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, so 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!
This week, the spotlight is on Canadian photographer, Mikael Bidard. We came across Mikael on Instagram and fell in love. While a lot of photographers have one medium that defines their work, Mikael shoots on many formats and his work is amazing on all of them. As always, 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.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.
I was born in France , and moved to Vancouver, BC (Canada) in January 2013, to first learn English and then get my degree in Cinematography. I started Photography about Two years ago, when my friend, Olivier Barjolle, introduced me to the magic world of Polaroid and Film Photography.
Making the most of my everyday journeys, I spend half of my time trying to get my working visa to be able to stay in Canada and the other half seeking out new adventures, meeting new people and taking photographs. The instantaneous nature of Polaroid–the immediate capture and appreciation of a moment, mood, place or person speaks deeply to me and is a reflection of how I try to make this journey.
How did you get into instant photography?
Well, I got into Photography in general by starting with Instant photography and more specifically with the classic SX70 that my friend Olivier lend me, and instantly fell in love with and after the half of the first cartridge, I bought my own that I still shoot with as well as pack film and 4×5 Polaroid sheet film.
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
I would probably say that my Favorite camera to shoot with in my Graflex speed graphic, but i really enjoy to shoot with any camera, they all have different feels and qualities to it.
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I have never shot with a 8×10 or 20×24 camera, which seems very exciting and terrorizing to shoot with. I actually have a pack of polaroid 879 (8×10), that i got very cheap out of ebay, film that i keep very preciously for the moment when I would be ready to shoot something…
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
I don’t know if i have one specific film that I love shooting with, more than the other one, it just depends more on the feel of the Photograph I want to interpret and project, every film has his quality and default, just have to confront the situation with the film that would correspond to the photograph.
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
As I mentioned in the previous question, I started photography with instant film, so I don’t feel like I have to incorporate instant film into my regular workflow, it’s just been part of my learning and the way I shoot.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
It definitely does, I try to make every shot worth what it is, because polaroid doesn’t exist anymore as you know it, so I know that at some point I would have to stop shooting it even if I hope and pray everyday for someone to come with a new product to replace pack film and 4×5 sheet film. I m very happy about what impossible project does with there product and try to support them as much as I can even if for me polaroid is the real and unique one.
Any personal projects we should know about?
Well, I have few projects in mind, like shooting the Polaroid 879, but other than that just travelling as much as I can and make my everyday journey a project where I can shoot film.
What other photographers do you look up too?
I really appreciate every kind of Photographs, and look up instant film shooters as much as film shooters. For the instant film photographers I really love the work of my friend Olivier Barjolle as well as Bastian Kalous, Thomas Zamolo, Jan Scholz, Emily Soto and many others. But for classic film photography I’m more into the pioneers and classic cult photographers such as Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Peter Lindbergh, Francis Giacobetti, Saul Leiter and so many other too. Those days it’s actually hard to keep track of who is excellent photographers because there are so many and everybody shoots photographs with all sorts of media.
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Shoot it because you love it, not because it’s cool and a movement.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
I don’t really have a way to find it, but going on adventures, travels and others definitely helps to open your eyes and see your work in progress.