Bridging Generations with Etienne Laine and the LomoGraflok 4×5 Instant Back


UK-based professional lifestyle and portrait photographer Etienne Laine takes inspiration from themes of nostalgia and memory and interprets these themes in his personal and commercial work. He has been experimenting with the LomoGraflok 4×5 Instant Back for a series of intimate studio portraits that reflect his sources of inspiration perfectly. Etienne talked to us about his experiences shooting with the LomoGraflok and how his discovery of film photography began.

Photos by Etienne Laine

Hi Etienne, please tell us about yourself.

Hi! I’m Etienne Laine, a commercial lifestyle and portrait photographer from Guernsey CI. I shoot for agencies, brands and private clients.

Photos by Etienne Laine

How would you describe your photographic style and influences?

I describe my work as nostalgic with a dreamlike quality. My photography is reflective of my own memories growing up on an island with the same light that once inspired Renoir. I try to draw inspiration from everything around me. I spent some time at art college and I have a lot to owe to that. It really impacts the way you think.

Photos by Etienne Laine

What got you into shooting instant and film?

I am of the generation that remembers shooting on 35 mm but also remembers digital pushing it out. I had a 110 film camera as a child and disposables after that, looking back at the photographs taken on the disposables, we lost so much magic in those early days of digital.

My Grandpa was a keen amateur photographer and when I was around sixteen he gave me his Nikkormat FT. Using it feels like a bridge across generations. I always have a film camera on the go. I typically use 35 mm or an Instax camera for documenting family life, holidays and adventures. For me film equals no stress. Since buying The LomoGraflok I have been able to reintroduce film into my portrait work.

Photos by Etienne Laine

How do you find shooting with the LomoGraflok?

It's far removed from anything I had used before but in a good way. Shooting with the LomoGraflok slows you down and is so different from shooting with 35 mm or digital or even an Instax camera. It takes some getting used to if you haven’t shot with anything like it before but it’s totally worth putting the time in. The results are beautiful.

Photos by Etienne Laine

What do you think is the recent appeal of unusual formats in photography?

I think there's a bit of an AI rebellion and photographers and clients want more authenticity in their work and shooting on film is a way to claw that back. You only have to scroll through social media to realise how big film is right now. I was offered a 4x5 monorail for £50.00, bought it and then worked out what I could do with it. I did some research and found the LomoGraflok and repurposed that camera. Where I live I have no access to darkrooms so without the LomoGraflok I would have sold it on.

Photos by Etienne Laine

What's coming up for you in 2024?

It’s a fast moving industry, and it's the time of year currently where people are still planning for the year. I personally never know what's around the corner but I hope for a busy year shooting what I love and I hope that includes more Instax work.

To see more of Etienne's work visit his Instagram page.

2024-05-09 #gear #people #large-format #instant-photography #instant-back #lomograflok

Mentioned Product

LomoGraflok 4×5 Instant Back

The only readymade solution for shooting Instax Wide film with all Graflok-equipped 4×5 cameras. Easily experiment with your large-format camera thanks to the most cost-effective method, in a matter of seconds.

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One Comment

  1. van3ssagonzalez
    van3ssagonzalez ·

    These portraits are magnificent!

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