Article submitted to the Polaroid Originals Magazine by Aude Gouaux-Langlois.
Cecile Boyer is the creative talent behind Poulette Magique – it’s a blog, but it’s also her own universe inspired by vintage finds, family life and a plethora of colorful objects she collects at flea markets. Cecile’s Instagram feed, too, is a curated patchwork of her favorite things. If it were a smell it be would like walking into your favorite childhood candy store, where the sweetness in the air puts a smile on your face. We meandered with Cecile down memory lane to discover more about her projects and her own personal connection to the world of instant photography. Check out the interview, then head over to our Instagram to discover two holiday decor tutorials that she created, just for us.
Can you tell us about how Polaroid cameras found their way into your collection?
I have been hunting for Polaroid Cameras on flea markets for around 10 years now. For me, it was like the holy grail, the thing I’d never had as a teenager. So when I got my first salary I went out and bought a Polaroid Camera and never looked back. I think it was around the time that the film wasn’t being produced anymore but since then I’ve collected around 40 different models!
Do you have a favorite Polaroid camera in that treasure trove?
I mainly collect models I really like, such as the Barbie Cam, the Taz Cam or the Spice Cam. I just purchased the Mickey Cam that I found so beautiful. I don’t see myself ever living without my Polaroid cameras, if I don’t work with them for some weeks in a row I really miss it!
Some of the cameras that you have in your collection are fun and some are for your own photography work. Which camera is your favorite to shoot with?
I started working with the SX-70 camera and this took my work with Polaroid Originals film to the next level: especially with the portraits of my daughter which are a recurring theme in my photography. The SX-70 freed me as an artist: the focal length is different and it is very easy to carry around. Right now I also work with the OneStep+ camera and it is so nice to use especially with the double exposure feature as it opens up a whole field of possibilities. With the app, you can add a little something extra to the instant film photos that you create and play with it in a fun way. I like doing little deco tutorials with it and you can also be very creative. Right now I must have somewhere between 300 and 400 Polaroid pictures waiting to be scanned!
Are you sometimes working with other photography mediums too?
I use a digital camera for my product shots on Instagram but with the Polaroid camera, you have to think about the composition of your picture. It takes you right back to the origins of photography. You learn to cherish the moment and not to waste the film. I also like the fact that some unpredictable effects may appear on the film itself but also how it reacts to temperature. I love the warm tones of the summer Polaroid photos and in winter they will be greyish, blueish or with purple nuances. Sometimes when it’s too warm they will be too yellow and it makes you think about the light and what you’re experiencing right now. When you’re working with instant photography, you’re really in the moment. It’s a little gift that I can give to my daughter or a way to capture a memory with a friend or during a party.
You’re very involved with the instant film community online, how did this come about?
As I always talked about Polaroid cameras on my blog I became connected to the instant film community because people discovered my blog through the Polaroid connection – how to take pictures with the cameras and so on. I regularly still receive questions about these kinds of topics which I enjoy answering.
Can you tell us more about the themes that inspire your photography?
The themes of my work are mostly creative colors, playing with nostalgia and the world of the fair. Wherever I go, I search for vibrant colors and I photograph colorful objects or use a colored background. I love the world of the fairground with all of its neon lights. I also like to play with the nostalgic aspect of the Polaroid image: I like to compose an image with a vintage feel and make the viewer question the era when the photo was taken.
Another important theme seems to be your family and especially your daughter. Can you tell us more about this?
It’s true, my family is a really important part of my work but it feels so natural to me that I forget to mention it! It’s a subject that I delve into everyday with my photography. A lot of my pictures have been published in the Photodarium Calendar and one of my favorite pictures was the one featuring my daughter holding a Polaroid picture in her hand. I also like the one depicting her staring into the distance with her cousin.
Can you tell us more about managing the balance between your role of mother and pursuing a career as a creative freelancer?
I started freelancing in order to have a more gentle rhythm to my life so that I would enjoy as much quality time with my daughter as possible, even though it came with the choice of earning less money. Time passes by so quickly and I just wanted to witness my daughter’s childhood. I adapt my work so that I could pick her up at school early and when we’re together, we sometimes go for walk and photograph together. I try to align both: a mix between work and pleasure. So I plan my schedule around my daughter’s schedule. Since I had to create my own company – a communications agency – and the workload grew to more than I originally thought it would, this way of working allows me to set healthy boundaries for both of us.