Polaroid.com - Capturing Americana with Jason Lee

We recently spoke with actor, photographer, and skateboarder Jason Lee about his passion for instant photography and its manifestation in his recently released book with Refueled Magazine.  The 188-page book is part of Refueled Magazine’s One Series, and features nearly 200 images taken on Polaroid peel-apart film over the last 10 years. The limited-edition first volume sold out in pre-sale, but don’t worry, Lee is hard at work on future instant film publications. Read some highlights from conversation with Jason below. 

1. What sparked your interest in photography?

Back in the early 90s, in my skateboarding days, I played with Super 8 movie cameras because we decided to incorporate that film into our skate videos. So I used film a little back then, and some Polaroid cameras, too, but I didn’t really get into dedicated film photography until 2001 while on a movie set in Canada. For whatever reason, one day I started looking around the set, paying extra attention to the camera and the lights and started picking the brains of the camera guys. After that, I got really interested in photography and started buying film cameras. It just kind of stuck from there and now it’s been 15 years of me shooting film and not stopping. 

2. What are some of your first experiences with Polaroid and instant photography? 

Polaroid has been a part of the way I shoot, how I like to shoot and what I like to shoot for over 10 years now. The first camera I bought was a Mamiya RZ 67 and I had a Polaroid pack for it. Those were the days before digital when you used Polaroid film to determine what a shot would look like, and then you would shoot conventional film through the camera. I started really liking the Polaroid 664, the 100 speed black and white film. I was mesmerized by it. It was just so smooth and had a charcoal-like quality to it. It was unbelievable. So first I got hooked on that film, and then I found out that Polaroid made 8x10 film and couldn’t believe it. So I started shooting 8x10 Polaroid film, and a lot of those early 8x10 Polaroids I took out on the road traveling with my big cameras ended up in the book we just sold. I still probably have about 25 boxes of 8x10 Polaroid film and plan on continuing to use it to publish more of my large format peel-apart film photos. 

3. What’s your favorite Polaroid camera/film?

Polaroid 804. And I shoot a lot of expired Polaroid 690 film, too, the pack film, and it’s got a very cool look to it. I use a Polaroid Land Camera 250 for the smaller films. .....

Continued on Polaroid.com