Back in 2020, I saw something about @swerdnaekalb‘s zine on his Instagram. I had a brief Insta-chat with him and thought I arranged to purchase a signed copy from him, but I’m pretty sure he thought I dropped it. Oh well. During his interview with Simon Kossoff, Andrews mentioned his zine again, and I jumped right on it without the slightest hesitation.
I’ve been a Blake Andrews fan for years, and his work prints were some of the first photob0ok-adjacent things I bought. I bought them so long ago that there’s no unboxing evidence of them. If I can ever stop buying books, I’ll do some flip throughs of them, and don’t hold your breath. (At time of writing, I have at least two unboxings per week scheduled through March 2023. smh.) Anyway.
Need Clean Fill is a selection of some of Andrews’ Instax wide shots from his gung-ho period with the medium (2012-2014 or so). His Instax shots convinced me to buy the Instax Wide 300 with some Bravo! points from my job (now broken), and brief time with it had me adding the Mint RF70 to a wishlist that Mom occasionally cleans out. Anyway.
Instax, as a medium, and the Fuji cameras, as, well, cameras, have some particular characteristics that Andrews knows well and… ooo! I got in at the right time, I guess: Need Clean Fill now shows as ‘sold out’ over at Bump Books. I’m glad I got in when I did, and sorta surprised that copies remained available as long as they did.
If you’re not regularly checking Andrews’ website, well, he doesn’t post too often so I don’t blame you (though I have it in a small group of websites that open every time I launch the browser*). He’s much more regular on Instagram, where he shares his own pictures—darkroom prints, his iPhone panoramic experiments that sorta broke InPublic, and the like—and little thumbnail reviews of photobooks. He also reviews books at PhotoEye and Collector Daily. He’s been a strong influence on my photobook hobby, these reviews, and this blog in general, and I highly recommend you give him a follow.