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Frédéric Guelaff

What was your first shot ?

My bed. It was simply in front of me when I charged the camera

How did your work, idea evolve ?

After a couple of tests (daughter, sun, skateboard, tree, chair…) I realised I would not obtain an interesting image. So unstable without a definition, lack of contrast the PX film is still too fragile.

O Hell – instead of trying to search an esthetic result I decided to photograph a person who is in perfect adequacy to “Impossible project” ; the chemicals, the mystery, the history of photography, the obstinacy and perseverance of passions…

It is a man, a man I deeply love. His name is Toros, and he has been a black & white printer of the best photographers for more than 20 years. A man full of patience, enthusiasm and always a bit malicious, he was with me when I discovered my first photographs. He was with me, guided me.

Sometimes when I enter the back of his laboratory, into the dark room it is a magician I discover, hands that are dancing and hiding the light on the paper (rare gestures and glances). So I went to see him with my PX film and rapidly we had fun and I started to shoot him. Cautiously and amused we were waiting for a result that did not appear and Toros had to leave. Left alone, the PX film was playing games on me but it eventually could not beat Toros’ radiant smile…

At the show this image is printed on a poster (44,5 x 54 cm) on an edition of 800 and Toro’s portrait is given away for free.

Are you happy with the result ?

Yes the smile enchants me.

What's next ?

Music and dance (and a movie on Toros).