What happens when you microwave an instant picture? Oliver Blohm, 27, knows the answer – after all, it was his experiment that led to the “Hatzfrass/Fast Food” series back in 2012, and since then he has been one of The Impossible Project’s golden stars, shooting the campaign for their new black and white film and featured along Alison Mosshart and Scott Willis in the brand’s “8×8” exibhition in London, February 2015. His work, however, is anything but limited: besides publicity, he is also a portrait and fashion photographer with an unique technique – and analogue, of course. We caught up with the German photographer to know more about his view on analogue photography and the process of experimentation.
Film’s Not Dead: Could you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and how your love for photography began?
Oliver Blohm: I was born and grew up in a little village in the north of Germany near the Baltic sea and discovered photography by coincidence in my late teens.
One day, one of my teachers asked me to take some photos for the school website at a Christmas event. The camera, a Canon Eos 350d, was brand new and funded by parents. From day one it made ‘click’ and I became the first school photographer. I was 16 or 17 at this time. But after my degree and an internship I decided against photography and wanted to go into commercials and graphic design.
In my first semester in my university I got the chance to become the assistant of the lecturer of photography. The lecturer became something like a mentor to me and helped me a lot and trained me in many different ways. At the end I was a lecturer by myself for younger students and spent a lot of time in the darkrooms and the studio to learn and to experiment. So somehow it was the universe.
Film’s Not Dead: You photograph mostly with instant cameras – what made you chose them? Do you have a favourite? If so, why?
Oliver Blohm: I think that instant photography is a great hybrid between the digital age, where you get your photo in a few seconds and the analogue world, because you have a real picture to your hand. After a few minutes you get your final result, a real one, one you can work with it. It’s not just an abstract data file, it’s a real picture with its own authenticity, aura and a touch of the unpredictable – something unique.
In the beginning my love was the Polaroid 600Se, it’s an amazing camera, but since nearly one year now, I work mostly with 8×10“ photography and the Impossible 8×10“ film.