DOCUMENT the Fresh / Interviews: Phil V

pic1Who or what first got you interested in photography?
I’ve always been into creating visuals.  I’ve been teaching myself photoshop since 12 years old.  At about 20 years old, my close friend purchased a digital camera.  I borrowed his camera whenever I wanted to shoot something but soon after, his mother felt I was borrowing it too much so I barley asked for it, which was a blessing in disguise.  That’s when I had to purchase my own camera, it was a Polaroid.

Early on what were some of the first things that you began to document?
I’m a people person.  Generally, healthy and organic interactions make it easier to coexist amongst others.  My subjects are made up of creative individuals, all of whom are chasing a dream to create a better reality for themselves.  Via photography, I’m simply assisting them on their journey but subconsciously building a body of work of my own.  For the entire read click

pic2What is it about photography that you most enjoy?
The organic interaction between the subject and myself, specifically with Polaroid Photos.  Photography is defined as the study of light, but to me its the study of people.

Talk about the first event and or concert that you shot.  How’d it go?
I’d always been to concerts as a spectator, but when I got a camera I started trying to get backstage to meet & photograph the artist.  I didn’t belong to any publications or anything so I knew I had to sneak to get backstage, which is exactly what I did at the Long Live ASAP show at Roseland Ballroom, Sept 2012.  I gave the security guard 20$ for 3 of us to get backstage.  It was the first time I met a few promising artists, with whom I have a cool relationship with till this day.

Depending on the concert, shooting at them and at live events can be a harrowing experience.  Any tricks of the trade on getting the “right” shot?
I only shoot portraits.  If I cant get the artist to look directly at my camera for a few seconds, I don’t want the shot.  Once I do get the artists attention, I only have ONE chance to get the $$$ shot, since I’m using a Polaroid Camera.  Everything you see was done in ONE try, ONE opportunity, ONE Shot, ONE Polaroid. 5

When shooting a show are there specific angles or even signature shots that you like to get?
Straight up Portraits, with room for them to get creative, anywhere on the Polaroid.  Its a different interaction every time, which is the best part.  I just focus on getting that ONE great Portrait and the rest is history.

Shooting musicians and or groups at an event can be an experience (both good and bad).  Any stories that you care to share?
The musicians are always cool, there’s a story behind every single Polaroid.  Way too many to choose from right now but I’ll have tons of stories in my upcoming book.  Just keep in mind that I don’t use a digital camera.

Who have been some of your favorite artists and or groups that you’ve shot?
ASAP MOB, Bodega Bamz, Flatbush Zombies, Underachievers, ProEra, Da$h & Retch, J.Cole. (The Resurgence of Rap)

What kind of gear are you using these days?
Polaroid SX-70.

Film vs digital?
Film.  Tangible goods call for organic interactions. 4

I really dig your Polaroid portraits and its dope that you’re getting the subject to sign them as well, which furthers that story. Talk about it that and why it’s your favorite medium?
Its organic.  There’s no other medium that allows you to interact in such an instantaneous way.

Why do you think photography has experienced such a resurgence?
It hasn’t experienced a “re”surgence, but a definite surge due to the advancement of technology.  Everyone literally has a camera in their back pocket.  Photography has always been cool and always will be, but people are becoming “Photographers” at a faster rate and people are becoming used to seeing great photos.
What do you have coming up and or what are you currently working on?
I’m constantly working on my official website, ByPhilV.Com.  I’m working on incorporating all of my skills to take my Polaroid Project worldwide.  There are too many people to meet and too many stories to be written.  All of my work so far has taken place in NYC and its time to explore beyond my horizons.  I’m currently working on a hard cover book which will have detailed stories of some of my Polaroid interactions.  I’m also working on more apparel surrounding my photography, to further incorporate my love for fashion, design and photography.  I’m always interested in discovering new talents and expanding on what I already have, so there’s no telling who I may work with next.  I’m also currently working on delivering an enlarged print to every artist I’ve shot so far.  Mostly everything I do is out of my own pocket, with continuous support from The Impossible Project, so I have to be somewhat patient while remaining focused.  My mind is constantly working, so there’s TONS that I want to get done.  In time, everything I set out to accomplish will be accomplished.


For more info on Phil V click here.

For more info about the upcoming DOCUMENT the Fresh / NYC exhibition click here.


About gmoney77

My name is Gerald Watson and I do lifestyle marketing for various companies/agencies. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the people I work with, the work I do as well as the shit I see on the regular.

Posted on July 20, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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