Article submitted to the Polaroid Originals Magazine by DJ Pangburn. Featured portrait by Dan Roberts.
French photographer Julien Boudet never intended to pursue a career in fashion photography. After growing up in the picturesque seaside town of Sète, France, Boudet attended business school. Upon graduating, he moved to New York City, where he bought his first camera. Boudet’s early photographs were mostly of buildings, streets, cityscapes, and the like. Encouraged by his friends’ positive feedback, he began taking photos of people, which ultimately led him to Parsons, where he studied for two years before dropping out to begin freelancing. But it was a chance encounter in Soho that altered his life and career, leading him down his current path as a street style photographer.
“Someone asked to take a photo of me in 2010 in Soho and at the time I had no idea street style was a thing,” Boudet tells Polaroid Originals. “I asked [the photographer], ‘Yeah, you can take my photo, but what is it for?’ and he said, ‘I have a blog about street style, and I take photos of people on the street.’ So he took my photo.”
Later that night, Boudet checked out the photographer’s blog and liked what he saw. Inspired, he began walking around Soho doing essentially the same thing as the blogger—snapping photographs of “stylish, cool people.”
“Later, this Italian magazine called NSS sent me to New York Fashion Week back when it was at Lincoln Center, and that was 2012,” says Boudet. “From there, I got more jobs photographing street style, and I started traveling for it. It came very naturally, I didn’t push it.”
What has remained consistent from Boudet’s days taking photographs of buildings (which he still does) and his street style work is a fixation on details. As he says, this interest in details is why heads are often cropped out of photos, or his camera focuses on a garment or building detail.
Typically, Boudet shoots with a 200mm lens, which allows him to go really deep in capturing specific detail that catches his eye. When he began taking photos with the OneStep+ for this project, he had to slightly tinker with his approach.
“It’s pretty challenging because I have to think differently before taking a photo because obviously it’s a wide lens on the OneStep+, and you can’t really get that close because it would be blurred,” Boudet explains. “That’s why I liked the project: I could do the same thing I do Fashion Week, but with a different medium. I have to think differently before taking the image. I have to think about how to frame with it and what I’m looking for.”
Boudet has recently been shooting double exposures on his Mamiya camera with medium format film. Naturally, he gravitated toward this feature on the OneStep+.
“The cool thing about the OneStep+ is that it comes with the app that lets you do double exposures, so I’ve done a lot of them,” he says. “It’s fun and you can be pretty creative with it.”
Indeed, Boudet’s instant analog double exposures are incredibly vibrant. In one, a white car covers a woman’s head so that the image instead focuses on the details of the subject’s torso and clothes. In another image, one of his subjects, who is dressed colorfully, is superimposed inside a street mural, creating a surreal camouflage effect.
“I also did some self-portraits because you have the Self-Timer [feature] on the app,” Boudet notes. “I used all of the features, obviously, so it was a bit different work than I usually do.”
“Also, there is a feature [in Manual Mode] on the camera that allows you to let more light into the camera with the + and – signs, and that is super useful. You can just have fun with the app and all of the features.”