Rachel Rebibo Still Shoots Film

2

Rachel Rebibo, more popularly known as, I Still Shoot Film, shares with us how she started with film photography, what her favourite subjects and themes are, and why she prefers analogue over digital.

Tell us something about yourself.
I’m a photographer. I love dogs. Actually I love animals in general. I also love grammar, baking and Chinese action movies.

How/When did you begin taking pictures? What was your first camera?
I started taking and making photographs when I was 10 years old; I took a darkroom photography class at summer camp and fell in love. My first camera ever was a Nikon FG with a 1.8 50mm lens, given to me by my brother on my 10th birthday. It was replaced the following year with the FM2 body that I still use today.

Describe your style in photography. What are your usual subjects and themes?
Ooooh, this is hard. I feel like I have multiple styles. I shoot a lot of fashion and commercial photography professionally, but I also love street shooting and alternative processing. I think all of my photographs have one thing in common, which is a whitest white and blackest black always present in the image. I like to always have a full tonal range and a certain degree of contrast. I also really like softness that comes from using older lenses – that quality is present in a lot of my portraits and photographs of people.

Fashion & Portraiture

I shoot mostly fashion and lifestyle portraiture for work and I would definitely say a big recurring trend in my professional photographs is natural light. If the situation permits it, I always prefer to use natural light for on-location shoots. Ironically in the studio it’s quite the opposite – I frequently use strobes without umbrellas or soft boxes for extra contrast. I am kind of a contrast nut and flat photos make me sad. I can’t always shoot film on professional shoots, but when I do it’s always medium format and it’s always slide film.

Street Photography

When I do street and documentary work, I always have this weird possessiveness with my subjects afterward. It’s like the people in my photos somehow belong to me… which is funny because most of them don’t even know I exist. I get really attached to specific people that I have photographed on the street. I have a relationship with them, even if it’s only one way.

Low-Fi

I always loved alternative processing techniques and I took a lot of alternative processing classes in college. I use to be a toning nut. I toned everything, it was out of control. Luckily I channeled that energy into collecting weird, obscure and vintage cameras… although I am maybe a little addicted to cross processing right now.

Amongst your numerous film photographs, which is your favourite?
I’m sorry, but I really can’t answer this question…. nor can I specify which is my favorite camera. It’s like asking a mother which is her favorite child. I go through periods where I get really attached to a specific shot and then I move on to another one.

What is the soundtrack for your series of photographs?
I think each of my portfolios would have their own soundtrack…. my professional book would have Edith Piaf or Charles Asnavour. I love the naturally and effortlessly chic ambiance of Paris and try to have that translate in my fashion shoots. My documentary book would probably be all American classic rock, particularly because I’ve spent quite a long time working on my Americana series. I’m not sure what soundtrack my low-fi book would have…. maybe Desmond Dekker or Alton Ellis.

We all have our idols, which photographers do you look up to?
Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Diane Arbus, Joel Peter Witkin, Spencer Tunick

If you could take anyone’s portrait using film, can be living or dead, who (would it be), which (camera would you use), and why?
I would really love to photograph Joel Peter Witkin. I am so fascinated by his work… and him as a person in general. I think it’s amazing how he manages to convince people to participate in his photographs and have come to the personal conclusion that he must be incredibly charismatic. I would shoot him with a studio background setup outside, with my 1913 Voigtlander Compur (it’s an antique large format field camera) and Ilford Pan F 50.

Analogue vs. Digital. What makes analogue/film photography more special than digital?
I could probably write a book on this subject to be perfectly honest. I think what’s most important is that people need to realize that both digital and film have their place in photography. Obviously, if you’re shooting low-fi it’s much easier to just shoot film in the first place than to attempt to recreate the same effect in Photoshop. However, if you love photography and don’t have $30,000 to spend on a digital camera, you get more bang for your buck with film. Scanning a 120 negative at 10,000 DPI or higher gives you a resolution that is not even comparable to consumer-grade DSLRs. Also, film has a better range for highlights and shadows and you get more detail in both with less effort than if you shoot digital. On top of all that, real photographs that have been washed for archiving have a much longer lifespan that even the most expensive fancy-pants digital prints.

Personally, I love working in the darkroom (although I rarely get the chance anymore) and I genuinely feel that it helps you to understand the principles of light and shadow. That can also be beneficial for your digital photography. For me there’s something magical about the chemical reaction that takes place to make a photograph and the way film absorbs a moment in time, literally. It would be a horrible shame to lose that chemical process and the technique that goes a long with it.

Do you own Lomography cameras? Which is your favourite?
Yes, I have the original black Lomo. I got it in the late 90s. I also got my Smena Symbol from Lomography.com when the website was brand new. As I mentioned before, I don’t pick favorite cameras.

A lot of people are into photography today, what would you say to them to inspire them more?
Do your own thing. I see so many photographers who want to imitate someone else’s style and that’s not a solution for making good work or being a successful photographer. If you have a vision, stick to it and you will eventually find people who appreciate what you have to say.

Do you have any ongoing/future projects?
Yes! I am currently doing a worldwide film swap with 14 other photographers in the US, Germany, Northern Ireland, England, Venezuela, Romania, Slovenia, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand. Each photographer shoots a roll of film, sends it to me, I shoot on top and we make fabulous double exposures from vastly different locations. I am in the midst of the film swap right now and intend on posting results in June. If the results turn out as well as I am hoping, I may turn it into an annual event.

