In the twenty-first century everything is faster and less complicated, but a young generation of photographers refuse to follow the trend. Thanks to them analog photography is more alive than ever. Young photographer Ludivine Martinez teaches us the ins and outs of this art, where photographers still work as true artisans.
Why did you choose to shoot on film?
There’s a lot of reasons to love analog photography. First at all, I like better the final result in terms of color and texture. I also enjoy not having a preview image like on digital photography… you have to learn to trust your instinct. What I find the most interesting is being involved in every step of the process, from the shooting itself until having in your hands the final product.
What’s the main difference between shooting analog and digital?
I believe that the major distinction is quite simple: on film you have a limitation for the number of photos that you can shoot. I usually work with roll of films that stores 36 pictures, and I firmly believe that this restraint can make you a better photographer. You have to think a little more before you shoot, make deliberate decisions to determine the best angle and settings for your camera. Once you have taken a photo you just trust yourself and keep going.
People who are not familiarized with traditional photography usually believe that once you have chosen your camera settings, you can’t modify the final picture later on. But this is far from being the case… do you like to modify your photos in the darkroom?
Yes, actually I really like to do it. Messing around on the different steps of the development can drastically modify the final outcome. For example, you can tweak the timing for the different baths to get the result that you are looking for. You can also change the composition and the luminosity when exposing the negative on the photographic paper. You can always do slightly different things in each step to change the final photo. It’s magical.
IThis is an enlarger to produce a print on the photographic, photosensible paper, by projecting light through the negative roll. On this step you can reframe the image or change the luminosity modifying the exposition time.
Besides your artistic works, you also do documentary photography, can we know more about it?
As you said, I like to work on two very different strands: artistic and documental. For the later I like to tackle on subjects like immigration, street-harassment, cancer, disabilities…. I try to portray these issues both by taking photos on the spot or by staging a shooting.
Which photographers influenced you the most?
My influences are quite diverse. I like bot classic photographers like Raymond Depardon or Walker Evans, or more contemporary like Nan Goldin or Valérie Jouve.
What do you think about Instagram, and its impact on the world of photography?
I find it really useful for photographers and models… now we can share our work through this platform, so we can reach a much greater audience in contrast to traditional means. It’s also really encouraging to have positive feedback on the fly, and this is only possible today with a tool like Instagram. But Instagram has his flaws: For example, I don’t understand how censorship on women body is still a thing.
What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
I would love to continue to carry on the same diverse line of work that I’m doing at the moment, but pushing it further a little bit more.
I would like to do more fashion photography, working with stylists and make-up artists. And I would love to be able to engage myself in more immersive documentary works too! Anyways, I will continue to refine my style. I believe that a photographer can always continue to learn and evolve.
What’s your favorite vintage item?
Oh well it should by my trusty Nikon camera. I couldn’t live without her.