Providence has become known to host many pop-ups events. The first pop-up in this series, which I’ll share with you today, is the PVD Polaroid Project.
In 2014, I had the pleasure of interviewing and photographing Brandon and Devan the masterminds behind the PVD Polaroid Project. The exhibition came and went, but it was a rad project nonetheless. The advice they shared is timeless!
I introduce to you all, Brandon and Devan….
tell us about the PVD Polaroid Project?
Providence Polaroid Project creates analog experiences in a digital world. It’s a space where people can digitally disconnect and capture instant photos of the faces and spaces of Providence.
how did you decide to start PVD Polaroid Project?
Analog photography forces a higher level of accountability. It asks people
to slow down and really think about what they are doing — you’ve only got
as many shots as what’s left in your pack of film. We thought that was an
important and unique experience for people living in a digital age to have.
how you did you come up with the name PVD Polaroid Project?
It just made sense. So much sense, that it’s not original at all. The owner of our space had launched a project just a year before called the Providence Portrait Project. We didn’t know any of this when we submitted our grant—we know now.
tell us about how your process at the PVD Polaroid Project.
we teach our customers how to use a 1971 Polaroid Big Shot and add their portrait to our gallery. It’s a lot of fun.
how would you describe your fashion style?
what inspires you?
Providence is such an interesting city with so many cool things going on. Just walking down the street and seeing what people are doing and creating, inspires and motivates us to be a part of it all and contribute to the Creative Capital.
who in the photography field inspires you the most?
Winogrand for street photography and Warhol for instant portraits.
where are you from and where do you live now?
We are from Rhode Island and live in Providence… the west side.
why did you decide to stay in providence and open PVD Polaroid
We chose to move back to Rhode Island for Providence. It’s a cool city
and it’s home—we are lucky for that. We are proud to contribute a small
amount of positivity to the city that gave us the opportunity to install this
describe Providence in a few words.
when do you feel the most creative?
Right before bed, that’s when the best ideas come. If they are still good in the morning—we go with them.
what is one thing you can’t leave your house without?
A copy of “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman
when do you feel your best?
Lately, when working in the camera shop. Generally, when in a state of creativity.
what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to?
Black Rock City. It’s a trip to look at it on Google Earth—we like it there.
“The Universe is Self-Organizing.”
What is the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
Be comfortable in the silence.
any words of advice would you give to our readers wanting to start a business or pursue art?
Jump and the net will appear. People will tell you to have a plan—you don’t need a plan, you need an outline. Just decide what to do and go do it. If you enjoy the work, you’ll be good at it. If you don’t enjoy the work, why do it in the first place?
Thank you so much to Brandon and Devan for dropping some serious wisdom!
interview + photography by Olivia