Photographer and friend of OAK Mark Christopher is releasing the second issue of FOURFIFTY, a zine dedicated to his Polaroid portraits, this Friday, April 10th at Dragula in San Francisco. In anticipation of the event, we caught up with Mark to discuss his appreciation of the Polaroid medium, his subjects, and more. If you’re in the SF area, make sure to stop by on Friday and pick up a copy of FOURFIFTY as well as some exclusive OAK give-aways while supplies lasts.


OAK: What can you tell us about Issue 2 of FOURFIFTY?

MARK CHRISTOPHER: Issue Two of FOURFIFTY is me presenting to you my idea of beauty, my idea of art, my idea of what I see as beauty and art in other people. All of the individuals in the magazine use themselves as a palette to create these looks that exist for one night… and I’ve recorded it with my Polaroid camera.

OAK: What drew you to the Polaroid medium? What about Polaroid do you prefer over digital or other mediums?

MC: I became obsessed with the idea of creating an archive, using Andy Warhol and Nelson Sullivan as an inspiration, of the amazing performers and people in San Francisco that catch my eye. I don’t drink or do drugs, I stay out until way past last call and I capture these people. It’s almost like collecting each one of them. The best part is when I peel the photograph and see this fantastic image as the two halves are coming apart. I love the idea that these Polaroids are actually created right there when the photo is taken. It’s a physical record of the moment I had with this person.

OAK: What are the limitations?
MC: Any limitation I’ve had I’ve learned how to overcome. I’ve taken photos in near darkness using only my phone to generate enough light to focus the camera. And these cameras are pretty much 100% manual!

OAK: What is the ideal setting for taking a Polaroid picture?
MC: An ideal setting is a blank wall and a decent amount of light to focus by…. plus PLENTY of interesting people to photograph!


OAK: If your zine had a soundtrack, who would be on it?
MC: LOTS of Siouxsie & the Banshees. Throw in some Lana Del Rey, Madonna, RuPaul and some 90s house music too.

OAK: What are your favorite things about Spring in SF?
MC: Spring time in SF means the weather gets nicer and when it does, people go OUT. And that means more subjects for me to photograph!

OAK: What can you tell us about Dragula and the release party for Issue 2?
MC: This month’s Dragula theme is a John Waters Ball aka “Hairspray from Hell”. It’s Friday, April 10th and expect plenty of drag, filth, leather, glamour, bouffants and blood! Releasing FOURFIFTY at this month’s Dragula is a perfect fit because a number of the photos in Issue Two were taken there and it’s always an opportunity to get more!

OAK: What’s your favorite scary movie?
MC: Death Becomes Her….. a movie about aging. That’s scary, right?

OAK: If you could photograph anyone in the world who would it be?

Dragula is held the second Friday of every month at OASIS 298 11th St, San Francisco.
FOURFIFTY will be available for purchase online starting Saturday, April 11th here.