Maxime Darlavoix is a French photographer with a genuine love of Polaroid photography. Despite some manufacturers choosing to abandon this format, it is clear that there are legions of fans out there just like Maxime – let’s hope more companies can join the likes of The Impossible Project and New 55 to help galvanize this renewed interest and ensure that instant film does not breathe it’s last any time soon!
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in photography?
My name is Maxime; I’m 24, French and a self taught Polaroid photographer. I first started shooting Polaroids in 2014. I decided to start because I was bored shooting mostly with my iPhone. I think digital photography is too easy; anybody can shoot great pictures with digital cameras.
How would you define your photographic style?
I don’t think I have a particular photographic style; I like playing with the light, shadows, angles.
I’m really spontaneous; it can be landscapes, lifestyle, people – I just need to feel inspired. I shoot what I enjoy looking at – sometimes I’m enjoying it too much and forget to shoot the picture haha!
Your Instagram page is an amazing gallery of your Polaroid and instant photography; what is it about Polaroid that appeals to you over other styles of analog or digital photography?
Thanks for the compliment first! I appreciate that a lot; it means a lot to me when I read things like that. I absolutely LOVE shooting Polaroids and so the fact that some people enjoy my work is a real bonus for me and makes me feel happy. I like the Polaroid format because it evokes an old school emotion – a timeless process. I love the imperfections present on Polaroid shots, the vintage colours, everything! Moreover, you have your picture right in your hand as soon as it has been shot. I much prefer having a picture in my hand than a jpeg file on my computer.
The only inconvenience for me with Polaroid photography is the price of the films. That would be the only thing that may change my mind and make me use a digital camera.
Polaroid looked like it was about to disappear forever but there is now a massive revival thanks to people like The Impossible Project and New 55 (but no thanks to Fuji); do you think it is here to stay again or will this just be short-lived?
I don’t know if they’re going to stay again or if it will only be short-lived. I don’t work in or run these companies so I’m not able to tell you if they are in a good way or not but The Impossible Project looks good from an external point of view!
But with my photographer opinion and eye, I just hope they’re here to stay again because we need them – even if we are not hyped about paying 20€ for eight exposures haha!
What is next for you? Are you working on any projects that you can tell us about?
To keep shooting again and again and feel more and more inspired and never forgetting to have a lot of fun when using a Polaroid camera!
I’m into a Polaroid photographer collective project which is called “Pay it Forward” and launched by Gareth Weston. You can have a look at this on Instagram if you want (@payitforwardco). I’m really hyped about it and can’t wait to see where it goes! Also, I still work with the German brand Polaboy who make crazy illuminated Polaroid frames. Don’t hesitate to check them out!
See more of Maxime’s work at:
All images copyright Maxime Darlavoix.