Raluca Roșu (fashion blogger, artistic director) and Vivian Dünger (fashion photographer) are a really nice couple based in Bucharest, Romania. I’ve met Raluca last year when I asked her if she wanted to pair up with me and another friend, who is a fashion designer, to do a shooting in Bucharest. I can say that from that day in November we became friends, and not just ordinary friends but creative ones that do lovely things. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the interview with them.
What type of Polaroid Camera and instant film do you like? How did it feel when you finally decided that you want to own one and how did you pick your theme for your photographs? Was it by impulse or did you prepare in advance on how to shoot your very first pack of film?
Firstly, we now work with a thrifted Polaroid P600 camera and the film we used last summer was Impossible Color Instant Film for Polaroid 600 cameras with a round frame, 8 exposures. We gave one to a friend of ours, it was a couple picture by the sea, so we are now only left with 7 pictures. Vivian wants as many Polaroid cameras as possible, but he’s really got his eyes on a Polaroid SX-70. He loves not only the way it looks, but also how easily it can be transported, as it is a really compact camera. Of course, we are both very much keen on the quality and bright colors this camera can produce. We would love to explore the new Polaroid films as well, go for black & white photo shoots and even play with the shapes and colors of the frames.
We bought our camera in July 2017, not on a whim, but after careful consideration and research. We knew back then that we would use our first film during our annual vacation at the Romanian seaside. As I am also a fashion blogger, we made an emphasis on the mixture between the sea, the swimwear, those timeless French Riviera scarfs or eyewear & the salty wind of freedom. I guess it was even before the first shot, a coherent series in the making.
Would you use your Polaroid Camera on an adventure like making a last minute trip to somewhere? What would you photograph and what’s the place you would like to go on a last minute trip?
We’ve been dreaming of a last minute trip for quite some time & I think it would be a shame not to take our Polaroid P600 with us. Depending on the place, we would choose color or black & white films. Vivian would adore having an escapade at the Italian seaside or even in Parma, where he lived as a kid. Again, I think we would photograph the scenery having me as a muse or something fashion and style related in mind as well. As for myself, I would choose New York and use a black & white film at first, because I have always felt that this city is better understood without too much color. The height, the shadows, the light – they already speak their own colourful language.
Would you encourage more people to try a Polaroid Camera and maybe even document their day to day life by inviting this intriguing device in their lives? How would you convince them to try something different besides all that digital era where you can delete the nasty picture you don’t like, instead of waiting to see what will happen after you press the shutter.
I think that once you take your first Polaroid, it is either love at first sight or something that cannot and will never stick.
I don’t know why. Vivian says that one should give people a Polaroid camera and let them have that extraordinary analogue experience & that they would inevitably become instantly addicted. Of course, we encourage people to explore as many mediums of expression as possible. Honestly, we would rather have the resources of gathering all the seemingly unimportant, yet crucial moments of everyday life through endless stashes of Polaroid pictures. I would love a room filled with boxes and boxes and walls of what it was and still lives through the paper and the ink.
Who is your favorite Polaroid photographer and why?
Our favorite Polaroid photographer is (maybe unsurprisingly) Andy Warhol. We love his work precisely because it gets the point of instant analogue experience, which is at the core of a Polaroid camera & shot. Not only do you get to see the near present now past materializing in front of you, but you actually feel the paradox between timelessness, touch and the perishable, the untouchable. We feel like his polaroids express the actual nature of this medium like no one else’s. Even his self-portraits seem to predict a future which now is becoming more and more present.
If you had the last pack of Polaroid film and the last Polaroid camera in the world, how would you use it? Where? And what would you guys photograph? No pressure. Just go with the flow.
Vivian would do the usual: live in the moment, capture the moment, trying not to stage anything and really go with the flow. I guess he would not travel to a special place, but make the place in which he would find himself special through his point of view. He imagines the result as acts of randomness in all of their splendor and beauty: a leaf or a flower and the light attached to them, the softness of his skin pressed to mine, the shape of my neck, at least one self-portrait & mostly inside shots rather than nature or city images.
As for myself, I would first panic. I would feel a huge responsibility towards the world & a sort of duty of delivering the ultimate work of art, even though I do not believe in ultimate works of art.
I feel art, as life, is a process of trial and error.
However, I guess if the film was shot only through my perspective, it would still be mostly about me, it would be extremely staged & carefully curated. I would treat each picture as a message in a bottle waiting to be deciphered and rescued by brave sailors. I would go outside, yet look for mirrors. I would go in 10 different cities, but still looking for myself and my connection to those places. I would ask Vivian to take at least 5 photographs of me occupying spaces rather than the other way around.
As a couple however, I think we would use that last pack of polaroid film much more wisely & passionately. The result would be a soulful blend between the randomness of life, the frailty of human beings in front of nature & even in front of what they themselves built. Breakfast in bed shot, me embracing the sun, capturing a beautifully dressed man or woman or couple somehow in the shadow of a big building or construction. Also – hands – we would like to leave the world with the image of our hands, still very much the young hands of two people who believed first and foremost that if love is not the key or love is not the answer, then it is really all in vain.