I was born in the North of France but spent my teens in the Paris region and currently live in the Bordeaux surroundings.
Although our family tree shows an evident taste and aptitude for the arts across the generations, they were never encouraged or considered as a ‘real’ profession. Surprisingly, it was only recently that I learned that my great-grandfather, whose track we had lost, was both a talented photographer (transforming his pictures into paintings-like images) and the first flutist of the Paris Opera.
My own school career showed a more artistic than a theoretical sensitivity, but it’s a completely different path that I was encouraged to take. It was in 2012, after years in a career in the international field, that I dared listen to my inner voice and buy my first camera. Two years later, I quit my job to try to make my passion be a ‘real’ job.
I usually look for potentially bare places (becoming like settings in my eyes) in which a human gesture or expression will inspire a sense of mystery, solitude, fear, tenderness, humor… amid a backdrop of surrealism.
Sometimes I don’t even need to include passers-by in my scenes to express these feelings. Some street details, a piece of urban furniture, a lost glove, the light on a car, marks on the ground … have, from my point of view, a powerful evocative potential and are sufficient in themselves. I don’t show these abstract shots much. I used to post them in diptychs combined with my street photos, thus building new stories out of two single ones–my ‘Compli-cities’ series–but they probably constitute a good half of my work. I’m currently trying to reintroduce them slowly in my IG posts. It’s difficult as I find them very different in terms of light and colors from my street photos, but I really hope to be able to show more of them in the future.
I almost always bring a camera with me, just in case, but for the reasons given above, plus the fact that my house is located in the countryside in the outskirts of the city, I can go several weeks without shooting. I rather focus my shots on my travels at photo festivals, weekends and holidays. In these cases, even if I feel more comfortable with strong lights, I try to adapt myself to the weather and other specificities of the place where I’m staying. It’s very challenging sometimes, like during my artist residency in NYC last December, where the weather was cold and rainy, but I can be very productive if the place inspires me. Like a little squirrel, I then build up stocks that allow me to create series and feed my Instagram account for months!
Anywhere, rather outside, but also, when possible, in cafes, museums … provided that the light and the frame allow me to stop a special moment in my eye, like a freeze-frame of a film or a play, where one no longer knows where and when one is. My tastes are changing, but the light that has attracted me so far is that of countries where its brightness and the way it crosses the streets allows me to play on contrasts and build my frame. The architecture and the size of the buildings play a fundamental role from this point of view. I am also more and more sensitive to colors and nostalgic atmospheres. On all these aspects, countries like Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and more recently, New York, have inspired me a lot. Bordeaux, the city where I live, poses more difficulties for me. Its 18th century architecture is certainly magnificent, but a little too homogeneous and classic for my style of photography, with the exception of a few districts built in the 1960s or, conversely, the most recent ones.
Good question that I keep on asking myself since I started photography. The day I bought my first camera, I was in Dubai. I don’t know what happened, it took me suddenly! I remember walking into a store, and with no prior thought, buying a camera! At that time, I believed that, like anyone else, I just needed to immortalize beautiful places or moments. But with hindsight, I wonder if it is not rather the city’s urgency to develop itself that echoed in me. Of course, I’m very much interested in the mutations of cities and their impact on human behaviors. I also have a great fascination for the sculpting power of light and that, more atmospheric, of colors. So, mixing this curiosity for the evolutions of our society to the magic power of light in my photographs is a highly satisfying process. But beyond this aesthetic purpose hides a real need, I think, to pull more personal ‘things’ out; an urgency to give a voice to difficult events of the past and, for the introverted person that I am, to give some hints of my inner world and emotions in order to facilitate my communication with others. But isn’t a photo always, whatever its nature and avowed purpose, a reflection of oneself and the wish to reach the others?