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Polaroid In-Depth: Allison Harvard

By Allison Harvard Feb 28, 2018

Model and photographer, Allison Harvard, has an incredible amount of experience on either side of a camera. She brought her new Polaroid OneStep 2 analog instant camera to New Orleans to capture the stunning unique creative energy at Mardi Gras. We sat down to ask her a few questions about her life and work.

Tell us a little bit about what you do, as a photographer and as a model.

AH: People are fascinating and you can be whoever you want to be in a photograph. Pictures allow you the space to experiment with parts of yourself that you might not be ready to share. Modeling has made me a lot more comfortable in front of and behind a camera. I see from both perspectives now. I also feel a connection to the people I photograph; I can understand how they’d like to be seen and photographed.

What are you currently working on?

AH: I am currently building really fun props for a photo shoot and working on my hand painted denim jacket line. I have tons of shoots and personal projects coming up. I travel a lot for work and I’m very excited to take my camera with me. I am a big fan of personal scrapbooking and documentation. 

What was your inspiration for shooting these images in New Orleans?

AH: New Orleans is so spooky and beautiful. There’s really nothing like it. I went to Mardi Gras all of the time as a kid and it made me so excited to grow up. Costumes! Parades! Parties! Floats! The amount of creativity is breathtaking. I love that people get to be whoever they want to be and it’s celebrated. That’s what I wanted to capture.

How do you use your Polaroid camera?

AH: I try to bring my camera with me everywhere. It’s like a second purse that actually does something cool. 

What does it add to your shoots?

AH: Polaroid film is timeless. Even when I am working on set there’s a 10/10 chance that I’ve brought my Polaroid camera just to take BTS (behind-the-scenes) pictures so that I can remember the moment the way I saw it. There’s just something really precious about the way the pictures develop and age.

When did you start using a Polaroid camera?

AH: I got my first Polaroid camera 12 years ago and anytime I had extra money, I spent it on film. I wish I could remember what kind it was!

How has instant photography affected you as an artist and model?

AH: I LOVE that it’s instant. I love watching the film develop and come alive. It’s just so cool. I’ll never get over it. There are 2 things (way more than 2) in this world that are truly magical to me: #1 Polaroid Film: It’s amazing that we can actually capture our precious moments and keep them as a tangible thing forever. #2 Airplanes — WTF.

What are your first impressions of the Polaroid OneStep 2?

AH: I love how cute and light the camera is. It’s super easy to operate and the pictures came out beautifully.  

What is an instant moment recently that has left an impact on you? 

AH: I love how excited people would get when they noticed that I had taken their picture with a Polaroid camera. I was shocked that so many people had never seen this one before. It made the whole process really personal and special and I was happy to share.

To see more of Allison Harvard, check out her Instagram @alliharvard.