Here in Italy some people say «there’s good wine in small barrels», in order to say «good things come in small packages». This was certainly not true when I bought my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II from Osaka: actually it was a pretty big package and the camera was more than simply “good”. For the amazing studio “Siste Skanse”, in Tromsø (Norway), that sentence sounds pretty true.
Built in a 100-years-old abandoned tobacco and newspaper kiosk, after 20 years after its closing, Kristian O. Gundersen brought it to live again, showing us how determination can create the most original and difficult projects even in 2014, in the golden era for digital photography. The challenge was even more hard, due to the fact that «Instant photography is more dead than analog photography», due to the devotees of digital photography. In fact, the name of this tiny studio means “The Last Stand”; the founder of this tiny piece of analog passion, explained the choice of the name saying «I’m holding a defensive position with instant analogue photography in the face of the overwhelming digital era».
The former-kiosk’s father, Kristian, started working on the studio project 20 years after the tobacco and newspaper kiosk closed and stoop empty. Nowadays it can host maximum 5 sitters due to the presence of Polaroid cameras and film, but the record of sitters so far is 10! The founder is an amateur 30-years-old photographer, who never formally studied photography in his whole life; his love for analog photography started trying a 35mm pinhole camera, he than evolved to medium format and instant photography.
This space is still the self-claimed world’s smallest instant portrait studio, but I guess there’s no other studio small like this: just 35 x 43 inches of floor space.