Did you study photography at school? Or are you a self-taught photographer? At the Prodibi Pixel Magazine, we like to put the spotlight on any type of photographers, from legends to upcoming artists and amateurs.
This week, we meet with Achille Laplante - Le Brun, a young photography student from the ECAL school in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Between skateboarding and personal photography projects, the young generation is coming with a bang, and with photos in full resolution powered by Prodibi!
A few words about you, how did you start photography?
My name is Achille Laplante - Le Brun, I'm 20 years old, I come from Paris and its suburbs (Clamart).
I like music, concerts, long walks, skateboarding, and pasta bolognese! I like the feeling when I'm skating in a bowl or going downhill at full speed. You know, when you're overwhelmed by adrenaline. It's exactly this feeling that I finally feel when I see an image, a music or something else that I like!
So, intuitively I started by taking photos of my buddies while they were skateboarding.
It really got me more and more, I had a little digital camera at this time. As I liked it, I wanted to deepen and return to "the base" by taking a film camera. By luck and kindness, my grandmother lent me my grandfather's and I literally lugged it everywhere with me. And when I had no more pocket money for the films, I looked at at the camera from top to bottom!
I loved the noise and all the processes that went before, during, and after.
How do you describe your style as a photographer?
My grandmother loves Russian constructivism, so as a result, that was my initial idea and photography style.
But you see, by showing your work to people and seeing exhibitions, you end up sharpening or changing course. So I changed course but rather slowly.
Today I will say that simplicity, "do it yourself" mentality, and naivety are the three points that could characterize my photographs.
By Simplicity, I mean a visual composition in which it is easy to understand and see my intention.
By DIY, it is more during the photo session that I'm tinkering with stuff, or take positions or put myself in strange places.
And by Naivety, it's more my intuitive side that I will follow quite easily, while still thinking of course, but I almost follow my first ideas all the time.
You recently published an art series called "Azure Chimera", how did you come up with this idea? What does this series mean to you?
I arrived in Lausanne in August 2016, I had a month to discover the city and its surroundings before starting the ECAL in propaedeutic. While walking, I was always passing in front of this garage, and it intrigued me.
One of my close friends is riding motorcycle, my father-in-law too, and he's also tinkering with it (what a coincidence...). It is a culture that has always interested me more and more, still today.
As a result, the plot I had about this garage remained in a corner of my head and as I was starting classes at ECAL, I had the opportunity to start a documentary about this garage. Because I was finally quite free on the direction I could take and there were teachers to help me, advise me.
It was a great experience because it was my first real project. It was also the first time I went to strangers to start a project with them.
I loved it.
Any advice for young people who want to join a school as ECAL?
Well, ECAL is a school combining art and business.
You gain knowledge of the good and bad sides.
If you come to ECAL you must be passionate and show that you want it.
The technique, do not worry, you'll learn it.
You just have to be ready to hang on and sweat!
Are you inspired by the work of other photographers or artists? Which ones?
What really inspires me is not the actual work of the artist. It's the approach and the thinking. And also the attitude!
There are many artists who inspire me. There is Rosie Mathewson, Ray Potes, Slowthai, Daïdo Moriyama, Sophie Calle or Trouble Andrew.
About your photography gears, what are your favorite tools?
I am quite contradictory in fact, but I like as much to use a good old cobra flash as a pretty continuous light.
And the same at the level of the camera! Medium film format and compact silver flash are my two favorite gears.
Do you have projects for the future like workshops, personal series?
Yes, I'm going to release an edition of exclusive cliches in black and white! In collaboration with a collective called Acédie58.
Also, I slowly start another project about motorcycle, I'm excited ha ha.
There are always my instagram accounts with which I take a lot of pleasure!
And then, there are always two or three ideas lying around in my head.
To see more from Achille:
All photographs copyright Achille Laplante - Le Brun and used with his permission.
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