While Matthieu Vautrin dreams of reliving the California days of old, we remain enchanted by his experimental instant shots of the present. The outcomes are photos imbued either with deadpan humor, or an enigmatic ghostly luster. In this brief interview, Matthieu tells us about the good times he's been having with the Lomo'Instant!
Hello Matthieu! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hey, my name is Matthieu Vautrin, I'm 30 and I'm living in Paris.
How did you become interested in photography?
I have always been interested in the image in general. When I was a kid, I made a lot of family films with an 8mm camera, editing them on a video recorder. I began to carry a small camera with me when I entered the university. I met a lot of great people there and wanted to capture all the moments we had after school. It was a crappy camera, I bought a better one later.
What was the first camera you ever used?
It was a toy camera using 110 films, that my father brought after a trip to New York. I can't actually remember the model!
How was it shooting with the Lomo'Instant?
I wanted to do some multiple exposures since a long time but never took the time to. So I tried this mode first with the Lomo'Instant in the streets of Paris and Roma, with my girlfriend as a model. After a few tests, I got nice results, actually much better than I expected from an instant camera. I really like the one with the tree branches showing up in my hands, looking like the blood vessels of the arms. I shot another series with my puppet Winston getting mad during a party, to try the automatic flash mode in low light, and I really like the results too.
Do you have any tips for shooting with the Lomo'Instant?
This is an instant camera, don't think too much about the settings, just capture what you see or have in mind at the moment, the result will be fine ! Just remember for the double exposure shots to take first the picture of the scene that will appear in the dark details of the second one. It works better that way.
What is something you would love to photograph but haven't yet?
California in the mid-20th century, the atmosphere Kerouac describes in his books, or many years later, Hugh Holland in his pictures. But I guess it's too late now.
What's next for you?
I'm currently working on some new series I have in mind, and also getting ready for the summer season to hit the road again, in Iceland and California. And I'm also going to the Burning Man festival in a few months, can't wait to see and photograph that!