Chris Lavaud is a french photographer currently based in Toulouse in south west France. He practiced photography since his 12th birthday when his family gave him his first Canon AE1 with its objective 50mm f/1.8.
The magic of creation by the image hit him immediately and this passion has never left him. He has working for many years in graphic design, he uses his camera 24 x 36 at any occasion and accumulates the contact sheets and other slides. Today he devotes all his time to photography by travelling in Europe to photograph the human in life, the street photography mainly and the photojournalism punctually.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
Without hesitation, it is the greatest photojournalists, who inspired me and still inspires me today as James Nachtwey, Philip Jones Griffiths and recently Jacob Aue Sobol, Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin. Their involvement in conflict zones to account and visually witness the reality of life around the world and returning extraordinary images, strong, tough. In addition, the excellent initiation terrain of street photography inspires my photos today, with my mentors, Robert Frank, Saul Leiter, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Garry Winogrand…
Whats inspires your photography?
The spontaneity of the keen on shooting is my main engine, my adrenaline, and when I shoot I foresee the outcome, it appears very natural, this is what I like. This show is created by the world around us, people in their daily lives. My pleasure is to capture the most simple things like the most extraordinary things.
What does it mean to you?
This is my way of expression, artistic creation in a fleeting moment. I also witnessed scenes, moments of life, of life in general. The photo is an art form making an immediate picture of the reality and the results are very graphics mainly in monochrome.
How did the project start?
London struck me as obvious, the city reflect for me the image of a lively city where I could fully exercise my work as a street photographer. It is a cosmopolitan city where daily intersect numerous socio-professional profiles. I discovered unexpected places that allowed me to achieve improbable bright images.
How did you approach the subject matter?
My watchword is distance. I have in mind the words of Robert Capa, like a mantra «If your pictures are not good enough, then, you are not close enough.» Then followed the light and dark to get images intense and contrasting. Systematically, I approach my subject with the utmost discretion, in any case I will not neither disturb or disrupt people for having a little bit of natural in my pictures.
What cameras did you shoot with and why?
The series that I present today was made with my Canon 5d Mark3, 24×36. This camera seemed interesting to me for its versatility associated with a 35mm f/2 and a 50mm f/1.4 it fixed high-quality images. Since I has invested in a full frame more compact, I am dedicate to street photography and I choose the Leica Q and 28mm, a real gem! The discretion and the lightness is increased which makes me more effective in the field.
Any anecdotes you can share?
It several years ago, a friend who working in a photo and video production company asked me to accompany him on a shoot. She leaves me the care to take pictures with her film camera, aboard her small plane on takeoff and landing. Upon his return, I gave her back her camera, she opens it and finds it empty. I shot a dozen times without the roll. Oups!
What are you looking for in street photography?
The decisive moment of taking the picture not to miss, in photojournalism the crucial moment of the shot is unmissable, you don’t have second chances ! The adrenaline is also a part of it and it allows me to multiply my concentration and my creativity.
Any closing comments?
A big thank you to the team of «The Inspired Eye». I end with my personal motto: “When I photograph, the emotions appear instantaneously thanks to the short distance that I take then with the world.”
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