Editor’s Note: These photographs originally ran in our US National Parks Guide.
“They must have made millions of them,” says photographer Miles Steuding, referring to his favorite camera: the Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. “And so when I was a kid you’d find them at a yard sale and they were always fifty cents or a dollar.”
When Steuding was 12-years-old, his dad gave him an Instamatic camera and taught him how to develop the film in the family basement, where he’d built his own darkroom. After that, Steuding took a camera wherever he went, and searched for new cameras—like his beloved Kodak Brownie Hawkeye—at neighborhood yard sales. Years later, Steuding inherited a box of slides that his grandfather had taken on family vacations, using a Kodak Instamatic, and found the square aspect ratio and way his grandfather placed subjects in the center of the field compelling.
Steuding still shoots on a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, even though the film made for it no longer exists. Instead, he uses a similar-sized substitute and often shoots on expired film. Before it closed in 2017, Steuding had his film developed at Adolph Gasser Photography in San Francisco. The final step in his process involves scanning developed film into Adobe Lightroom where he experiments with the Clarity settings to “bring out the colors and kind of crazy, unique anomalies of film.”
Miles Steuding is a photographer who has been documenting daily life since third grade. He shoots exclusively film and uses inexpensive box cameras of the 1950s and 60s, like the Kodak Instamatic 126 camera.