When I was 13, I realized discovering the world and being free had to be part of my life. Photography, like a wonderful companion, gave me the courage to move forward, exploring the art of seeing and some unknown territories. From my native Provence to Paris, Switzerland, Spain, New York and California, my wishes have been granted, as I lived, studied, worked, and am forever learning on this journey.
As a freelance photographer based in New York City during 14 years, I worked mainly with the fashion, music and advertising industries. It was a time of great creativity and collaboration with many talented people. I loved the craft, mixing up natural and artificial light or composing from the dark in the studio. I enjoyed directing the talents behind and in front of the camera, and honoring the clients expectations. This team work was a nice balance compared to the solitariness of my personal work as a street photographer.
One day I was given a handshake from John Kennedy, Jr. in a studio, during a Harrison Ford photo shoot as Abraham Lincoln for George Magazine. I was first assistant then.
I did the first national campaign for Jet Blue among various other clients and made numerous fashion stories for American and European magazines.
(See list here)
My love for photography comes originally from the black and white decisive moment approach of french photographers like Jacques-Henri Lartigue and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I studied American photographers in New York, essentially Alfred Stieglitz and the photo secessionists. Edward Weston became one of my favorite. Through their work, I understood seeing the world means much more than just traveling.
I met Gordon Parks randomly one day, it was at a film projection in Manhattan, I can still feel the palm of his hand and his look into my eyes. I was lucky to befriend for a short period of time Eddie Adams also.
The art, courage and accomplishments of these great photographers were inspiring and the power and poetry of their photographs very touching.
I opened a photo gallery and workshop in Park Slope Brooklyn for a few years. It was a very convivial place and it attracted talented artists. Most of my silver prints were made there and beautiful exhibits were put together.
There were some meaningful travels along the way.
The Amazon jungle in Brazil was an early destination. I remember sleeping outside in the deep forest, experiencing encounters with tarantulas, a dolphin, crocodiles, piranhas, monkeys…and the sounds or vibrations of an accountable numbers of living things. I think my deep respect for nature is rooted there.
Later, in the Sierra Madre of Mexico, I discovered the mountains of the signs and their most beautiful people the Tarahumaras. Sleeping in caves, I shared coffee and Faros with visitors, played with amazing kids, was invited to a couple of ceremonies and walked back to modern civilization habited with a sense of mystery and fascination about this American culture.
The latest was in India, with an unexpected sand storm in the Thar Desert, a culture shock in the mystic Varanasi, to finally be experiencing the sound of silence in the Himalayas, at the source of the Parvati River.
I never stop making photographs, but I fell in love with gardening and permaculture in Northern California. What a promise for our future! Understanding some principles, it is possible to design, reshape and reorganize for the betterment of our human activities, letting abundance be.
As a society, could we be part of the natural world and interact with it intelligently, not separate from it ignorantly? This path leaded to education, working with children and creating fertile gardens while raising my only child.
“Le Projet Papillon” to be created in Provence around Le Plan de La Tour in France, is an Eco Village concept I thought about and worked on for a few years, but it stayed as a dream.
Based in the Far West of America now, the adventure continues, and I hope there will be more pages to turn, with photography, permaculture, the unexpected… And with freedom of course, always.
Nicky and Paris Hilton
Showtime & IFC
Manhattan Mini Storage
Advertising Club of New York
YMCA & Girl Scouts
Drum Major Institute
New York Times Magazine
Harper’s Bazaar en Espagnol
Cosmopolitan en Espagnol