is based on the TopGear TV series where the presenters go to foreign destinations to carry out challenges. We do the same but using Polaroid cameras and film-- one day in a foreign city, three packs of film each, 16 of the “best” photographs from each participant are then voted on by other participants.  The winner is the one with the most votes. 


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Anne Silver is an instant photography aficionado who lives in Paris, France and is a member of the 12:12 Project. Connect with Anne Silver on her Website and on Instagram!