Sarah Seené is a french photographer based in Montreal, working with analog and instant photography. Her work is composed of strange atmospheres between dream and poetry, showcased in 30 solo and collective exhibitions, in Paris, Berlin, Prague, Milan, Amsterdam, London, Montreal and New York.
How has working analog exclusive helped to translate your work?
My work is really sensitive, like a research of a lost sweetness. It’s telling something about loneliness. Analog photography is the best way to work about these themes because it’s a sensitive and an organic medium especially when you hand-process and make your own prints. Instant photography creates an intimate relationship with the photographer. In my creative process, I’m looking for a proximity with the camera, like a complicity between ourselves, a confidence. The surprise of discovering the picture coming out of the camera is the ultimate point of this privileged connection.
What imaginary worlds do you create through your self-portrait series?
I began with some self portraits 3 years ago, to totally stage myself in different landscapes, trying to create an out of time world. I think that through my own pictures of myself, I want to create a world which is comforting to me, making me feel good, especially with nature and with a vaporous and dreamlike atmosphere. I think that I’m trying to face my own existence, to appreciate it and question it.
How has the Lomo’Instant Wide helped in your story telling process?
The Lomo'Instant Wide is a great camera. It’s practical, playful, and really beautiful. I love its intuitive settings especially the light button. After using it a few times, you start to « feel » the camera, you learn to know it and how it reacts to light. It’s the same about how to work with the distance of modal. Even if at the beginning, the parallax have surprised me, I’ve learn to work with it by moving the center of my picture when I wanted to shot someone close to the camera. I appreciated the different lenses I was able to use, especially the wide angle to shoot the landscapes in which I wanted to fade into.
What I love much is the remote control timer for my self portraits. It’s amazing. I was able to shoot some pictures of me, sitting down on a dead tree, feet in the water with this magic end cap. I really like the Lomo’Instant Wide size, the rendering of the pictures allowed me to go out of my comfort zone classical square format. It forced me to open my mind to the landscapes and tell new stories. This camera allows me to make professional photos with fine grain and real sweet colors.
What are some of the spontaneous moments you have captured in your new life in Montreal?
I never capture spontaneous moments but I’m creating instant pieces when I cross inspiring places. Mainly in Gaspésie, a region on the edge of Quebec, I put on film those moments, using Lomo’Instant Wide. This place, more precisely Percé, which I discovered in my trip, was full of amazing landscapes, on the border of the ocean, with Le Rocher Percé. I was so inspired by those elements. I did all the self portraits by myself, with the help of the filmmaker Guillaume Vallée, which was with me at that time. I trusted him to be my assistant on those shootings. In Montreal, I photographed my friends in streets, coffee shops and even my living room, with makeup and poetic fabric, as if reality encounters tale, as always.
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