I am French but have been living in the Netherlands for years. I studied engineering, first worked in Berlin and then ended up here. I always had fernweh, as the Germans say, and I invariably construed my jobs as mere tools to finance my travels. I am constantly thinking and scheming to organize future trips. 2020 has made this much harder and I am really eagerly waiting for less complicated times.
I try to not have expectations and just catch moments as they unfold. I think that if you’re trying too hard to find a specific thing, you might miss what is actually happening and is potentially really interesting. Thus I try to keep an open mind, and to make the best of the situations I encounter.
Still, my work has some recurring themes – balloons, colors, shadows, fabrics – and all my pictures are in color and include people. I let myself be guided by light and textures, and try to organize the chaos. I like to use strong colors to emphasize the compositional elements of my pictures.
I was given a basic camera when I was a young teenager. Somehow, it taught me to see the familiar world around differently, to look at things from more than one angle. Later, when I then started traveling extensively, the camera was a constant companion – but I was only interested in photographing architecture, not people. It’s only much later, quite recently in fact, that I got interested in people.
Environmental portraits at first, but then after a workshop with Nikos Economopoulos, I discovered street photography. I liked the mysterious part that one can bring in images, somehow closing the loop with the experimental pictures of my teenage years.
I almost never shoot in the Netherlands. I mostly like shooting in Asia and Africa, where more bits of life take place in the street. In Europe, a lot happens behind closed doors. Also, I find it difficult to produce aesthetic work in European cities: the backgrounds are cluttered, the advertisements and signs bother me. Some places (I am thinking of India for example of Cairo where I went twice this year) enable me to construct frames with beautiful color palettes. Somehow, I need to be charmed by a place to get my brain into photography mode – then I can walk endlessly to encounter the unknown, focused on finding some form of beauty in the daily life around me.
I always experienced a strong desire to create, experimented with painting and sculpture. Photography brings together my creativity and my love for discovering new places. In other artistic activities, I never reached the degree of freedom that photography gives me. The hunting and composing feels to me much more dynamic than working for days on the same object. I love the constant movement and feel more alive when I am shooting. I pay more attention to the world around me, as the magic can be everywhere.