When photographer Caroll Taveras - who counts Wallpaper*, The Guardian and The New York Times among her clients - came across some pictures of her Colombian family, she had an urge to re-establish the small-town tradition of snapping locals on film in a studio environment, a practice popular in the first half of the 20th century and now almost non-existent.
Home in Brooklyn, she set up a local photography studio, where members of community could be photographed with an instant, large format camera and were then presented with a print to take home. Fascinated by the traditional relationship between a sitter and a photographer, Taveras launched her studio in January 2009 in seafront Brooklyn. The project was so popular that another Photo Studio was later set up in New York’s Chelsea.
Calling this her 'most exciting project to date', Taveras is determined to document various communities around the world. Now she has brought Photo Studio to London for the first time, opening the doors of the old Hackney dentistry on Chatsworth Road to anyone who would like to be captured in her pop-up studio. For £5, you can pick up a 4”x 5” Polaroid print, with an option of ordering 8 x 10 enlarged colour prints.
Taveras' photographs allow her to keep a personal social record of her time. She has captured everyone in the past – men, women and children, in various outfits and poses. She also keeps all rejected polaroids and shoots all her subjects on film, continuously expanding her bulging archives. After London, Taveras' dream destination is South America, the continent that inspired the project.