Photographer: Cyrille Druart
I started Photography around 2003, when I was given my first film camera. I was studying Interior Design at the time, and there was a darkroom with free access in my school (ESAG-Penninghen in Paris). That’s where I learned how to process film, but more importantly, how to print a picture, using dodging and burning. This is where I get the pleasure. Taking the picture is exciting, but to me the thrill comes afterwards, I start working on it. I then set up my own darkroom, in my flat, and spent a lot of time making experiments. When I felt confident enough I started travelling around the world, visiting friends or on my own. By training alone, I learned how to get good timing, where to stand. It’s an ongoing process, and I’ll probably still be trying different methods in 20 years from now. There is a lot of interrogation going on, before or after the shot, and I really like that. There are many photographers I admire for the questioning they raise. I try not to compare myself with others. I mean sometimes it may be reassuring, but I think one has to find his path and stick to it, while evolving.
I only shoot for my personal work and pleasure. My other activity being Architecture and Design, it feeds Photography in that sense of space and interest between people and the building. I guess Architecture made my pictures more tangible.
My main interest is to show people in their surrounding, large or small scale. To highlight their presence or on the other hand their fragility. I have no attempt at glorifying people, but I would like to talk about the human condition. I like pictures that represent the whole story. Our Story. That’s why I like strong, contrasted images. That means of representation emphasizes the crudeness of life.
As in my design works where I tend to use raw, sleek materials and no decoration, I try to make minimalist compositions, with one or little elements. I would like my photographs to be instantly read, with no need for explanations of text. Being quite monomaniac, I like to focus my attention on one topic and get the most out of it. In terms of composition, this translates into showing major movements rather than anecdotes. I always simplify my images to the maximum in order to reach the point where there is nothing to remove. As in any Art form, reaching the very structure, the skeleton, is the goal. It is the same work principle as designing really. I want to get rid of any superfluous element, and reach the obvious. There is nothing more thrilling to me.
My photographs relate to an idea of beauty and strangeness in life. They are about us, our way of living, our concerns and also moments of grace. I don’t work in series. The next picture might be totally different from the previous one, and I have no idea what the one after will be about. It’s the situation on the instant that moves me, although I sometimes plan to go back to some places with potential. I think my best photographs so far are the non planned ones. I see my pictures as fragments, linked together by a formal search. They have to be strong enough to work on their own.
I also try to inject some sense of mystery in my photographs. I find more interesting to suggest things than showing them, which is often disappointing. Imagination does the rest. That’s very stimulating for the viewer also, as there is not one interpretation only. Everyone may find one.
Photographing in a city isn’t always easy. You need to find stratagems, divert attention, or pretend to shoot when you actually want some reaction from people. I am looking for attitudes. Not eccentric but different behaviours. It may be the way some woman is dressed, the way someone walks.
People usually don’t pay attention to others in big cities, but it’s quite easy to spot interesting subjects. I also like details that can tell a lot about someone, and then insert them into bigger framing. Most of the time I just walk around until I find something. It’s all about being receptive and ready for the moment. I don’t shoot much, rarely more than a roll a day, or let’s say 30 images. Even when travelling, I may not shoot a single frame for a day. If I don’t feel confident enough in the result, or if I think I won’t use the picture, I prefer to move on.
Because I freeze Life in the end, literally every single thing could end up being a good subject. The most important to me is to raise awareness, surprise the viewer and make him/her wonder what’s going on. Photography concentrates so much -visual and idea- it can become a very powerful weapon.
So I follow people in the street, I wait for the perfect light, the perfect composition and click!
You will find more images from Cyrille Druart at http://www.cyrilledruart.com/photography