Alba Petrichor is a photographer based in Barcelona with a talent for creating natural and vibrant portraits. We sent her a roll of LomoChrome Metropolis 120 and one of the Redscale 35 mm film to test out and asked her about her experiences shooting portraits with these unique films.
Hi Alba, welcome to our Online Magazine! Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello! My name is Alba Petrichor, I’m a 25-year-old photographer from Barcelona and I’m currently working at a film lab as a shop assistant and also a photo editor! It’s still a bit difficult for me to call myself a photographer when it’s not my main source of income. I end up creating mostly personal work and that’s what I share on my social media!
I fill my days learning about photography (reading books, experimenting in the darkroom, getting to know other photographers.) When I’m not thinking about photography I’m watching movies and documentaries, knitting or drawing! A true grandma soul.
I’m sharing a studio with eight amazing photographers here in Barcelona and that allows me to create, experiment and have fun in a space I have known for a year now. I must say I’m not the best at studio lighting so I always end up testing things and trying to find the way to express a specific feeling more than getting the perfect lighting.
Which cameras did you use for these photos?
I always carry with me for a shoot my Nikon FM2 and Mamiya RB67! I’m still figuring out my Mamiya, and I absolutely adore and trust my Nikon!
You've never tried our films before. What are the features that you like the most about these films?
I actually love that I had no idea what to expect! I always work with the same kind of film, I know how that’s going to turn out so this was a very cool feeling while shooting and then while waiting for the development and scans!
The Redscale surprised me, mostly with the double exposures! I think it looks amazing with so much contrast.
Which Lomography film would you like to try next?
As I am learning how to do my own darkroom handprints - black and white - I would love to test some Potsdam or Berlin in the future to document my days.
Did the type of films influence the choice of the subjects and location?
Yes! As I never tried it before I wanted to create something simple and funny with my friends Georgina Rodríguez (the MUA) and Laura Beltrán (the model) in a space that I already knew (my studio). Working with film you’ve never tested can be a bit scary because you start thinking “what if this doesn’t work” or “am I messing it up?” with every little detail you want to try. But once I started shooting I just wanted to have fun with my friends, and that’s when I stopped worrying about the technical aspects.
The subjects of your photos are often intimate portraits. How do you manage to make your subjects trust you?
That’s true. One of the things I love about photography is that I get to connect with the people I’m taking portraits of. As I post on my socials about my project and the way I want it to be (non sexual, explicit but not in a pornographic way) they come to me already knowing that they want to do it - it’s easier to start the shoot. We already know that it’s going to happen because the project I’m currently working on is about nudity.
We usually spend some time talking about multiple things before getting to the nude part, getting to know each other a bit more, maybe even having a snack. Once we talk for a while it’s easier to put some music on and start shooting.
I’m always making sure we are both ok! I think that’s the most important part, also trying to notice if they are uncomfortable even though they are not saying it with words, but with their body language! I don’t want anyone to have a bad experience. I want to create something they will treasure as much as I will.
In your website you state, "I like to create emotions through light and images." How do you try to achieve this?
It amazes me how light can affect a space, a body, a detail. It’s so special to see how it can completely change your feelings towards the subject you are looking at! I try to study very deeply how things affect me, how I feel when I see them for the first time.
When a scene makes me feel something in my belly, or when my brain goes, “that’s it”, I trust my gut because I know if I’m feeling it somebody else would feel something similar.
It’s very narcissistic of me to talk so much about myself and how I see the world and how things make me feel, but I cannot share something (a photograph) that leaves me feeling nothing. It’s my goal to fight emptiness in the images I create.
Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations planned that you would like to share with us?
After a year of taking portraits of different people in their bedrooms I’m working on a small photozine. I thought I could make it faster but there's a bunch of work I didn’t expect, mostly creative decisions (and I’m still unsure about how I want to present it, so all I’m doing right now is test, test, test!) Just to clarify, this is the first time I’m working on something like this. It’s a mess but I’m loving the process.
Check out all Alba's works on her Instagram profile.