Parker Day and Polaroid Originals team up for a visual trip through the ages.
We’ve all wished we were born in a different generation at one point or another. Seriously, who doesn’t want to relive the 90s or perfect that iconic 60s beehive? Well the babes at Polaroid Originals have teamed up with California-based photographer Parker Day to give us that throwback dose we all crave.
Collaborating on new series Still Got It, we see a range of famous faces – including Baddie Winkle and her great granddaughter Kennedy, Frances Davis (first wife of Miles Davis, actress, and first black ballerina in the Paris Opera Ballet), musician Shamon Cassette, actor Graham Mackie and actress Darla Parson – rocking iconic looks from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
Captured with Day’s signature style, each subject is armed with a Polaroid from that era and TBH we’re looking for ways to get our hands on every single camera shown.
Showcasing that Polaroid is timeless and highlighting eight decades of individuality, “Still Got It” is bold and beautiful and we can’t get enough. Eager to find out more about the collab, we caught up with Day on the phone to chat film photography, Baddie Winkle being a national treasure and why polaroids will never go out of style.
So going way back, when did you first get interested in photography?
Woah, that is going way back! Well, when I was a small child my mom always took film photographs of me and watching her take photos made me want to take photos, so I begged for a camera and she relented and gave me disposable cameras. I was an only child and spent a lot of time playing alone, so I would set up elaborate scenes to take photos of with my barbies and stuff. Then in high school I took photography classes, and then I went straight to art college out of high school. It’s been with me my entire life, but it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve focussed on it exclusively as my work – my one true love. Yeah, so the answer is that it’s always been with me but I only committed to it recently.
And you’re based in LA, right? Have you found that the city has had an impact on you creatively at all?
Oh definitely! I didn’t start focussing on photography again until I moved to LA three years ago and it’s an incredibly vibrant place full of creatives who are hustling. There’s an energy of people who are trying to build and get ahead and make an impact, so I’m grateful to be a part of that community.
Is that what also inspires you to push the boundaries with your work?
You know, I wouldn’t say there’s a particular inspiration. I would say it was more like relaxing into allowing myself to do that, releasing any fears of how my work might be perceived being weird or in bad taste or anything like that. There’s no such thing as bad taste! Either you agree or you disagree! But you’ve got to stay true to yourself, and I finally gave myself permission to do that.
Can you tell me a bit about how you got involved with this recent campaign with Polaroid Originals?
The Polaroid Originals creative team and myself and my manager have been talking for months and they really appreciated my work and I think it was just a matter of the stars aligning! They came up with this amazing treatment that was very specific to my work and the type of imagery I create. They really respected who I am as an artist and what I do and gave me the opportunity to really shine. It was an ideal partnership. I was able to put their product at the forefront while maintaining my credibility as an artist.
Have you worked with polaroids a lot in the past?
Yeah! I like to take little polaroids at the end of shoots. It’s a cool way of having another view on the scenes that I create. Much like my film photography I love that it’s a real document – it’s undoctored, unphotoshopped, like this is the real McCoy.
You just mentioned your film photography. Have you noticed an increasing popularity in people using film?
Definitely. It’s insane! I go to this little hole in the wall spot to get my film developed and I’ve been going there for years now and at the beginning it was dead there and now I go and the guy there is frantically running around and there’s hipsters bursting out of the place!
Back to the campaign, can you tell me a bit about the creative process?
Well the Polaroid Originals team came up with the concept to do characters with cameras throughout generations and to create dynamics between characters and style them in decade specific style. So with Baddie Winkle and her granddaughter Kennedy, Kennedy was born in the 90s and Baddie is in her 90s so we styled them both in 90s style.
What was the idea behind mixing generations?
Well Polaroid is timeless! Even if you shoot one at right this moment, it has this throwback quality and there’s so much joy and nostalgia of looking back on old polaroids of family members, you know? I love how it bridges the generations in a timeless way.
If you could live in any generation, what do you think it would be?
I’m good! I’m happy in 2018! I’m happy here but I will wear 60s and 70s clothes all day long, every day. I love that aesthetic but I’m very happy in the present.
You just mentioned some of the incredible people involved in the shoot, what was it like working with them?
Oh, it’s so fun! Baddie is a national treasure! She’s such a delight. Everyone we cast is such a character and on set there was this amazing positive energy. People were really happy to interact and put on a costume and play a little bit. It was like a childhood dress up game!
Is there anyone you’ve not shot yet who you desperately want to?
Oooooooh. That’s a good question. Harmony Korine is coming out with this new film called Beach Bum and the characters are all super trashy. One character is wearing like a Guy Fieri style flame shirt and the other guy is this Christian rock warrior. Oh my god, I would love to shoot Harmony Korine’s characters! Shooting them would blow my mind.
And what’s the kind of thoughts and feelings you want people to take away when they see the Still Got It project all together?
Fun! I definitely want people to feel inspired to create. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day, just expressing yourself and playing.
What else are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on my own art series. There’s one I’m working on right now called Possession which is about what it means to possess a body. It’s a bit more a cerebral project and there’s lots of nudity! Then I’m working on another art series that is top secret right now, but it’ll be shared on Instagram so go follow!
Finally, if you could give any advice to people hoping to follow in your footsteps – what would that advice be?
Be true to yourself, trust your instincts and your tastes, and go forward fearlessly.