Female Film Photographers You Should Know: Marthe Robin

5 April, 2021

Marthe Robin is a young talented female film photographer currently living and studying photography in France.  Her photography portrays intimate aspects of her life through natural and close images with a clear predilection for the use of cold and magenta tones. The artist finds her greatest inspirations in various directors of the French film industry and she is currently trying to expand her photographic creativity using drawings and paintings in her work.

How would you introduce yourself to someone who just met you?

Simple question at first sight. But so much more complex when we really think about it. My name is Marthe, I’m a 22 year-old french student in photography at La Cambre (Brussels) – but I’m so much more than that in fact, we all are more that our identity.

What is the memory that you most fondly remember from your childhood?

One of my greatest memory from childhood is all the sea baths under the rain with my dad and my brother while my mother was freezing her ass off in her wind breaker on the wet sand. I would have loved growing up by the ocean.

Who were the most influential people during your teens and how did they influence you?

The people who probably influenced me the most are the one with who I grew up, family and friends. But also a lot of movies from the french New Wave such as Pierrot le Fou by Jean-Luc Godard. Film wise, I could also mention Xavier Dolan for his iconography which influenced me a lot when I was a teen.


How did you get in the world of analogue photography?

I got in the world of analogue photography pretty late, two years ago thanks to my grandpa’s camera, an Minolta AL-F from 1968. I believed he used to love taking pictures but during the time in which I knew him, he always refused to see them – Nostalgia, I guess. Now I use a lot of others cameras but the Minolta AL-F this is the one I have the most affection for.

How would you describe the photography you do? What is your work focused on?

I do not consider my photographs as work, neither as art. They are parts of my life, memories from moments of bliss. 

Now that I’m finally studying photography, I’m forcing myself to be more conscious about everything when I’m shooting or planning shoots. But what I truly love about photography is documenting my day-to-day life, try to see beauty in anecdotic things and translate them with the camera. Maybe I could say that my main focus is «Intimacy» even if it’s a broad subject.

Are you working on any photographic project at the moment? 

At the moment, I mainly work on projects at my school, trying to expand my photographic style to be able to show different things. I took recently some shots with a 35mm film and bought for myself some water colours and I’m thinking to experiment a lot more, using drawings and paintings in my images.

Is there any photographic project that you would like to do but have not done yet?

I would really love to work on Identity, Virility, Gender etc. and I probably will but these subjects are a huge deal and if I work on these I would want to do something more in depth and in detail as I’d like to be more documented on those topics. I prefer to wait a little bit, become more mature and to gather a lot of informations and experiences before doing so.

Which camera and which film do you use the most in your photography and why?

The camera I use the most is a Nikon Lite Touch Zoom 130ED which is currently slowly dying… I love this one because since it doesn’t have a lot of settings, allows me to be spontaneous and fluid. The fact that with this camera I can zoom a lot makes a big difference for me because I like to be close to my subjects. Also, since it’s a point and shoot camera it’s really small I can take it everywhere with me. If I want to shoot with a 50mm point of view, I use my Pentax KX which I also absolutely adore. 

Film wise, I tend to go for Kodak Gold 200 because I think it’s a great quality for a reasonable price but I also use Kodak Ultramax 400, Portra 400 and FujiPro 400H. Also, I find there is something special about the Kodak Ektar 100, I love its vibrant colours.

Who are your biggest influences?

Photography wise, my biggest influences are Robert Mapplethorpe, Wolfgang Tillmans, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, Luigi Ghirri and a bunch of instagram pages. But I am mostly inspired by movies, music and literature. Les Chansons d’amour by Christophe Honoré, Les Choses de la Vie by Claude Sautet, Mon Roi by Maïwenn Le Besco, 37.2 le Matin by Jean-Jacques Beineix and the book by Philippe Djian. Special tribut for Réparer les Vivants by Maylis de Kerangal, the most beautiful novel I have ever read.

What’s the best advice you would give yourself when you started in the world of film photography?

Invest more time, more energy and more money, it will be worth it. Also, do not wait two years to buy accessories to archive all your negatives because you have actually 63 film to store, the film archiving journey is full of pitfalls.


Find more about Marthe’s Work?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/da_viken/


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