34-Year-Old Actress Photographed Using Instant Film That Expired 34 Years Ago

Fine art and portrait photographer Edouard Janssens — the man behind the 1 to 100 years project we featured some time ago — recently decided that he wanted to begin using large-format instant film to shoot an art series of “eerie” portraits. In order to do this, he had to painstakingly acquired several pieces of expensive gear, and during this search he stumbled on one very special find: a box of 8×10 Polaroid instant film that had expired in October of 1978.


The film was given to him by a store clerk as a “collector’s gift” after purchasing an expensive (and rare) Polaroid Land Processor with which he could process the instant photos he intended to take. And not long after being handed the box, he knew what he wanted to do with it. Why not find someone who was born on the same month the film expired, and photograph them with it?

… it just hit me. Why not try to produce an image out of this way outdated box and base my next photography project on it? … Someone born in October 1978 appeared to me as a logical choice. If it worked it would be the encounter of something considered dead 34 years ago with someone born at that precise time. A wonderful potential encounter.

The above video is the result of that encounter between the 34-year expired film and 34-year-old French-Russian actress Liina Brunelle (born the same month the film expired). Using his recently-acquired Deardorff V8 8×10 mahogany camera and Goerz Dagor Gold Rim 305mm f/6.8 lens, Janssens loaded up the film (without the faintest idea if it would even still work) and snapped away.


You can get more details on the film, actress and camera — as well as see the full collection of prints he got from the old box of film — over on the project’s website.

(via ISO 1200)

  • ennuipoet

    Is it wrong that I was drooling over the camera and not the model?

  • snapshot1

    I don’t understand, anyone who went to photography school prior 2000 used a large format camera and expired film and got just a crappy prints from it. Has instagram become such a thing that we fetishize setting up a 8×10 camera and using Polaroid film? I can go to my closet right now and do this same thing and shoot a video of it with my 5D II as well.

    Now the concept of shooting film as old as the person IS interesting, but this video doesn’t showcase this at all. Are we now saying any bad photo can be justified by a “good” story now on this site?

  • Bertrand Haulotte

    I don’t understand too… Without any interest for me.

  • Mansgame

    Everybody is looking for a gimmick instead of taking a picture and letting the picture speak for it self. Old timers who shot film shot film because that was the best tool for the job at the time. They didn’t do it to be cool.

  • Alan Sailer

    If you step back and examine the premise of this project, it is completely consistent with what modern art has become.

    Modern art is increasingly about the idea rather than the object. If the idea is sufficiently interesting or novel then it is good art.

    The resulting object just doesn’t matter except (possibly) as a tangible record of the idea. In fact if the object is too interesting it can distract from the idea.

    In other words, whether the idea produces anything interesting is beside the point, the idea itself is the point.


  • Ken Jones

    Actually, I think it’s kind of cool.

    I’m modernizing my kit and going fully digital. I’ve broken out some of my old gear and have a Canon A-1 I bought early ’80s. I have been using mostly point and shoot digital for years, but wanted to get back more into the art aspect and less merely documentary snap shots. (Kind of like getting fat in my middle years and then getting lean and healthy again.) Anyway, the camera had a roll of film still in the camera. I removed the film and developed it not knowing what was on there. Kind of neat. (A few photos of a beloved cat that had long since passed.) Discovered the camera has a light leak on the door, though.

    While I think it’s kind of neat to play with old gear and film, I’m not pursuing it. This is pursuing his hobby, found an old box of film, made a video of it, and put it out there. It’s obviously, to me anyway, it’s just for the love of photography and gear. Then there’s the aspect of exploration and discovery, “what’s going to happen if I do this?” Besides, why keep an old box of expired film? I’m with him–use it!

  • snapshot1

    I’m all for gimmicks, I myself shoot and have shot expired films and make daguerreotypes, and other alt processes, doesn’t mean I’m going to show every example of them just because they are being created. Also, the problem I’ve always ran into (and why I don’t do these as much anymore) is that process always ends up dominating the conversation, not content when it came to this type of work.

    In this example we have a story about how hard it was for this guy to get this equipment (first world problem mind you) as the beginning of this conversation that ultimately leads to images that I saw so many times (from me as well when I was learning) during critiques at school that students tried to defend the images as unique, etc. Thing is ALL Polaroids are unique, all film you have ONE chance to get an image. A box of ten sheets of film only ever shoots ten sheets of film.

    Again, I just don’t understand what this project is about since it’s everything that anyone else does at the bases for the work/project. Buy equipment, buy film, set up camera, put film in camera, photograph subject, develop film, show someone what you ended up getting on film. – Yet this is the meat of this guys project with the “gimmick” being outdated film and a girl the same age.

  • snapshot1

    I agree with what you’re saying Ken, but have you looked at the website? This isn’t just about a video. He has an entire dedicated website with detailed written pages about this whole “experience”. I’m all for someone shooting old film and going “Yo look at these” and I will most of the time say “Those are neat”. But this is something different. It’s being presented over the top with a story trying to sound out of the ordinary, but as I said in a post down below, we all go through what he did to get his images so what exactly is his project here?

  • Mansgame



    “I am superior to you because I found this expired film and decided to document the process I used to make the images.” -The person some of you seem to think exists in this video but in all likelihood doesn’t.

    Hit the back button and find something that interests YOU instead of being hipster douches and saying “we all did this in film school.”


    I’ve never been to film school. I’ve never seen this process. It was interesting. Move on.

  • Burnin Biomass

    Performance art. I have decided some aspects of photography have become performance art because the process is being held up as being as important as the result.

    Now, I’m not saying this is bad (in some instances it is very interesting), its just a slightly different art form.

  • tttulio

    why mention the age of the person on the title?

  • Greg Abbott

    How long before someone makes an Instagram-like App that recreates this look on their cell phone camera?

  • Vlad Dusil

    Because the actress is as old as the film she was shot with.

  • dudung10

    well that was anticlimactic.

  • Bartek Nowakowski

    You and whoever liked your comment clearly do not connect dots very well.

  • Bartek Nowakowski

    I actually like the production of this making of video more than the project itself. Whoever did the directing, editing and music – thumbs up.

  • brandon

    i don’t even have anything negative to say. i’m excited to learn that i could get big bucks for some of my old gear. i have some of these films from around the same year. some older yet, and the proccessing thingy.

  • K G

    It seems like since he went to all that trouble setting up the shoot he should have loaded up some < 34 yo expired 8×10 neg film so we could see a less gimmicky version

  • bill

    I like the process overall and the step-by-step documentation. The result, was meh. But hey that’s what you shoot for when experimenting with things like this. It’s a shame the end result was not as exciting but hey, it was a gamble.

    I remember back in my film days trying out different film types and such. It was fun, but the end result was the same, anti-climatic.

    Though, I am not trying to bash on the photographer’s effort, I hope that’s not what it appears as. I just thought the story was better then the ending.

  • Eziz

    It’s more like, *puts on a pretentious avant-garde face*,
    the death of the film is coincided with the birth of the actress.

  • James Andrews

    The film exsisted before it expired so is therefore older than 34 years.

  • Jonathan Pearson

    i think so….

  • Yomi Jones

    Kudos @Alan Sailer, you get it.