The tale of an Afghan Box Camera in North Wales.
What is it?
The Afghan Box Camera is a street box camera. A camera with a darkroom inside. At the time, the Afghan Box Camera was revolutionary; its original Dari name is Kamra-e-faoree; meaning instant camera. Then the Polaroid came along and kicked its ass.
The street box camera was becoming a dying art in the digital world, luckily, a couple of guys called Sean Foley and Lukas Birk breathed new life into this amazing camera and its history- It is called the Afghan Box Camera Project.
My Afghan Box Camera has seen a lot of action since it was created in 2019. I've photographed the Lord and Lady of Haddon Hall, an owl called Elvis rested on it. I've photographed award winning dogs, vintage themed weddings and I've even managed a selfie.
As of 2023, I have the only operational Afghan Box Camera in Wales, the second in the UK. Leicester Lo-Fi have an epic one - This is where I unequivocally declared "I NEED ONE." Thus, AfghanCameraLady was created. See the journey on Instagram here: www.instagram.com/afghancameralady
If you're into podcasts, I guest appeared on one! The Large Format Photography Podcast. Click it, listen to it, hear my dog try and jump on my lap - This podcast has everything.
Speaking of which, a fair number of animals have magnetised their way to the Afghan Box Camera - A personal preference of mine is any and all dogs.
Haha, what camera?
There's a place here called Plas Newydd in Llangollen. It's a wonderful slice of heaven, and I've been invited to take vintage portraits there at Christmas time. I mean just look at the backdrop! Behind the incredible house is Castell Dinas Bran. You gotta see it to believe it.
Shall we take a look at the finer details of the Afghan Box Camera? A lot of people wonder what's inside. To keep the magic and mystery alive I tell them elves and fairies are in the box making their photograph. In reality, it's two tubs of chemicals, paper and ground glass. Plus some elves.
Even the tripod is a thing of beauty.
This is Alex and his electric bike. He rode so fast to the studio, he ended up beating me. And I drove.
A wonderful Christmas event at Pontcysyllte chapel tea rooms! Had to get Santa in before he dashed away on his reindeer. Awesome cafe by the way, super dog friendly, right next to the world heritage site - Pontcysyllte aqueduct. An all round winner.
An amazing background to work from at Wrexham Enterprise Hub. This was set up by AC Creative who organises WrexCreatives. A bunch of us creative eejits get together and we get to know each other's work - That week was my turn to show off the Afghan Box Camera.
I did demonstrations, showed everyone how it worked and wrapped up by getting some great portraits. Bless them for being blinded by the light, but it was so worth it.
I have done some crazy amazing events though, especially with victorian themes running throughout. It's so cool to have this incredible camera and to keep the legacy of the Afghan Box Camera Project alive too!
The Afghan Box Camera does have a home. When it's not travelling, its permanent residence is at my photography studio at The Plassey. When the sun is out, the camera is out and I will give live demos, take portraits and let people look inside the camera to see how it all operates. It's honestly a piece of magic and I'm very happy to be bringing a slice of it to you.
There's always an event on somewhere, especially in North Wales, and where there's an event, there's the Afghan Camera Lady. Follow me on Instagram here: www.instagram.com/afghancameralady and if you want this epic camera at your event or wedding, give me a shout!