“I’m very interested about humans appropriation of nature, and influenced by my job as an architect.”
Antoine Séguin (born in 1986) is a contemporary landscape photographer from France. He lives and works in Créteil (Val de Marne).
“I’m an architect who also takes photos.”
Interview Antoine Séguin
Antoine, what was your most memorable moment shooting pictures?
Each moment or photo is unique and has its own story. But to select one, I often venture in prohibited and dangerous places. I recently climbed on the pile of a bridge a meter off the highway side. It was like three meters high. I felt the blast behind trucks. Stress rose, my hands were shaking. The result: my photos were all blurred!
Why did you become a photographer?
I never intended to be a photographer. It all began in christmas 2006. My brother gave me a compact digital camera, a Olympus mu700. I was studying architecture at that time, which had trained my eyes: looking around, above, everywhere. I keep following this trail now with a new medium: photography. I observe and shot.
I signed up on Flickr in March 2007 (you can see all my pictures since that day on my flickr). Upload after upload, my contacts gave me valuable advice by commenting on my photos. Then I met Clara Forest who kindly lent me her analog camera, a Chinon CM-5 with a 50mm, then Thomas Claveirole lent me his Mamiya RZ67 and Julien Rodet his Mamiya7ii. These people are very important to me, the use of analog camera definitely changed my approach of photography. It taught me how a camera works, how photography works. I think architecture and my surroundings made me become a photographer.
What does photography mean to you and what do you want to say with your pictures?
Photography is the easiest way to catch reality (space and time), making it yours by framing and fix it. My photographs have different meanings depending on the context, but I try to transmit through my camera a different view of daily landscapes, from simple description to a more poetic vision.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
Julius Shulman, Stephen Shore, Mitch Epstein, Jurgen Nefzger, Raymond Depardon, Iwan Baan…
There are too many photographers that I admire in different ways. Internet is an everyday inspirational platform. You can follow most of the contemporary photographers on their social networks.
What’s your favorite inspirational photography quote?
“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process?
It’s a very difficult question, because I’m still searching my “voice”. Sometimes my photos are premeditated by a long process (drawing, writing, point & shoot, analog). Sometimes it’s just intuition and spontaneity. But, as an architect born and living in suburbs, I’ve developed an avid fascination for landscapes that I go through. My surroundings are a great inspiration. I try to renew my work even if it’s hard to do so.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic voice?
Follow your instinct. And work, work, work.
What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically and conceptually?
I try to shoot different subjects in different styles to improve my practice of photography and do not lock myself in a specific style. But I mostly take pictures of territories in a documentary style, mostly in color (no editing or almost none).
What qualities and characteristics does a good photographer need?
Brain. Eyes. Legs. Fingers. Camera.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes? Especially keeping in mind the over abundance of photographic imagery in today’s society.
A great photo is when your followers like/fav/note it, no? (joke)
Seriously, according to me, I’m curious and love many styles of photography. But a “great” photo can represent a desolate architecture, or a poignant portrait, or just be perfect technically. Even a bad photo may have something good in it.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
Principally on the internet, and I’m very interested about humans appropriation of nature, and influenced by my job as an architect.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
I principally use two camera: A Mamiya RZ67 pro II with a 90mm with Kodak portra (160, 400, 800) films for series work and a Sony RX100, for everyday life and work (street shots, architecture references, etc.) And also some 35mm, and a Yashica mat 124G.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
Stellar.io! And Flickr of course. But I also like urbanautica.com and newlandscapephotography.com.
What photography book would you recommend?
“Magnum Contact Sheets” because it reveals the stories behind each picture. Texts and contact sheets make me understand the choices of the photographers.
I also recommend “Street Photography Now”, because it’s very rewarding to learn about other ways to do photography. “Stay eager!“
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a (professional) photographer?
YOLO. Words of an amateur.