Additional Info:
www.rachelrebibo.com, www.istillshootfilm.org, twitter.com/stillshootfilm

written by basterda on 2011-04-27 in #lifestyle

2 Comments

  1. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    I love the fashion portraits!
    And the fourth photo in the street photography looks like MLK hahaha

  2. beatnik00
    beatnik00 ·

    By the way, I am one of the participants in Rachel's worldwide film swap. Yay! :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomography Chats with Illustrator-Lomographer Irina Shepel

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-25 in #lifestyle
    Lomography Chats with Illustrator-Lomographer Irina Shepel

    Shortly after we shared the beautiful lomography-themed book (and posters) of Irina Shepel, we got in touch with her to tell us more about her work, and how our community and analogue love became her inspiration. Check out the insightful interview after the jump!

    1
  • Up-close flower snaps taken with the Konstruktor Macro Lens

    written by cheeo on 2014-05-19 in #lifestyle
    Up-close flower snaps taken with the Konstruktor Macro Lens

    We’re still hung over from the breathtaking views of springtime and that’s why we’re back to bring you more spring-themed photos. Only this time, the Konstruktor Macro Lens shows us how to take amazing photos of flowers!

    1
  • 10 Analogue Questions for Photographer Gerrit Starczewski

    written by zonderbar on 2014-07-26 in #lifestyle
    10 Analogue Questions for Photographer Gerrit Starczewski

    Although Gerrit normally shoots digitally as a professional photographer, he has been in love with film photography since childhood and won't go anywhere without his Minolta x300 pocket camera. Find out what he loves about analogue photography, how his cooperation with Meissen ceramics started & which projects will follow his famous work "Dancing Shoes".

    1
  • Shop News

    Full Focus on the Framing

    Full Focus on the Framing

    Shooting with the Lubitel 166+ is an experience on it´s own. The waist level finder will help you to compose your frames perfectly.With the possibility to use 120 and 35mm Film It offers unlimited creative possibilities deemed to be an analogue masterpiece. Get your legendary Lubitel 166+ in our Online Shop!

  • Newcomer of the Week: analogeanstalten

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-09-21 in #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: analogeanstalten

    Her interest in photography started when she saw a shop in Vienna selling cameras with her name "Diana" printed all over. She then applied as an intern in Lomography Germany where she had a great time getting on the analogue grind. Let's all give our cheerful and perky Newcomer of the Week, analogeanstalten, a warm welcoming hug!

    2
  • A Quick Chat With Proud Pinhole Shooter, Deanna Witman

    written by cheeo on 2014-04-21 in #lifestyle
    A Quick Chat With Proud Pinhole Shooter, Deanna Witman

    World Pinhole Photography Day is just around the corner. Need a quick inspiration for your pinhole stills? Take a hint from Deanna Witman as she shares with us a thing or two about her pinhole photography.

  • Esbo and her Weapon of Choice: LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-11-13 in #lifestyle
    Esbo and her Weapon of Choice: LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400

    An ardent globetrotter, esbo takes pride in having been to different places and documenting each of these trips in analogue. Aside from her boyfriend dopa, she considers the LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400 as her most trusted companion in making her travels more magical. Read on and discover how she makes her photographs perfect with this fantastic film!

    3
  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • My First Lomo Affair: Kekskonstrukt and her Fisheye One

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-05-08 in #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Kekskonstrukt and her Fisheye One

    Back in 2010, while looking for a small camera to take with her on a short trip to London, Helene chanced upon the wonderful Fisheye One. Despite having zero knowledge of shooting about shooting with fisheyes, she gave in to her instincts and bought the camera. Let's all find out how Helene's First Lomo Affair with the Fisheye One got her deeper into analogue photography!

    1
  • LomoAmigo: Larissa Lily at Kew Gardens

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo: Larissa Lily at Kew Gardens

    Larissa Lily is a UK based photographer and writer who agreed to share some of her Petzval shots with us and explain a bit about her love for film photography. She took it on a recent trip to Kew Gardens. Take a look at the results right here..

  • Discover the Beauty of Belair Instant Camera with Instant lover - Sanamiii

    written by antheali on 2014-05-20 in #lifestyle
    Discover the Beauty of Belair Instant Camera with Instant lover - Sanamiii

    Sanamiii from the Lomography team loves to record bits and pieces of her life with analogue. And she has decided to share with us the fun of Belair Instants today.

  • Shop News

    Adopt an Adaptor and use your Petzval Lens on a huge variety of Cameras!

    Adopt an Adaptor and use your Petzval Lens on a huge variety of Cameras!

    Find a fine selection of Adapters and Filters for your Petzval Lens in our Online Shop. Bundle up and get discounts up to 20%!

  • An Interview with Film Photographer Julia Tröndle

    written by chooolss on 2014-03-26 in #lifestyle
    An Interview with Film Photographer Julia Tröndle

    Young Austrian photographer and Fine Art student Julia Tröndle first caught our attention earlier this month through her fascinating work in poetic photography. When we got in touch with her for an interview, we were also able to find out that she not only shoots but also writes poetry, and is a big fan of Lomography as well! Read on to find out more about our featured photographer – from her beginnings in analogue photography to The Poetic Photography Collection – as well as see a selection of her work that she has personally collated!

    5
  • How did your analogue journey begin?

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-03-11 in #news
    How did your analogue journey begin?

    Do you still remember your first steps into the amazing and life-changing journey that is film photography? Today, we'd like for you to take us back to the time where it all began, to the camera that started it all, to the very first film photos that made your analogue-loving heart swell with glee!

    3
  • Petzval Artist: James Nader

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-07-16 in #people #lomoamigos

    James Nader is a UK-based Fashion and Editorial photographer. He started his career in photography shooting with film, processing and developing his work by hand. He now works on high end fashion shoots and has photographed the likes of Dita Von Teese and Richard Branson. James still has a passion for film photography and uses it regularly. We lent him a Petzval lens to shoot with and he has kindly given us a full, in depth review of this beautiful portrait lens. Say hello to James Nader.