Everyday life, by Xavier Guinand
"With film photography, you've to take your time, you can't take photo of something « just to try »"
Tell us about yourself.
I'm 21 years and I'm a french graphic & packaging designer from Reims (France). I work for a new craft beer brand called "BAPBAP" and I'm in charge of building the whole identity of the brand. Design and photography are the two fields where I can express myself, you can always learn new stuff and try new things.
When and how did the film journey begin for you?
When I was young my parents always buy me little disposable camera before holidays. I was making horrible pictures of everything. But I remember that was realy a great & enjoyable experience for me. Last year when I bought my first camera (a digital first), I was taking photos all the time, pretending they were great. I think it's great for a photographer to test many things, techniques and domains at the beginning. And with film photography, you've to take your time, you can't take photo of something « just to try ». (or you've to be quite rich). So, because I was enjoying film photography since I was young and because I think you learn faster with a film camera and a prime lens, I decided to buy a new Camera. I also like the film photography aesthetic, the skintones, the smooth of the grain, the dynamic range of a film and, the most important, the surprise and the excitation of discovering the photo you made.
What type of film do you usually shoot and what made you choose it?
Actually I don't have a favourite film yet. I continue to try new films. Obviously I know some films are better but sometimes really expensive ! I love kodak portra, The colors are so wonderful with this film. Ektar is great too. But you can have great cheap film like the agfa vista, it's a great compromise I think. You can enjoy it without selling a kidney...
What camera makes you click?
Most of the time I use a simple Canon AE1. I'm the kind of photographer who thinks you can make powerful image with any camera. For sure I hope to try and buy a rangefinder camera as a LeicaM3. I also want to try simple point and shoot cameras for street photography snapshots but I don't know which one.
After I saw the documentary about Vivian Maier I wanted to buy a Rolleiflex. Well, we will see that in the future !
Between black and white and colour film which would you choose?
For the moment, most of my photography is made on colour film, this is a part of my job to make colors looks great. Sometimes it's hard to have great colors so I'm interested by B&W too. I think B&W helps you focus on the emotion of a scene, it can be more simple and pure. But if I have to choose between the two for the rest of my life, I definitely choose color film.
What lenses do you use?
I use a prime 50mm f1.4 lens. This is the only one I use for the moment. The depth of field is great for portraits with a nice bokeh. For street photography, this is sometimes uncomfortable if I'm searching a 35mm lens for an easier control of depth of field and zone focusing. A 35 mm is a great compromise between the space between you and the subject and the depth of field.
Do you make any experiments on film?
Haha, these days I can't experiment anything because I broke my left arm last week (trust me it's hard to write on a keyboard with only one hand). So i can't shoot with a manual focus camera. This is really annoying.
However, before I started photography, I was really shy. This helped me interact with people (and you've to when you take photos of people on the street). So, in the future I hope to take photos of unknown people on the street with a little interview. I also want to make more portrait photography with natural light. May be some « arty » or conceptual portrait. I have a lot of things in mind and sometimes it's hard to choose ! In fact photography opened the door of a lot of creative issues, for example I'm now writing a little short movie.
But all these stuff will be easier in a few weeks with my two arms !