In the first of a new series shining a spotlight on up-and-coming photographers we interview young French photographer Amandine Paulandré. She has shot fashion editorials for Vice Style and other magazines, lives in ‘cheese country’, shoots only on film, and likes ‘confronting beautiful faces to wild nature’.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in a ski resort in the French Alps, since then I started taking pictures of whoever wanted to be photographed, and most of the time it was my cat. After high school I moved to London to study fashion photography which was not as interesting as I thought, so I came back to cheese country, in Paris, to study something else (philosophy). I still take pictures of course, but of a different cat.
CREDIT: Amandine Paulandré. Messina.
On your site you list your speciality as 35mm film photography. Do you shoot mainly on film? What does film offer you that digital cannot?
Indeed my speciality is 35mm, I only shoot using film for two or three years now. That’s how I started photography, and I find it reasonable to be the medium to finish with. I do have a fancy digital camera but it’s very useless to me since I find myself being a very bad photographer when using it. Digital is flat, but film photography is like opening a Christmas present each time you get your film back from the shop. You never quite know what to expect and I get overexcited each time on the way home with my developed film. Such a thing would not happen with digital.
I love the quality of light in many of your photos – slightly hazy and ethereal. How do you achieve that look?
I tend to not think when I take pictures, so getting a good light is usually coming from no where for me. I mean, I quite see where my subject would be lit up at his best, but that lasts for one picture as I get lost in all the things we should think about when taking a picture. So when I think of the light I guess it pays. I always use natural light. The best for me is the winter light through a window and, if you are lucky enough to see such light and use it well, then the person who will see the image should be feeling the snow falling on her head.
CREDIT: Amandine Paulandré. Maître corbeau.
Who or what are your inspirations (particularly in photography)?
I must say I’m very lazy and I don’t really go out there to see what others are doing, and when I see something I like I don’t remember the name. I don’t think I get inspired much by other photographers, I just do my thing. But of course I will give you one name: Julie Lansom, who inspires me with her face.
CREDIT: Amandine Paulandré. Whitby Moon.
Why do you like ‘confronting beautiful faces to wild nature’?
I like doing that because I like pretty faces but not like in magazines, not in front of a shitty white background. I love nature. I like mixing both things. But I still need to figure out a way to do it better than others as I start to realise that we all do that. Very, very depressing.
CREDIT: Amandine Paulandré. Lola.
From your work, do you have a favourite photo or series of photos?
I do have a series I particularly like. The series (excerpt below) was shot in Montpellier Zoo, south of France. I was on holiday at my new boyfriend’s place. I guess I like the series because of the fun I had, and because I love animals and since I was in a zoo I was very happy. Also I quite like the light and colour, it was probably the very first images I did of my boyfriend and one of my first ‘good’ film series.