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Article: Romantic Dreamscape by Danielle Dahl for Eight Frames

Romantic Dreamscape by Danielle Dahl for Eight Frames

Gaze into Danielle Dahl's romantic dreamscape via Polaroid 600 film. In this world, an exhibition of lush red roses in full bloom are met with the tranquility of early summer, creating a splendid happenstance of luxury and beauty.

Who are you? 

Danielle Dahl   

How old are you? 


Where are you from? 

Milwaukee, WI

When did you take these photos? 

When my roses were blooming toward the end of June.

What kind of camera did you use for these eight photos?

I used my black & yellow Polaroid OneStep [a modified version of this camera] that I got from Retrospekt way back in the day.

What kind of film did you use?

I used Polaroid 600 film.

How long have you been shooting Polaroid film?

I've had a Polaroid camera for several years but have been shooting instant film regularly over the last 4 months or so.

What types of things do you find yourself photographing the most?

Lately I've been photographing a lot of the flowers growing around my yard. I like to play around making little arrangements and still lifes with them. I also photograph a lot of weddings and have been incorporating instant film into my wedding work. I love the dreamy quality of instant film and feel it lends itself really well to a lot of the subjects I'm drawn to (i.e. pretty, romantic things).

Do you have a favorite or most-frequently-used instant camera?

I have a black & yellow Polaroid One-Step that I love! I also recently started using a Fuji Instax Wide. I definitely prefer the tones of Polaroid film more but I like the wide format of the Fuji prints.

What is your favorite photo from this pack? Why?

My favorite photo is the 5th one - I love the purple tones that come through and love shadow of the rose. I also really like the 7th photo - I like the contrast of the dark roses against the white sheet.

Did you have a single concept or goal when you shot this pack?

When my pack of film arrived, the roses in my front yard were in full bloom and they were absolutely begging to have their photo taken. Around the same time, I was flipping through a book called "The Photographer in the Garden" and saw these Polaroids of roses that Walker Evans did. They're so beautiful. So I guess these were kind of inspired by those.

Is there a photo that you wish you could retake or swap out?

I would definitely swap the last one. I totally mis-judged the amount of light available and thought I could get away without using the flash. I don't actually know if it would've been a good photo, but it would at least be properly exposed. I would maybe retake the 6th one too, I got too close so the roses aren't in focus but it's been growing on me.

Did you run into anything weird with this pack?

I don't think there was anything weird with the pack (at least nothing I noticed) but I definitely ran into some weirdness in my brain, haha! Over the last few months I've been learning a lot about instant film and how to properly shoot with it. It seems simple but there's definitely ways to do it well. I've made a lot of mistakes and taken a lot of bad pictures so I was definitely a little nervous about not being able to omit any frames I didn't like.

Where is the best place to follow your work?

Instagram: @dahlhous

What is Eight Frames?

Each post in this series follows a simple premise: all eight photos from one pack of Polaroid film. The good, the bad, the ugly.

Because it limits the number of exposures and doesn’t allow for edits and omissions, no matter what conceptual approach (or lack thereof) is used, each Eight Frames exercise provides interesting insight into what it’s like to shoot on instant film. Permanence combines with an inescapable potential for variance within the medium itself. To truly succeed with instant film is to understand the process and embrace the variables. Each entry in the series features eight photos from a single film pack followed by a Q&A with the photographer about their process and approach. We hope you enjoy.