27 Frames – Dustin Beatty
/ Matt 12.16.2016
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 Dustin Beatty.
Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.
Dustin A. Beatty. Photographer and editor-in-chief by trade. Founded Anthem Magazine that was a fashion and lifestyle category-leading publication for over ten years. Now I run a content and communications company called You Are Here where I get to connect all my passions for a wide array of clients.
How did you first get into photography?
I give my family credit for that. My great grandfather was an oilman and a photographer. His son was also an entrepreneur and a war photographer. My grandfather shot all my dad’s motorcycle races—as did my mom—so my first camera was my parents’ Minolta. I think I shot my first frame on film when I was eight or nine years old and I was published by age thirteen when I started shooting bands.
Film or digital?
Both have their place but I’m a die-hard film shooter. I’m more interested in the relationship between light, the camera and film than I am trying to make something look a specific way in the computer. Also, we’re headed for an archival meltdown with digital information; in fact, Google’s VP, Vint Cerf warns we might lose the archives of an entire generation. With that in mind, I maintain that if a memory is worth keeping shoot it on film so you can pass the negatives down to your kids.
When was the last time you used a single use (disposable) camera?
This is the only time in recent memory.
What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?
I made sure to follow the instructions that came with the camera and used it to tell a story of my life over two months during the summer of 2016. I started with the Ed Ruscha opening at The Gagosian Gallery where I shot the legendary Jim Ganzer with his daughter and some friends. My buddy, Ben Lee Handler is also featured. He’s got such a cool job as the Gagosian’s librarian! From there, I shot a couple colorful friends like the Chilean pop star, Francisca Valenzuela and a camping trip with fellow Indoek photographer, Molly Steele, my buddy Jeff Thrope and musician Cory Hanson. The dark portraits in there are of Reverberation Radio’s, Wesley Harron and my friend Scotty, who I ride motorcycles with. Next up are some photos of FYF Fest here in LA. I shot the trailers of the bands, Air and Beach House; both were incredible live. My buddy Will, known to his fans as The Gaslamp Killer was stoked to pose for a shot and I snuck in a snap of The Black Madonna who set the dance floor on fire! Around town I grabbed a photo of Gareth from Café Stella’s restored G-Wagon and the façade of the Playboy/Slow Culture art opening. The final photos are from a trip to the island of Andros in Greece with my wife, Lettie. Her place is paradise and the last shot is a befitting farewell to the island complete with a film burn as we said goodbye to Andros and this project.
Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?
The camera was a conversation piece and it was fun to have some dialogue with the subjects as to why I was asking to shoot their photo with something they hadn’t seen in a long time. Outside of that, fun parties, interesting art, warm water, fresh wine, cliff jumps, laughs handshakes and hi-fives.
What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?
The flash stopped working a few frames in that affected two low-light shots I wish would have registered. I accidentally snapped a few frames in my pocket but I’m still happy I got 27 shots out of the damn thing!
What was your favorite image from the roll?
Probably the shot of my wife as we leave Andros, Greece. She’d been talking about her home there since we first met and we had such an incredible visit this summer. I didn’t think the photo was going to come out but the film behaved in a creative way with the film burn —a happy accident that doubled as the perfect ending to our trip and this project.