Missy Prince

Where are you from/based now?

I grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi but have lived in Portland, Oregon for many years.

What is your background in Photography? What got you started?

I've been interested in photography since I was a kid, but I didn't always have a camera around or have a serious drive to pursue its possibilities. A photographer friend and an Olympus XA got me more interested a few years ago. The XA's portability got me shooting all the time, and I got enough good photos that I became hooked on the possibility of making more.

What equipment do you use?

I currently use an Olympus XA and a Mamiya 7.

What are your feelings on Film Vs Digital?

I prefer film. I have a couple of digital cameras but I rarely take any photos with them that I like, though I don't think it's necessarily the fault of the medium. The greatness of an image depends more on its spirit and execution than the type of camera that is used. But for me it's partly about the mystery of what the photo is going to look like much later, the life of the image in your own imagination. During the time between taking a photo and seeing it you carry around a mental image of how it might turn out. When you finally see the photo that mental picture - and all of your feelings about it - changes. I like that transformation, that plasticity of seeing. I also like the challenge of getting a good photo without instant feedback, the suspense of possible failure or success. Making prints in the darkroom is another plus. I don't have anything against anyone's preference for digital, but it does sadden me that it's squeezing out film. Technology changes, it's just a fact of life. Portrait painters got supplanted by portrait photographers, and film will eventually get snuffed by digital. I'm just glad to still have the option.

Do you have a creative process? Are your shots planned or spontaneous?

I'm not much of a planner. I might have a vague idea or feeling for the types of things I hope to find, but I like to be surprised. What I stumble across by chance is usually more interesting and exciting than anything I could think of on my own. It's all about discovery of both subject matter and ways of seeing.

Who or what inspires you?

Overcast Northwest days, the novel Sometimes a Great Notion, road trips, the desert, new places.

Is there a particular photographer, site, set of images or a photo book that you keep coming back to for inspiration?

It changes a lot, but Eggleston is a big constant. Allie Mount's landscapes always inspire me. Bryan Schutmaat, Tim Richmond, Wim Wenders.

Are you working on a project at the moment?

Kind of, but I might jinx my ability to sustain interest in it if I talk about it. It's nothing big, just a little fixation on a place.


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