The coastline of Cornwall has long been a source of inspiration for many artists and creatives over the years. Long have place like St. Ives, Falmouth and St. Agnes been hubs for those with an eye for the obscure. It is in the last of these that we find family man, Matt Smith pursuing a long love of the Polariod. With the likes of Instagram's digital take on this iconic instant photography method, Matt return's to the original proving that no digital filter is quite like the real thing.

Who?

I'm Matt Smith, I'm from Cornwall and live on the North Coast with my wife and two children.

What?

Polaroid and instant photos - Surfers and the things that surround surfing, landscapes and a few portraits. Life at the beach. My Family.

One off unique images that you're holding in your hand 90 seconds after the satisfying clack of the shutter.

Expired film and big, heavy, unwieldy old manual cameras. 60 year old equipment which is still working better than much of today's.

Camera repairing and modifying, constantly ebay and charity shop hunting.

Trying to make every shot count. A big day of shooting for me is 15 photos. No burst setting here.

When?

As often as possible! I've been shooting polaroids since 2006.

I mainly shoot before and after going surfing myself. Like all photographers there is pretty much always a camera nearby, mine are just all polaroids.

I'll shoot whenever I get the chance, often as part of hanging out with the family, out walking, or the times I get a few hours to myself.

Where?

Pretty much all my work happens on Cornish beaches, and around Cornwall.

Whenever I do go away I'll have a heavy bag full of polaroids with me, which often leads to interesting discussions at customs.

My next trip will be dragging a few kilograms of camera and film to the Maldives this May.

Why?

I mainly shoot surfing because I've surfed for most of my life and that's what I'm doing with most free time I have. As time goes past I appreciate more and more the whole process from getting to the beach, checking the waves and hopefully getting a few fun ones, then the post surf car park banter, and I just started to capture that.

For me the challenge of working with this old kit and film is really rewarding. I enjoy the technical side of photography as much as the images, which I personally think are beautiful and unique.

Learning the intricacies of each type of film, when the light is right to shoot polaroids and when it's not, and how to get the best from something that could be 15 years expired, all combine to make these images more exciting for me.

I enjoy the fact that these old cameras are still being used and aren't just in landfill somewhere.

And I think it's pretty hard not to feel inspired seeing a polaroid come alive in front of your eyes. I know it's certainly not lost it's appeal for me after all this time.

I know I could certainly make taking photos easier for myself, but I feel it doesn't have the magic that way for me.


For more of Matt's work visit: http://www.instantsurf.co.uk

photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith
photo by Matt Smith