When I was 13, I realized discovering the world and being free was inevitable for me. 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 was living, studying, working and forever learning in this journey. My gratitude and respect for life is unwavering. A couple of decades later, here I am in the Far West… Can I go further?
I was a professional photographer for 14 years in New York City in the fashion, music and advertising industries. I loved the craft, mixing up natural and artificial light or composing from the dark in the studio. I worked with some famous and talented people. One day I was given a handshake from John Kennedy Jr. during a shooting of Harrison Ford as Abraham Lincoln for a front cover magazine. I was first assistant then, working for established and creative photographers like George Du Bose, Stéphane Sednaoui or Anton Corbijn. I never reached their level of success but I had somehow a career.
I remember shaking Gordon Parks’ hand randomly, towards the end of his life, after a documentary projection in Manhattan. He is one of my favorite photographers and was much more than that. He had a truly incredible life. I can still feel the palm of his hand and his look into my eyes. I befriended for a short period of time Eddie Adams also, a legend of war photojournalism.
I discovered the power of black and white photography through the reportages of those guys. Their courage and accomplishments inspired me.
There were some important travels along the way.
The Amazon jungle in Brazil was an early destination. Thanks to our native guide Cristovo, I remember sleeping outside in the deep forest in hamaca, bathing in the river, 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 tobacco with visitors, played with amazing kids, was invited to a couple of ceremonies and walked back to modern civilization habited with a strong sense of mystery about this American culture. We missed learning from their way of life, I still believe we could be inspire by it.
The last important travel was in India, with an unexpected sand storm in the Thar desert and a culture shock in the mystic Varanasi. To finally experiencing the sound of silence by the source of the river Parvati in the Himalaya. Those trips in a span of thirteen years had a profound impact into the way I see the world.
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 redesign, reshape and reorganize for the better our human activities, letting abundance be. Could we be part of the natural world and interact with it intelligently, not separate from it, ignorantly?
This path leaded me to education, working with kids, creating gardens and living fully my fatherhood, what a blessing. This latest way of life was abruptly canceled by a professional suspension because of a covid vaccine mandate and the difficulty to find work in the educative system where I live, for this very persistent reason.
So the adventure continues and I hope there will be more pages to turn, with photography, permaculture and the unexpected. And with freedom along the way of course, always…
Corte Madera, California, November 2022
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