It’s hard to imagine NOT being able to create stunning photographs in Hawaii, with it’s luscious microcosm of rolling hills, sprawling beaches and clear emerald lagoons. While it’s a place most people daydream about while sitting in the office, fine art photographer Brigette Bloom transformed her Hawaiian life into her own surreal canvas. Her work is brazen – for a lot of the shots she’s turned her camera on herself – and her experimental analog process makes you feel like you’re looking at her dancing through the cosmos. She fatefully stumbled upon her style when she washed a roll of film in the laundry. In a moment of creative genius, she chose to try the film, and the magic blossomed, eventually leading her experiment with the process. She’s used some pretty radical “washes” including her urine. Have a read of her interview:
LF: So let’s start with the big question, you soak your film in urine?
BB: Ha yes! That seems to be the big questions these days… I’ve been peeing on my film for years.
LF: Any other interesting wet mediums we should know about?
BB: I’ve tried soaking my film in any liquid I can find. Sometimes it will completely disintegrate after an hour. Some I like best are lemon juice/kombucha/gin/boiling water…
LF: How did this all come about?
BB: The pee soak happened because I once left a roll of film in my pocket and put it through the washer (on accident.) I thought the film would be ruined, but I tried developing it anyway, and as it turns out, I liked the results even more! Ever since that day, I started researching different ways you can destroy your film, and soaking them in liquids was one of them. I tried everything I had in my house (including pee).
LF: How does the landscape of Hawaii shape you as a photographer?
BB: Hawaii is something else. I almost didn’t believe a place like this exists. It’s beyond words.
My biggest influence is nature and animals, so being able to live in a place like this is the ultimate dream!
LF: You do a lot of self portraiture, which can be tricky at times. What’s your best advice for a photographer wanting to be the model as well?
BB: Yes it can be tricky, especially when you only have 10 seconds to press the button and get the shot. I mostly started using myself as the model because I could express certain things I wasn’t able to get out of other people. It’s a really intuitive process. Although I’ve been less interested in self portraits lately, I think it will always be incorporated in my work. My advice would just be to experiment. That’s all I’ve ever done. I wish they invented a longer self timer button (maybe they have?) but I’ve only ever had 10 seconds. So my other advice is, run fast!
LF: Your landscapes include the desert and the sea. Where does your heart really lie?
BB: Ahh I can never choose. My heart will always be in the desert, it’s my home. But i actually feel like I was made for the ocean-since birth. I’ve had a deep love for water and now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
LF: What kinds of film are you using?
BB: Anything I can get my hands on, truly. I’ll use anything and everything. Most of my film has been given to me through film companies and kind strangers. I use a lot of Impossible Project and Revolog.
LF: Have you ever owned a digital camera?
BB: Yes I have a little digital point and shoot that I used to document random things. Oh, and my phone!
LF: You mentioned on your website that you are training as a yoga instructor. How does yoga inspire you as an artist?
BB: Yeah I’ve been teaching yoga for a few months which is such a breath of fresh air. I like it because it pushes me. Sometimes I don’t want to teach because I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but then at the end of class, someone will come up to me and say that was exactly what they needed. It’s amazing! I love that it gets me out of my comfort zone. it’s also the greatest feeling to feel like you could be helping someone.
LF: If you could do a photo series anywhere, where would it be?
BB: Oooo good question. I’ve been wanting to go to Iceland, but anywhere you go has magic really. I think it’s not so much the place you go, but who you’re with.
LF: What gets you off, literally or figuratively?
BB: Honestly, anything that makes my heart beat fast. The act of creating photos with someone is really exhilarating – there is this energy shared that isn’t like anything else. Another big one is music. When I hear a certain song that speaks to my soul, that’s pure magic. Lastly, humor and honesty – biggest turn on.
LF: How FAST do you live?
BB: Haha so fast!