Artist Spotlight: Baptiste Trumeau

We are back on the blog with another Artist Spotlight. If you are new to the blog, this is a  feature, where we spotlight photographers and artist that are inspiring others with there instant film work. We try to provide our readers with a new spotlight each week, but we apologize that we have missed a few. Believe us, we have interviews out, but it’s a busy time of year for a lot of people and getting them back can take time. If you would like to be featured or know of someone you would like to see on the blog, drop us a line. We love putting people in the spotlight!

Paulina & I - Polaroid SLR680 - Impossible BW 600 Black Frame

This week, the spotlight is on French photographer, Baptiste Trumeau. Baptiste has been using the #snapitseeit hashtag on social media and we loved what we were seeing. His work had such a great color pallet to it, we wanted to know a little more about the person behind the camera.  Please take a moment and check out his feeds on social media and show him some love.

Website| Twitter | Instagram

• A little about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.

 

Howdy folks! My name’s Baptiste, I’m 22 and I’m from Bordeaux, France. I stopped school last year. I work at Disneyland Paris for every holidays, you can come by and say hello! It’s great to be there, waiting for something else. I like music & sound. I play the electric bass guitar, and would love the play the piano. I love cats, vinyl records, Pokémon, my car, and I’ve always been fascinated by photography… and Polaroid cameras of course. It’s not my passion though, I just press the shutter like everyone else can do!

How did you get into instant photography?

 

So we’re back to 2012. I remembered that my dad had a Polaroid 636 Talking Camera (barely used with only 1 or 2 film packs). I looked for the camera but couldn’t find it. So I opened Amazon, and typed “Polaroid”. I wasn’t aware that Polaroid stopped all of its instant films and cameras. I saw the “Polaroid PIC300” and ordered one with 2 packs to start. I didn’t know what I was dealing with. I received it and took my first photo. That was kind of bad. Then I had some “good” shots. By good, I mean something in focus and correctly exposed. But the size of the photos was very small compared to what I remembered. During summer 2013, I talked with a girl on Instagram and she told me everything about Polaroid, and that Impossible arrived some time ago, saving the last factory… And of course, that the camera I ordered wasn’t a real Polaroid. So I looked again for my dad’s camera and could finally find it! At that time, Impossible made a clearance sale with its PX600 Cool Silver Shade film. That’s how I bought their film for the first time, and really dug into instant photography! Crazy.

What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?

Lately, I bought a Polaroid 1000 and a Polaroid 635 LM Program for very cheap. Impossible released its new film family so I bought my first Color 600 film from them and tried it with the 635 LightMixer camera, because I thought that the rainbow stripe on these cameras would give better colors on the film! Silly me. But my really love arrived later; and that’s the Polaroid SLR680! (at the time I’m writing this, I got three…) Everything is totally amazing with that camera. “Of course that’s an SLR!” Its folding ability, its sonar, its powerful electronic fill’in flash. The noises that it makes, the smell on the leather… it makes me litteraly in love! That’s the best camera I’ve had so far.
 

What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?

 

I didn’t shot with the Polaroid SX-70 folding camera but I would love to try it (and have it of course!). I’ve once been meeting Ian Fleming (@ian_bath on twitter) and we took the same photo at the same time with both Impossible Color films: I got the 600 film and he had the SX-70 film. The results were clearly different! On another point, the Fujifilm Instax 500AF seems very interesting too, because that’s the only Instax Wide camera with which you can disable the flash… I couldn’t take a long exposure with my Instax 210, and sometimes, that’s a really bad point. Even the Instax 300, that has a tripod hole, can’t have its flash totally disabled. I don’t get why.

What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?

That’s a very hard question, haha! Impossible made a lot of great films in fact. But my favorite would be Impossible’s Color 600 Color Frames one. The first packs of that type I shot had powerful and saturated tones! That’s the first time I used an instant film for something “artistic”. My second favorite would be the Gold Frame edition! Unfortunately, they’ll stop that one. I would love that Fujifilm would make new films for Wide cameras… I mean, come on! there’s only one type available!
 

How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?

