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27 Frames – Hello America

Welcome to our 27 Frames series. We sent 27 single use cameras out to some of our favorite photographers, they shot stuff with it, then mailed it back to us. We developed the film and are sharing the results with you (and the photographers) now. In this instant, digital age, we want to pay homage to a snapshot photo process we grew up with ourselves — waiting for the film to develop and being surprised by the results. These 27 Frames belong to Kristen Blanton and Matt Jozwiak, AKA Hello America.

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

Kristen Blanton and Matt Jozwiak. From April 2014 to May 2016 we lived in National Parks, truck stop parking lots, couches of friends and BLM land documenting the American road on film for our first debut book, “Hello America: An Analog Story.” While traveling we began working with brands in the outdoor industry to bring raw visual storytelling to their gear. Today we live in California where Matt is also a boat captain and dive guide. We are about to head to Southeast Asia for five weeks to shoot for Eddie Bauer.

How did you first get into photography?

I (Kristen) was shooting festivals and Day in the Life features of bands for a few music publications my senior year and post college. Matt actually showed me how to use a film camera in 2010 when we were just kids running around our hometown one deadbeat summer. We began focusing on photography as a career together in 2014 when we hit the road. It’s been the medium for our work and relationship for nearly three years now.

Film or digital?

Film, always.

When was the last time you used a single use (disposable) camera?

May 2015 when we moved from Colorado to California. We go to a rive in Florida whenever we get home called Econfina Springs. I keep an underwater disposable on me for that specific trip, every time we go.

What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?

We just moved to San Diego, so we shot half the roll as we were exploring our new city and the other half in Joshua Tree while on an assignment.

Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?

Anytime you hold a disposable camera in your hand the people around automatically tell you about their childhood and the nostalgia the camera brings them. The disposable camera is the great communicator.

What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?

No film challenges, but the elements gave us a few 105 degree desert days and salty, wet film, so we had to adjust.

What was your favorite image from the roll?

Joshua Tree, 4:50 am sunrise. The tent is open because the day was already smoldering with heat and we couldn’t keep laying in our sweat. We got up and I noticed our new friends moving around too. I looked over my shoulder and the sun was just peaking through out tent. For me, the image brings back all the feels of just moving to California and our not knowing of the good yet to come.

Check out more of Kristen and Matt’s work here:

Hello America

Special thanks to Dexter’s Camera in Ventura for developing all of the film for the 27 Frames project. If you are a photographer who loves film and have never visited their shop, go there now, they’re the best.

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