Sunday, September 7, 2014

Interview with Clair Saint-Camille

Clair Saint-Camille, a 25 year-old American photographer, is also a teacher based-in New England. He loves and shoots on film only, especially with old cameras and expired film.

Clair who was featured once on Shooting Film last year would like to share more of his work with us in an interview.

- Hi Clair, can you tell us more about you?
 I'm Clair Saint-Camille, aged 24 years, I live and do most of my photographing in New England. I work during the school year as a counsellor at a private school, and during the summer I garden. I'm passionate as much about literature as photography; I spend a lot of time reading or collecting old books.

- When did you first become interested in photography?
 I became interested in photography at university, though at that time I focused on motion photography. I was really inspired by the nouvelle vague and Ingmar Bergman.

- Why do you shoot film in this digital age?
 I shoot film because it's beautiful, firstly. I just love the aesthetic, and the nostalgia. Furthermore, I appreciate how it challenges a photographer to inhabit a certain mindset--we can't really see our photos as we take them, nor do we know definitely how the light will translate on any particular roll (especially when you're using expired film, as I do). Film photographers have to remain in their own imagination.

- You shoot mostly portrait, why?
 I think the human form is interesting, and, of course, a highly relatable subject for anyone consuming photographic art. The interplay between a person and an environment always looks, to me, like a story. Just as I was so enamoured by the nouvelle vague and Bergman, I focus  mostly on photographing women in vintage clothes. If I could photograph Anna Karina in about 1968 I'd die of happiness.

- Who are your favorite photographers?
 I have a long list of inspirations in the world of photos. My favourite photographers are pretty consistently Leanne Surfleet, Sophie Fontaine, and Sophie van der Perre. I also like Parker Fitzgerald and Michal Pudelka. It's strange to me that all of my favourite filmmakers, novelists, painters, and musicians have been dead for decades or hundred years, but my favourite photographers are alive and young. I feel blessed.

- Any message for other film photographers? Or maybe a tip you would like to share?
 I would just say to any of the aforementioned people to keep up the good work. You touch people deeper than you know. And I'd probably encourage any young photographer to trust their instincts and try strange cameras.

Clair, thank you for the interview!

See more of his work at:

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