Tell us a little bit about yourself! Salut, I’m Adrien, a french/kiwi analogue photography lover living in Motueka (just by the Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks). Over the last few years, I have built my darkroom (on a trailer) and explored the world of alternative photography. Focusing on large format paper negatives and different chemical processes to develop the images. I am also on a journey to move from 8×10 negatives to 20×24 using a giant camera obscura. How did your love of photography come about? It all started at school where I got involved in the darkroom club and spent a few lunch breaks and free hours printing. When i turned 16, I got my first analogue camera and from then I never stopped. I studied photography focusing on darkroom and printing techniques. What are some of the different shooting techniques and processes you experiment with? Around 3 years ago and after 6 years of abstinence, I decided to go back to large format. I started with 4×5 but quickly ditched it and moved to 8×10. I wanted to create larger, unique, images directly in the camera. Instant photography! So here I am, shooting paper negatives in camera and processing them using a reversal process, where your negative becomes the positives. Overall, it takes around 20-30 minutes to create 1 image and you don’t know until it is fully done if it will be a goody or not. I am in love with the fact that the image is unique and you directly have a paper print. No need to wait for a negative to be processed and a scan or print to be made. For me it’s all done on site, right here. How do you find the motivation to continue to go out and pursue your creative endeavours? It’s a hard one really. I often feel alone on my alternative journey as I live in a small town and there are not many people on the same journey as I am in Aotearoa. However, I found the internet amazing for connecting with people all over the country and the world on a similar path. But you can’t beat a good old discussion with a beer by the fire or a printing session in the darkroom listening to music. Also photo books, music (I am super eclectic there. I listen to everything. Very mood/moment based), and discussions are often the right pick me up and give me a clearmotivation/mindset. I also make plans ahead for a coffee catch up that turns into a portrait session. It’s a good way to stay motivated and keep shooting and avoid that last minute “I don’t feel like it”. Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years time with your photography and video work? Not too sure yet. I do have a goal, but I’m hoping to achieve it before 5-10 years. Ideally, I would like to move to 20×24 large format paper negative using spaces, have a go at colour reversals and share my love for photography and the process. What do you document and why are you attracted to these scenes? Mainly people. Portraits. I love catching up over a cup of coffee and shooting a portrait. I love to hear people’s stories, where they come from and what they do. You get to craft something with someone and have them be a part of it. We live in such a busy, speedy world that it’s good to be surrounded, slow down and capture people in the moment. I also feel like with portraits, you get to give back. You get to capture someone and give them a piece of themselves on paper to take home. What are your current camera setup and favourite film? My go to at the moment is 8×10 Ilford Multigrade IV in Pearl shot using an Intrepid Camera with a 300mm Rodenstock lens being my main go to. I also shoot expired paper from time to time but with such a complex process you want to remove variables and fresh paper/fresh chemicals helps a lot!! My next go to, is likely to be the garden shed. I have the 20×24 paper sheets, but I just need to DYI a 460mm lens that requires mounting, more funds and then time… I need more time with such a slow process. Are there artists you look up to or admire? Many!! The big guys would be Richard Avedon, Sally Mann, Annie Leibovitz, and I am also in love with George Rousse’s work (completely different kettle of work. But dam i love it! – if you have an interesting empty space, and are up for experimentation/DIY. Hit me up) Brendan Barry and Ethan Moses are also an inspiration. They are on the same path as me, but way ahead. I also recently found Richard Learoyd (thanks Lorenzo!) and Josh Wool. Loving that “in studio” portraiture feeling. Such great control of the light and the process is precise. What advice would you give to your younger self given your experience in life so far? Just go for it! And if you are unsure, reach out! Come up with what makes sense to you, what do you want to achieve, write it down and make your way there. Photography is also a very small and tight community, if you need help or have questions just reach out. A quick DM to someone you admire or respect can go a long way and they can be super supportive. Do you have any projects coming up in mind or something you are working on and where can we view more and keep up to date with your photography? No big projects as such (yet) just slowly working towards 20×24 and color reversal. I still have so much to explore. I’m currently off socials but you can check out my website adriengiroguy.com where you get to see my work but also reach out and organise a moment to catch up, have your portrait taken and be part of this cool process.