Today we invite everyone to meet French photographer Alice Marie Brigitte. She made three series of bewitching images with our Potsdam Kino B&W 35 mm film, and we took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her passion for analogue and her relationship with black & white photography.
Hello Alice, could you introduce yourself to the Lomography Community?
My name is Alice Marie Brigitte (those are my three real names, haha). I'm passionate about photography! I spend a lot of time, money and love on it! I am also a junior researcher (specializing in theatre and politics) in co-direction at La Sorbonne University in Paris and Charles University in Prague, which allows me to always be between the two countries. These two parts of my life are very important and complement each other perfectly.
When did you get into film photography?
I started as a model. I posed and still pose for friends, but for a long time, I didn't want to practice photography myself. In 2018, my boyfriend gave me a Nikon FM2: the trigger! I started film photography at the same time as photography itself. I immediately loved it and joined in! There are many ways to create. There is both control and spontaneity, which reflects my personality in many ways. Since 2018, my practice has only grown; I'm still experimenting a lot, even though I know more and more what I like to do.
If you had to choose only five words to describe your artistic universe, what would they be?
Melancholic - Choreographic - Sensitive - Reflective - Multiple
You mainly do portraits, what does this practice brings you?
I like to work with the living and to work with the living to understand it. The people who pose put themselves in a particular state that I try to model more. Sometimes, for example, I make my models run or scream before I take their picture, or even while I am taking a photo.
I like to have a special connection with the models I take photos of. I find it hard to photograph complete strangers. The few times I've had the opportunity to do so, I was disappointed with the first shoot. By the second, the photos were already much better. I always try to have at least one real discussion with people before a shoot to understand how their world and mine can meet.
Can you tell us more about the series of photographs you have made with the Potsdam Kino film?
I made three series with this film in three very different atmospheres:
First, I made a series of portraits of my mother on the cliffs at Kriel in the natural light of a cloudy sky. I am originally from the Picardy coast. I have a strong emotional connection with the sea and the cliffs. It is a place that inspires me a lot, where I like to be alone. I regularly take a series of photos there, often self-portraits. These coastal landscapes are very recurrent in my portfolio; I hope it's not too redundant. In this series, in particular, I implicitly draw a parallel between the stirred up family links, stormy in the past but finally calmed down, and the landscape: the strength of its cliffs which resist time and bad weather, the flexibility of the lines of these rocky giants which are inscribed in the horizon as much as they draw it, and finally the fragility of these points of support which crumble at the mercy of the iodized wind.
The second series shows portraits of a childhood friend, who is like a sister to me. This time, I wanted to test the film in full sunlight, in a field of white wildflowers, in order to play with the bokeh and to lose the model among the flowers in order to create a bucolic and dreamlike universe.
Finally, for the last series, it was indoors, in artificial light in my bathroom. It's a project I had in mind for a long time: working with the texture and contours of a wet white sheet and sculpting the portraits around and inside this fabric, which becomes a second body envelope.
Can you tell us about your relationship with black and white photography?
I started photography mainly in color. For some time now, I have been abandoning it little by little, without giving it up, but my aesthetic has evolved and I now find myself more in black & white. Now, when I do color, I look for cold, almost dull tones.
I find that black & white brings out the emotions more. The colors can make the eye focus on certain details of the setting, the outfit, or even the face that are not central to my intention. For example, I ask my models to be as natural as possible, with little or no make-up. Colour can bring out the redness of the skin, the temporary "imperfections", which can be very interesting, but in my approach, I prefer to focus on the emotion expressed by the model, without diverting attention to these details that are unnecessarily talkative for my taste.
What camera, lens, filters or other accessories did you use to test the Potsdam Kino?
I used my favorite camera, the one I take absolutely everywhere: my Nikon FM2. For the lens, I mainly used my Zenitar 50mm macro, which gives a slightly swirly bokeh that I love.
What do you think of the Potsdam Kino film?
I used it in three very different lights to test its strengths/weaknesses. In general, I really like its soft rendering. It gives a nice texture to the shots. I particularly like the fact that its grain is present without being intrusive. I find it particularly interesting in strong natural light. About the photos taken in a field of flowers, it gave a dreamy, almost magical atmosphere.
Another Lomography film that you would like to try?
Even though I said above that I am moving more and more towards black & white, I would be quite curious to try the LomoChrome Metropolis for the cool high contrast tones it seems to offer! Also, I'm very intrigued by the Fantôme Kino 8 ISO, which I've never shot with such a low ISO!
Some future projects you would like to share with us?
I have several series in mind, including one about my nightmares which is in progress, and a project which is still a bit vague about a mixture of contemporary dance and photography. To be continued...