Gaillard Mathieu is an Indonesian film photographer with a penchant for large format portraiture. Though he primarily shoots weddings, Gaillard admits he stumbled his way into this niche rather than seeking it out. Looking at his photos it’s easy to tell why he has found success in this field. His wedding photos are exactly as he describes them himself - “timeless, simple and full of honest emotions.”
Gaillard recently tested out the LomoGraflok 4x5 Instant Back for some portrait shoots, and the results did not disappoint. It proved to be the perfect addition to his large format setup and transformed his analogue process into something even more special. Check out his photos and read about his impressions of the LomoGraflok below.
Hi, Gaillard! It’s great to have you here at Lomography! Please tell us about yourself.
Hi! I'm a professional photographer and I love beer, cameras, and everything analogue!
When and how did you get into analogue photography?
When I was a kid, my late father loved to take pictures. He would bring his analogue camera on every family trip. Time passed and I started to lose interest due to too much work. One day I saw the Lomography Diana Mini, bought it and restarted the analogue journey. I was in love with analogue photography once again.
How long have you been shooting in large format? What do you like most about shooting with a large format camera?
About 15 years now. For me, the bigger the better, all those smooth details and buttery bokehlicious.
What can film capture that digital cannot?
I would say the experience. All the concentration to capture the precise moment. Each shot will cost money, and the subject will also put more effort into the shot once you set the mood and get the camera ready.
Why wedding photography? There’s an audience now for “honest” wedding photography. Did you influence this in Indonesia? And do clients choose to be photographed more honestly these days?
I could say that it chose me. It was a booming business at that time. Doing something that I love and making money while at it, I would say it’s a dream come true. I believe that a wedding should be timeless, simple and full of honest emotions. That’s certainly how I like to document it, even at times when it was against the trend. I'm glad if I have made such an influence. Indonesia is such a large market to influence, but I could say that this is a growing trend.
What’s the film photography community like in Indonesia?
I think there are only a few who are professionals, while most are hobbyists. It's getting hard for us to grow with only a few professional labs here to support us.
Tell us about your experience and first impressions using the LomoGraflok Instant Back?
It was natural and easy to use like other backs except for adding the focus spacer. I like it because now I can have instant prints, easy to find and cheap. I used it with Graflex Super D and Linhoff.
Would you integrate this new tool into your photographic workflow?
Absolutely. In fact, I already have. Since all other instant films were discontinued, we have no other options except for Instax. It is a must have for large format users.
What other film cameras do you use?
I use a lot of cameras ranging from 35 mm to large format depending on the job and assignment or the look that I want. For example, Leica for discreet, Canon EOS 1V for fast action, medium format and large format for higher quality and so on. I asked around about the lab that can develop the 110 film, apparently there is one lab here that can do it. I just can’t wait to try that!
Do you have any tips or tricks for anyone who is interested in large format photography and the LomoGraflok?
No need for tips or tricks since it is so easy to use, just go and have fun! It has a wow factor and serves as an ideal tool for work and chill with friends and family. Instant joy to share with people.
How did you get the tone of the monochrome photos? They appear more blue than usual!
I love it, I think it's a classic look. The blue tone came out because they are expired films from 2019 I guess. I got a great deal for them!
What is one thing you have been dying to explore further (anything from a place to a particular subject)?
I would like to try wet plate and direct positive prints in the future. My dream project would be using a polaroid 20x24 to take pictures of important people and moments in my life.
What’s coming up on the horizon for you? Any new projects in the works?
Coming up would be a studio and darkroom to support the community. Right now, I'm preparing a book and doing more photos and videos for commercials. I have a lot on my plate right now but there will always be room for trying new Lomo cameras.
Anything else you would like to add?
I just want to thank Lomography for keeping analogue alive. I’m also hoping for more new products to come, maybe instax back for 6x6 and 6x7 cameras.