I wouldn’t say that I have any workflow. But I mostly incorporated instant film in my life. It changes my way of seeing things, my way of communication with people. It helps to rediscover a lot of things too! It makes life amusing and happier! A lot of my memories and loves will remain on photographs using instant film. 🙂
 

How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)

With instant photography, I’m not afraid of being on the photo like I’m with digital photography. And so are other people! My friends, or even strangers, people I just met, get excited to be on the photo or even to help to take the photo. When it’s about digital photography, we quite often hear people say “Please don’t upload it on the Internet”. But with instant photography, when I can’t deliver the photo, because of the cost and the fact that I can’t shoot twice, or because that’s a group photo, people always ask “Please scan the photo for us and put it on the Internet !” and they love the photo. Like it’s been said before, instant photography is something very, very social. People gets interested with your photos. They don’t just say or think “yes, that’s a good photo”, they always say more, or you can feel there’s something on their minds. That’s how I see instant photography, and what I like with it. Over the other fact that yes, you get a real print to watch, touch and shoare with your family, friends… basically everybody. It’s not just a picture you barely show on your phone or laptop screen.
 

Any personal projects we should know about?

I don’t have any personal projects at the moment but I’ll be present in Nantes for Expolaroid, a big event that happens in France and other places in the world each April month of every year. Instant photographers meet and show their work to others, and people come by to see that the Polaroid is still alive! Nantes is the capital city of the Polaroid in France. I’m very excited to be there! For the future, I hope that people will make more attention with what they photograph, and of course, that they’ll try to turn into instant photography.
 

(8) What other photographers do you look up too?

I really like Ian Fleming’s photos, you can find his flickr gallery here: www.flickr.com/photos/bathuk. There’s also Lou Noble, featured in “Time Zero, the last year of Polaroid film” movie. He takes a lot of women in photos, and have a giant wall of Polaroids with them. He has a unique style, I even like his digital shots! He inspired me a bit, watch his blog is at www.louobedlam.com. And a third and last one for here; a man called Grant Hamilton, who’s the realisator of the movie previously quoted. That’s quite a great artist! You should look at www.flickr.com/photos/granthamilton.
 

What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?

There’s much to say! First of all, welcome to the magical world of instant photography, you’ll never be alone. 🙂 If you choose Instax, I’ll advise you to choose a wide camera, that’s easier to apprehend. Nearly everything is automatic and there’s not much you have to worry about. Colors are truer, it’s great for landscapes and when fidelity is important. If you choose Polaroid and integral film, now made by Impossible, you should try their black & white film first, and don’t forget to equip your camera with Impossible’s Frog Tongue, as the film needs to be shielded from the light when it ejects, for now. B&W develops fast. Leave the exposure dial in the middle for your first exposition. The best temperature for shooting is 20°C – 68°F. If it’s under 10°C – 50°F, leave your photo 10 seconds under the frog tongue. Then, the best is to have an inside pocket in your jocket, it will heat your photo and helps the photo to develop better. But be careful not to bend the frame! If the temperature is higher than 25°C – 77°F, let the photo approximately 5 to 10 seconds under the frog tongue, then, you should put the photo in the box that came with your film pack, and leave it inside a bag or any cooler place. Another important thing with Impossible film, is to avoid contrasted scenes. Use the flash when possible, even outside, as soon as there’s no risk of reflections that would get the exposure wrong. Always take your time, never try to shoot in the hurry. Any unopened film pack should be kept in your fridge, placed the higher possible inside it and flat. After your first packs, you’ll see that Impossible photography is very great too. Sometimes unpredictable, sometimes you’ll fail, and anyway you can’t always make good photos using instant film (even with Instax, there’s no need to feed any troll), but it’s always creative! If you have any other question, or need anything, feel free to ask me on twitter or facebook! 🙂

 

(10) Where does most of your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?

Most of my inspiration comes from people and what they do personnally. I try to always have my cameras with me. I watch people, I watch nature, objets, I try to be in the action. Sometimes I seek for something to shoot, but then I’m not very happy with my photos. I prefer to wait till things come to me! That way, photographs seem to be taken in motion. I like them that wait, much more. You can feel it!

Comments

  1. A. Hellman says:

    THIS is who you chose to profile? Baptiste attacks anyone who says anything negative about Impossible (including reporters) via disgustingly profane tweets. You see a hint of that when he mentions “trolls” when speaking about instax.

    He gets testy with anyone who has shot instant film longer than he has and tries to present himself as more of an authority. He also tries very hard to act like his comments are sanctioned by Impossible, which, as annoying as they can be at times, is hardly the case. His enthusiasm cannot be denied but given his track record for attacking people online I wish you’d thought twice about profiling him.

    • I do not personally follow Baptiste on Twitter, so I am unaware of any disgustingly profane tweets that may be posted there. However, we do like his work on Instagram and we loved his enthusiasm in answering our questions. Baptiste is not the first controversial person we have featured and I’m sure he will not be the last. Everyone we have featured has their own fan base.
      We do apologize if he has offended you through his social media, but hope you will tune back in for our next feature post.

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