Artist Feature – Margot Araujo

Margot Araujo recently photographed Clara Colucci with our Texture film and we were so intrigued with her portraits, we wanted to learn more about the woman behind the camera.

Where are you from, how old are you?

I am 27, French and I have been living in Vienna for the past 5 months.

Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be a photographer? 

Photography is a family thing for me!

My great grandfather was an amateur photographer. He passed the family a lot of pictures of my grandmother and her brother when they were kids or snapshot of life during the 40- 50’s in France. I still have some of these pictures with me and it made a strong impression on me when I first went through them as a child. My aunt was also a photographer, when I was a teenager she gave me one of her cameras and explained me how to develop and print analogue pictures in a dark room and I never stopped shooting analogue since then.

Then, during the course of my Art history Bachelor degree I took a class on history of photography that helped me dig a bit deeper into the history of images, how we interact with them, how it had carved our relation to media and society.

Do you professionally work as a photographer?

No I am not a professional photographer. First because my area of expertise is somewhere else but also because I only shoot analogue which today makes it difficult to be a professional photographer.

Why do you like to take analog pictures? Do you shoot digital as well?

I rarely shoot digital. I don’t have a digital camera to shoot with, but of course I have a smartphone with which I take pictures from time to time when I am travelling (Mostly pictures of details in architecture or landscapes). I have two separate Instagram accounts (one analogue, one digital), one for each, because the results of each technique is too different to be showcased together.

I am the kind of person who buys herself a small gift and leaves it a bag somewhere in my room to open it weeks later so it gives me the impression to make myself a gift twice. I thing analogue photography is a bit like this: you shoot and then you wait for the roll to be finished before discovering the pictures. It’s twice as much rewarding as digital where you get the picture straight away! Since I am a very slow shooter, it can take up to a month before I get back the pictures I shot. Analog photography also gives me the opportunity to work on an image from the act of shooting to the final print.

Do you have a favourite subject to photograph? If so, why?

My favourite topics are landscape and architecture. So anything but what I am sharing right now  in this serie J. I usually tend to avoid taking snapshot of people on the streets because I am often travelling to places where it can be an issue. Also I am a very slow shooter, and people moves too fast for me, so landscape- or staged portrait like here- is closer to what I am looking for in photography.

What’s your favorite analog camera?

I haven’t been shooting with a lot of cameras but I can tell that the ones I use most of the time are perfect for the use I make of it. The one I used to shoot with Revolog is my soviet Zenit, bought in Uzbekistan when I was living there and the second one is a small and light Minox, perfect to keep it in my purse.

Do you have a favorite revolog film? 

 Texture is the first roll of Revolog I am shooting but I knew I would love it. It was the one I have been wanting to shoot for a long time and I am very happy about the way it looks!

With this film my idea was to shoot in bright and colourful places I had found in Vienna to combine this atmosphere with the psychedelic effect of the bubbles. I also wanted to experiment something new, such as staged portrait and the opportunity arose when my very best friend and model @claritawoknwoll came to visit me in Vienna. I wanted to add a layer of interaction in these portraits, like having the figure being immerged into a bubble bath. 

I still have a roll of snovlox and Kolor to shoot during my time in the next country where I will live. I am looking forward to it !

Do you have a favourite photograph (revolog or not) that you would like to share with us and tell us more about it? 

This question is much more difficult for me to answer than the one on cameras because I have hundreds of photographers, dead or alive, famous or unknown, that I really love. I would pick two, one in colours and one in black and white.

For colour, I would choose Saul Leiter building compositions close to abstraction, playing on reflection, and window panes.

For black and white, Keichi Tahara. His window series is a forever favourite, in which he isalso playing on the interaction made possible between pictures and window panes adding a layer of disturbance in the picture.

Any advice for other aspiring photographers?

 Take as many pictures as possible. Sometime analogue photographer are held back by the fact that films are getting expensive, but the only way to sharpen your eyes and improve your practice is to take pictures no matter how expensive it is.

Another advice would be to show your work as much as you can. It doesn’t mean changing the way your taking picture after each review to comply with someone else point of view, but on the contrary it helps see where your strengths and weaknesses are, on which ground your style is built and then to build coherence in a serie.

Do you have any future projects you’d like to talk about?

I will be starting a new project as I arrive to my next duty station in the Western Balkans, for which I will use the two Revolog films I have left. But I don’t know yet what form this project will take or which topic I will focus on.

Thank you so much for the inspiring interview, Margot! We really love your Texture portraits and can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

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