'Impossible' Project Interviews,  INTERVIEWS,  News

‘Impossible’ Interview with Penny Felts


We’re delighted to be working closer with The Impossible Project team as we continue to branch out and expand our reach with all things related to mobile photography. Analog post-processing of mobile images is becoming more and more popular and we’re going to make sure our readers are fully briefed on this very exciting development.

The Impossible Project is in many ways leading the way, but there is also a growing community of mobile artists and photographers experimenting with other analog post processing techniques in an attempt to make their mobile images stand out even more, in galleries, magazines and the like and we have viewed some outstanding images and techniques.

A good deal of my formal photographic training (many years ago) was spent in a huge college darkroom and it is an area that I’ve always enjoyed, I think you will too. I also had a very close working relationship with Polaroid built up through my years as Technical Editor for various UK photography print magazines/titles.

Today we are publishing the seventh of a series of ‘Impossible’ articles, this time with Penny Felts. Penny lives alone in Nannini, Nashville, Tennesee. She’s a non-professional photographer and she works as an MRI technologist.

This is an interview that was conducted by the team at Impossible and they have given us kind permission to republish it here. We think you will enjoy this very much…


Penny Felts



How long have you been shooting Polaroid/Impossible film?

I started seriously shooting Polaroid films about two years, just before they went out of business. I started shooting Impossible film as soon as the first pack was made.

What cameras do you use?

I use every type of Polaroid camera that I can get my hands on. I have a ridiculous collection. The classic SX-70s are my favorite. I love the feel of them, the lens, how they open, the way look, and most importantly, the magical photos that they make.


‘A few of my favorite things’ – Penny Felts


Where do you shoot most often?

These days, I shoot mostly at an abandoned lumber warehouse. The light there is amazing. I use mostly the newest IP color films, but every now and then, I use some Polaroid or Fuji pack films.


‘The art of silence’ – Penny Felts


How would you describe your work?

Dreamy is the style I strive for. I try to have a story or project to shoot. I’m not great at just going out with a camera without a plan.

Tell us a little about the four works you have chosen as your favorites?

Honestly, I love the IP films so much, that choosing only four favorites was very difficult. I just tried to choose a variety. The first one; ‘A Few of My Favorite Things’, was shot with some of the very first IP film made. I absolutely love the creaminess of it. ‘During the Storm’, has always been a favorite of mine because of the colors and light. ‘Bee Keeper’, is another one that I am love with because of the tones. And, finally, I chose ‘The Art of Silence’ because I wanted to show the newest PZ film. I scanned this before it was completely done developing because I love the blue stage that the film goes through. Every photo I shoot is like a page in a diary to me. There are fun little stories that I get to remember when I see them again.


‘During the storm’ – Penny Felts


Do you have any helpful creative techniques or advice you would like to share?

I really love layering lifts. It is challenging and fun to figure out what you can put together.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions/publications?

I created a little group last year called the 12:12 project, with the help of some of the most amazing girls I know. We are hoping to have a few shows around the world, and possible a book. It has taken most of my free time recently, so I have not made plans for anything personal.

Who are your favourite photographers?

Deborah Turbeville, and Imogene Cunningham are the first two that come to mind. There are so many though.


‘Bee Keeper’ – Penny Felts


What are you hoping for from Impossible during the next year?

The two things that instantly come to mind would be completely getting rid of the ‘divot’ from all future packs of film, and making the development time less. As far as new stuff, I’d love some new formulas that would mimic the look of some old favorites… softer, bluer possibly. And, I am hoping that the color 8×10 will be out soon.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com

One Comment

  • Maryjane Sarvis

    Wonderful work! Very exciting to see this combination of portraits and technique. I’m going to investigate ‘layering lifts’. Hope to see more too!