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Stéphane Laurencin, born in France in Bourg-en-Bresse, a small town of 50, 000 residents. 

After studying (audiovisual) and doing a few jobs (journalist) in big cities like Lyon or Paris, he returned to his hometown a few years ago. He is a photographer and videographer, specialized in portrait photography, and for video in institutional film.

He also works with students in high school, they study the image and he helps them to make short films.

He is a cinephile, he also loves music, art in general.

He said he is not a big dreamer, because society never really allowed him to dream, it made him keep his feet on Earth.


Moevir Magazine April Issue 2020 featured edition

[pouvez-vous me dire où se trouve mon pays ?]

Photographer: Steph Laurencin  @steflau01


Tell us something about you. Maybe your life, profession, habit, dream.  

I am Stéphane Laurencin, born in France in Bourg-en-Bresse, a small town of 50, 000 residents. After studying (audiovisual) and doing a few jobs (journalist) in big cities like Lyon or Paris, I returned to my hometown a few years ago. I am a photographer and videographer. I specialized in portrait for photography, and for video in institutional film.  I also work with students in high school, we study the image and I help them to make short films. 

I’m a  cinephile, I also love music, art in general.  I am not a big dreamer, the society never really allowed me to dream, it made me keep my feet on Earth.

What makes you choose this profession? 

I love everything about the image. I had my first “real” camera when I was 12, and from the age of 8 I used disposable cameras.  And then there’s the cinema. I am a film eater of every period, from the first black and white movies to the last Wes Anderson.

The image for me is a passion, but I studied it and it became a profession. So visual art has always been important to me.

If you have a superpower or talent, which one do you wish to have? Why?  

If I had the ability to travel through time, that would be cool. Not to play Chuck Berry at the prom, but to participate in major events in the history of the 20th century, and immortalize them with my camera.

Who are the people impact most in your profession? What do you learn from them? 

A lot of photographers probably influence me without me realizing it. I’ve studied some people’s work, that’s why I say that. When I do nature photography, I probably have pictures of Ansel Adams in the corner of my head; for portraits those from Steve Mccury, Anton Corbijn, or a painting by Edward Hopper. When I have to report, I may have in mind the social documentary photography spirit of Lewis W. Hine. 

Sometimes I do analogical photography, and my friend Toune, taught me everything in film development and printing.

Lately, I’ve been mostly work on the staging of my photos, and compared to that, I’m a huge fan of what David LaChapelle does. I would like to be able to realize the same type of cliché as him, everything is precise in his work, it’s incredible, a real painter.

But I believe that culturally, the person who really opened my mind is Peter Gabriel, his music but also his music videos and his concerts, visually rich. It provides proof that we can mix different arts without one taking too much precedence over the other. I keep that in mind when I’m doing the photo or the video.

How do you think about your work? Is it what you like, or simply saying a dream? 

I still don’t live well enough of my job, there is competition certainly, know-how, a bit of luck I guess, and also a whole business aspect that I don’t really know how to manage. You have to fight every day to make your place, but it’s a bit the same in all the trades. 

So my work is my life, I’m rarely very satisfied with what I do, the shooting on these pages that you see is one of those good times, and my rare satisfactions. But you have to know how to question yourself, it’s important.

In modern society, lots of people want to be famous, influential. How do you think about it?   

Being famous on social networks is like being rich in monopoly... 

You have to keep a cool head, because of course the ascent can be beautiful but the fall, fatal. 

Influencers, I have nothing against it, it is one of his new jobs that go with the new tools that we have. But I think you have to be humble, and never forget where you came from.

When I was young I wanted to be a rock star, be famous all over the world, to do concerts and everything, but I realized as soon as I picked up a microphone it wasn’t for me… So I think my camera is my microphone, not words I spit in, but images I immortalize. And the weight of the images is heavier than the weight of the words, right?

What will be the suggestions to new photographers? 

Sometimes I go back to basics, take my Diana F+ and load a 120mm film.  There is no more plastic and kitsh camera. And when you roll the film, it’s noted at the beginning : “don’t think, just shoot”… I think that’s good advice to start with.

How do you prepare your new shoot? 

I have to find the idea, or take inspiration from one. Find the right people, a model who will adhere to your idea, and then depending on the type of shooting, outside or inside, there is light to control. The sun remains the photographer’s number one enemy.

Steve McCurry is a photographer whose work I admire enormously, and he comes out only at the end of the day for these shots, or very early in the morning. I admit not to be an early riser, so I am rather sunset as natural light...

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