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Creative process

Through my photographic series “Faune Végétale” (vegetal fauna, green wildlife), I will explain how I create my photographs.

Step 1: I first find the concept of my series: in the case of my series “Faune Végétale”, to photograph an element of the flora in the shape of an animal (fauna).

Step 2: Then, for each photo that will consists of my series, I look for an element of the flora likely to incarnate an animal. It is a work of reflection by analogy, of memory and research (observation of the flora or looking at images of the flora). Little by little, I draw up a list:

  • Anthurium Laceleaf flower => puff parrot? toucan?

  • Ornemental gourds => duck? swan? goose? albatross?

  • Arum lily = > beluga whale? dolphin?

  • Water lily leaf => frog? snake? lizard?

  • Black radish => rat?


Step 3: Then, I have to do a very long research work: in nature (parks, gardens, woods, etc.), on shop or market stalls, etc.


Step 4: Finally, I look for the way to photograph my real subject in order to make my imaginary subject appear. I insist on the expression "make appear" because my photos are the result of a staging of the real: lighting scheme, decor and possible accessories, lens filter(s), specific lens focus, etc. The staging sometimes varies radically from one photo or series to another.

Step 5: the photo shoot takes place. The moment that will tell me whether my idea works. Sometimes, a few photos are enough. Often however, I have to experiment with remarkable accuracy: to find the right viewing angle, the good composition, the right depth of focus and, of course, to refine the lighting (orientation, intensity, diffusion, colour). It takes almost nothing for it to work or not.

Of course, I have to repeat steps 2 to 5 for each of the photos that make up my series. Steps 2 and 3 are often long. For instance, on step 3, it took me years to find a water lily leaf that looked like a lizard; and before I could find an arum lily of the shape I wanted, I spent 3 years examining a good hundred of them. As for step 2, that implies a development of my imaginary when it stalls, I know that the more I observe different things, the more I offer my imagination the possibility to project an animal form out of the observed flora.

Translation by Orlane Robert, Governance Assistant at The UN and The WTO.
Proofreading by Corinne Thouvenin.

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