Independant Documentary Photographer & Vintage Photography. Currently living and working in Southern France
I started learning photography by myself at the age of 16, during a year-long cultural exchange in Malaysia with AFS in 2006/07 and decided, in 2012 to join a collective of photographers for two years in France and West Africa. From 2013 to 2016, I have worked on Photografrika, a long-term project about West African photographers, in several countries (Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Burkina Faso & Mali). Since 2013, I’m also working and traveling with an “Afghan Box”, a home-made wooden camera with an included lab which allows me to shoot and develop a black and white picture on paper within 3 minutes. We Are All Fugees is another long term project currently executed with that camera box, in different communities all over the world : fishermen in Southern Morocco, Karen Tribe in Burma, marginal people from Brisbane (Australia), ravers in Boom Festival (Portugal), Malian villagers, Malaysians, Lagosian (Nigeria)…
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a 23 years old photographer from Southern France, currently living and working in the Alps, in the small village of Mont-Dauphin. I work with a digital camera and a street box, which is a wooden home made camera with an included lab. Beside photography, which is a real passion, I’m also working as a carpenter.
How did you get interested in photography?
When I was much younger, I came across the famous picture of Nick Ut, a Vietnamese war photographer, which left a mark on me. Later, for one of my birthday, I’ve got 2 gifts from my uncle : a world map and a photography guide from the National Geographic. That’s how I started to learn photography theory and to practice during my trip in Asia, Europe and Africa. My two experiences in the moving photography school “Atelier Nomade” helped me a lot to improve
as I was working on a real project.
Who are some of your favorite classic photographers, and how did they influence you?
I would say Steeve Mc Curry and Reza for their colored travel photography, Lee Jeffries, Salgado, W. Eggleston, Koudelka & Bresson for the black & white.
What first drew you to photography and how did you discover it?
Everything is already written in the previous question 😉
How do you educate to take better photos?
I try to keep updated in everything that interest me in photography : skills, photography projects, events… I read photography magazine and classic photography books. It helps me for inspiration and new project creation. And of course I try to practice as much as I can !
How do you come up with ideas for your projects?
The more I know myself, the easiest it is for me to come up with ideas for my project. Usually, there is always a link with a part of my personality and the project I’m in. For example, in “Photografrika Project”, the common link was the profession, so it was easier for me to understand these African photographers and to shoot them.
Do you take photos more for yourself or for others?
For both. Photography is for me the best medium to express myself so I take photos for my own pleasure. But I of course take photos for the others, as I want my pictures to be shared, in order to provoke something in people’s mind and emotion.
What do you think makes a memorable photograph?
When taking this memorable photography was a real challenge (dealing with difficult weather, people…) ! and when you take a look at it, the result is much better that what you expected.
How important is an awesome website for your business?
What you show on your website and how you do it reveals what kind of photographer you are and the way you work, so it’s it’s really important for me to make it “awesome”. It’s a part of you that you give to people. Furthermore, it’s almost unavoidable nowadays not to have one if you want to touch more people.
How has social media played a role in your photography?
My website and facebook played a role in connecting me with other photographer all around the world. It’s one of the best tools for sharing and discovering original photography project.
What are some tips you would give to yourself if you started photography all over again?
Don’t lose too much time with photography techniques ! It’s really important to know the basics, but it’s also important not to think too much about it while shooting, as you’ll loose a lot of good opportunities. It’s also nice if you can, to have a directive line in a project. It helps you to concentrate more on what you do and not to be spread in too many ideas.
What is one question nobody has ever asked you that you wish they asked you?
What’s your feeling between the moment you discover the perfect subject to shoot and the moment you “got it in the box” ? [Official Website]