27 Frames

Meg Haywood Sullivan

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 Meg Haywood Sullivan.

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

Outdoor photographer, snowboarder, tiny home dweller, environmentalist. Living on the road has been a significant aspect of my life since I was an artsy misfit growing up on the shores of Massachusetts. From New England, I moved to Brooklyn to study at Pratt Institute and then made my way to Montana to pursue environmental studies at MSU and a career shooting snowboarding. A few years later, I migrated south and my cherry red ’97 F150 broke down in San Francisco. I moved to a tight-knit surf community outside the city and have since dedicated my life to exploring mankind’s relationship with the natural world through photography.

How did you first get into photography?

Both of my parents are freelance creatives, and as a result I spent much of my childhood exploring the American southwest and road tripping the country in our ’87 Westfalia in search of inspiration for my mother’s paintings and my father’s photographs. At age 8, I picked up my first 35mm camera, a hand-me-down SLR from my Dad, and on these early journeys I began to develop my artistic eye and thirst for adventure. Photography was something that really became second nature, just part of an average day spent together with my family. Looking back, I can see that it was early in high school that photography really evolved from a habit to a conscious passion.

Film or digital?

Both are tools for different purposes. I definitely shoot more digital imagery for work, but shooting with my Mamiya RB67 is like yoga to me. Shooting film from 35mm to medium format gives me time to slow down and time to train my eye, and I treasure each frame like gold.

When was the last time you used a single use (disposable) camera?

Last winter I traveled around Hawaii shooting a documentary project on stewardship and small scale agriculture on the islands. During my time off, some of my cameras in rotation were disposable cameras. I got them developed each night at Long’s Drugs, an island staple with 24hr developing. The next morning I’d pick up my grainy, raw fun and do it all over again. I have a month’s worth of these disposable experiments, it was a blast.

What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?

The more I travel the more I realize having a sense of place is essential to the fabric of who we are. After many years on the road and living in cities from Boston, Spain, Montana, and Washington, I wanted to craft a visual representation of what it is to feel at home and be shaped by a place – a respite from the noise of our busy lives.

Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?

I found and cleaned a deer head from a coyote kill down the road. It’s now hanging above my bed.

What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?

It was a fun experiment playing with light leaks and double exposures with a camera not designed for manual adjustments. To get the double exposures, I physically hit the bottom of the camera to trigger the shutter. It’s a delicate balance of how hard to hit; too light and the shutter isn’t triggered, too hard and the camera can break. But this one all turned out alright in the end and it was a breath of fresh air to give up control and unplug for a bit.

What was your favorite image from the roll?

I’m really drawn to the image of my boyfriend & partner-in-crime napping in a bramble of pickleweed. Ready for any adventure or critter to come his way in a yellow rain slicker and camo base layers, this photo really captures the quiet subtleties of the man I love and our shared passion for the simple things in life.

For more of Meg’s work, check out her site here:

MEG HAYWOOD SULLIVAN

 

Special thanks to Dexter’s Camera in Ventura for developing all of the film for the 27 Frames project. If you are a photographer who loves film and have never visited their shop, go there now, they’re the best.

Matt Titone

A goofy-footed graphic designer who hails from the first state, Delaware. After attending Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL then graduating from SCAD in Savannah, GA with a BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration, Matt moved to NYC and found work as a freelance designer and art director. In 2006 he moved west to Venice, CA where he co-founded ITAL/C Studio, constantly seeks left hand point breaks, and tries very hard to avoid crowds & traffic.

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