Frédéric SAEZ is self-taught photographer. He was born in Tours, in the Loire Valley in France. Avid traveler, he combined early passion for the image with the long course travels. Humanist by definition, urban nature. He naturally came to street photography with a particular appetite for black and white.
Please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a self-taught photographer, I was born in Tours, in the Loire Valley in France. As an avid traveler, I combined my early passion for the image with the long course travels. Humanist by definition, I love urban nature so I naturally came to street photography with a particular appetite for black and white.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
Why do I photograph ? It's a simple and complex question at the same time. May be the main reason for me is to be the witness of my age , a modest witness . A second reason is to catch the time which is ineluctably passing. Then I am also a person who loves humanity. I define myself as a humanist.
There is so much diversity on this earth, races, colors, habits and customs and off course people to meet. Humanity is enrichment by itself and meeting people from different origins is a gift from life. I suppose that photography is my excuse to meet all these people.
Whats inspires your photography?
People, only people.
What does it mean to you?
Humanity is so fantastic and both unfair.
How did the project start?
I planned a trip to Cuba and my early idea was to digress from touristic clichés. My goal was to testify mainly of life in the neighborhoods of Havana. So I visited Centro Habana which is one of the most popular area of the Cuban capital.
How did you approach the subject matter?
Entering Centro Habana I had several ideas , shooting angles. I chose children because they still represent the future. The future of a nation. Cuba is currently at a turning point with the announced removal of the US embargo. Recently French President Francois Hollande ask to erase the traces of the Cold War. So living conditions in Cuba will change shortly i suppose. This is the way of history. Then my interest has been to see dynamism of youth, the next generation promised to better living conditions. Who are they, how they look like ? What are they’re currently living conditions?
What cameras did you shoot with and why?
I shoot with Leica M cameras, both Leica M9-P and Leica M Monochrom. Complementary to the cameras, this particular serie has been done with a 28mm focal length, a Summicron 28/f2 Asph. I used it to shoot closer to my subjects and get a perspective effect that only this focal offers. The idea was to capture the children in their context, the streets of Centro Habana.
Any anecdotes you can share?
During my reportage, I had to drop my devices to play football in the streets of Centro Habana with kids. Football is an universal sport to get close with people and in fact being accepted. But i have to say that I was often dribble by small Cuban footballers …
What are you looking for in street photography?
I do not know exactly what I ‘m going to shoot ahead even if I already redivision ideas. this is what is exciting about street photography. I appreciate above all the sponteity of life, surprises . Street photography brings me these two essential elements in living my photographic passion.
Any closing comments?
Cuba is a kind of candy store for photographers, colors are everywhere. I choose to render this photos in black and white to impose an austere character to my pictures because people are living in poor conditions there.
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