Baptiste Plichon – Analogue Wedding Photographer – Friday Focus
by Christopher Osborne.
French photographer Baptiste Plichon runs a wdding photography business with a twist. He only offers wedding photographs that are shot on film.
French photographer Baptiste Plichon shoots weddings in and around Lille, France. His business has a unique twist. He only offers wedding photographs that are shot on film. He started shooting weddings on digital three years ago and very quickly switched to shooting exclusively on film.
“I have two main types of customers. There are the couples who approach me saying “I love your photographs. Can you shoot our wedding”? I have also been attracting film photographers and enthusiasts who come to me because they would like their wedding shot on film”.
“The people who do not know anything about film are a harder sell. We talk about the differences. They will not get as many images. The negatives will probably outlast digital files. And there is a different aesthetic”.
Baptiste laughs aloud. “This reminds me of my favourite photography joke”…
Client: “You still shoot on film! Are there still film labs?”
Photographer: “No I just shoot on film”…
I ask Baptiste about the practicalities of shooting on film. “The client chooses whether they want colour or Black & White. For most weddings, I end up shooting 75% in colour and 25% in Black & White. For colour, I use Kodak Portra 400 because it renders skin tones so well. For Black & White I shoot T-Max and as it gets dark, I switch to either Kodak P3200 or Ilford Delta 3200”.
Baptiste shoots engagement photographs and portraits on a Pentax 67. “It is loud, big, and not really convenient”, Baptiste explains. “For weddings I also use a Mamiya 645 with multiple backs and with the 55 f/2.8, 80 f/2.8 and 150 f/3.5 lenses. I also use a Canon EOS 5 and a Canon EOS 3 with the 35mm f/2 and 85mm f/1.8 (sometime a nifty fifty or a 24-70 f/4 for long days) lenses”.
“I typically shoot 15-20 rolls of 35mm and 8-10 rolls of 120. I develop the B&W myself but send the colour film to a lab. There is far less creativity in the C41 process”, says Baptiste.
“I spend a day shooting, a day scanning. I use Negative Lab Pro. And it takes 3 days for post-production”.
At the moment the final product is delivered through digital printing. In part, this is because Baptiste has not found a colour printing lab that still prints from negatives in France. Most couples want an album rather than individual prints, although I want to start offering hand printed B&W prints this year.
Baptiste also stores the negatives on behalf of his clients. He points out that the risk of losing a complete collection of digital files is higher than losing images stored on film negatives.
I asked Baptiste how his prices compare with the competition. “I am more expensive”, he says. “A typical digital wedding costs €1000-2000. My analogue wedding photography usually costs €1500-€2500 in comparison.
I ask Baptiste where he is going with his photography. “I have started to shoot on Super 8. I made a 5-minute film and it cost €300. I would love to be able to offer Super 8 wedding films. It looks amazing”!
One can not help but be caught up in Baptiste’s enthusiasm for photography. “This is a wonderful time to be an analogue photographer”, Baptiste enthuses. “There are so many processes to try”. I ask him about his personal work. “The problem is finding time for personal projects”, he explains. “I would like to focus more on portraits. You can not do everything”.
Images © Baptiste Plichon 2022.
If you would like to read about Baptiste Plichon’s vlog then this article might also be of interest https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/12/vlogger-and-photographer-baptiste-plichon-friday-focus/
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