John Gettings

The moment as a 9-year-old boy when John Gettings discovered his father’s stash of Playboy magazines in a locked chest in their attic, is the moment that shaped him as a photographer and was also the inspiration for his Polaroid series. From that moment in the 60’s, not only did his love for women (obviously) form, but his love for the look, feel and nostalgia of a vintage picture also did. At the start of his photography career, Gettings always strove for the lighting that a photo in the 60’s and 70’s possessed. Aside from the instant gratification that it provided, he also loved working with Polaroid pictures because of the feeling of his youth that they gave him. Interestingly, his Polaroid project actually happened as an accident. He was light testing a shoot with a single model. He clicked photo after photo, using different filters and gels, trying to achieve that vintage feel he always strove for. As a result, he ended up with 50+ photos of one single model, in essentially the same pose in each photo, with a range of colors and lighting. As he shuffled through the stacks of photos, he organized them in a grid-like pattern, perfectly lined up in rows, working off of each other.  

Combined with a shadowbox-like frame, reminiscent of the ones that displayed the lunch menu and Spring Fling flyers at his elementary school, John Gettings Polaroid series was born.

Read Gettings’ narrative of the birth of the serendipitious Polaroids project here.


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