New York-based artist and photographer Andrew Tess was in Miami last week documenting the Art Basel scene with his vintage, 1970s Polaroid SX70. Tess began using the camera four years ago after stumbling across it in one of the photo shops he frequents for his work. Although the film is still being made, the one-time-use flash bars that top the camera have long since gone out of production, which means Tess has to go to great lengths to find them, often recruiting store clerks to dig into the deepest depths of the mustiest back store rooms for the precious lights. Each flash bar should be good for 10 photos, but decades in storage tend to make them unreliable and sometimes he gets as few as three flashes per bar. Still, Tess likes the look the camera brings to his photos, so for him, it’s all worth it. Besaides, the rarity and fickleness of the equipment makes each photo that much more special. Tess has each of his subjects sign their photos and then posts some of the best ones on his Instagram page.
Check out some of his best celebrity snaps from Art Basel below and in case you’re wondering, yes, he is available for private events! (Just reach out to him via his Instagram or www.andrewtess.com.)