My name is Sonia Fitoussi. I was born and raised in Paris where I studied law. I was working as a lawyer when I had the opportunity to move to London with my family in 2004.
I have discovered London with my little Canon G7, all in automatic mode, and when I showed my photos to a gallery in South Kensington, they offered me an exhibit. From then on, everything started, and I took photography very seriously. I have learnt through courses, books, and workshops. One of them was at Magnum in Paris with Matt Stuart and Richard Kalvar. I still think of their advice every day while photographing.
Photography has become an everyday passion that I can’t live without. When I started, it was mostly architecture. But one day, I saw an exhibition of John Gay’s photographs in Kenwood House: It came as a shock to me. From this moment on, I knew that street photography would be what I wanted to do. I am now completely hooked! And I am very honoured to have exhibited in many places since then. My last exhibition took place in a gallery at St Germain des Près (Paris) in March 2020 just before the first lockdown and just after my exhibition in Mayfair in London in June 2019, where I invited a painter, Stephen Brook, and a photographer, David Goold to exhibit with me. I loved curating the exhibition and putting photos and paintings together.
Of course, for street photography, cities are the best playing fields. I love London–like New York–because people don’t care if they are snapped. The streets are wide, the city full of vibrant colours. Now, I enjoy going to places that I know will provide interesting light and good subjects.
I will soon be moving back to Paris, and I am wondering how this will affect my way of seeing things and my approach tp photography. In France, people are more reluctant to be photographed, so it will be challenging. Maybe I’ll need to use a longer lens! But I am happy with this new challenge as it will take me to new horizons.
Absolutely every day, I never go out without my camera. I know that something interesting may happen at the corner of my street. There is beauty even in the most ordinary things.
I don’t set myself a goal, I just go in the streets and observe what is going on: body language, attitudes, mundane moments, and humanity in general are what I am naturally attracted to without even looking for them.
Because photographing is my daily dose of adrenaline, and I can’t help looking at the world surrounding me as a possible shot. All of my photos are candid. I like colour and texture, combined with witty and affecting human juxtapositions. I love British humour and my favourite word is serendipity: to meit describes perfectly what street photography is.
Photographing makes me happy, makes me smile and wonder at small things (lights, gestures, attitudes, fleeting moments), my heart beats faster when I see details that could make a good photo. I have an appetite for people and life in the streets and I feel satisfied after my walks. Also, I think there is a fear that, all of us photographers have in common: time runs away and we need to capture it before it’s too late. And of course, the need to share moments we’ve enjoyed. As long as I have a sense of awe, it means I am alive.