"I'm Taylor Blanchard, a film photographer and darkroom enthusiast in Charlotte, NC. I grew up with film but didn't shoot it with any intention until 2008, when my father-in-law gave us his Canon AE1. In 2017, I took my first darkroom class and also shot my first medium format camera, a Holga 120S. Since then, I've gotten into 4x5 photography and continued to print in the darkroom. I love film because it forces me to slow down, while also providing endless opportunities for experimentation."
See more of Taylor's work on Instagram at: @avecfilm
A/A: Do you have a favorite alternative process?
TB: Picking a favorite alternative process is tough. It's a pretty close tie between blind double exposures and film soup. I've done several blind film swaps with photographers I've never met in real life, and I love the results. You can learn a lot about a person and their photography style through a blind swap. It's quite rewarding when you have two images that come together without any planning.
I love the serendipity of film soup and the fact that I have to give up control. Even if you use the same stock and film soup recipe every time, you will get different results. You never know what to expect. When everything aligns with film soup, it's magical. Plus, you can get such incredible colors when you soup color film. Because you are essentially destroying parts of the film emulsion, you can get a look of peeling back the layers.
A/A: What inspires you?
TB: As cheesy as it sounds, the film photography community inspires me. I've learned so much about film, cameras, and processes through other photographers. I've found the vast majority of film photographers are open to sharing knowledge about their processes or what film stock they used or how they rate a certain film. The community inspires me to push myself and try new things with film.
A/A: Do you find your work has a theme?
TB: I struggle with the question of theme in my work because I'm drawn to so many different subjects and styles, and I love trying new things with film photography. I certainly shoot a lot of landscapes and cityscapes, but I also love taking photos of people. While I love taking crisp images with my 4x5, I love double exposures, film soup, and experimental films. I oscillate between feeling like I need to pick a direction and continuing to enjoy the space where I am.