Jules Gervais-Courtellemont (1863–1931) was a French photographer who was famous for taking color autochromes during World War I. He was born in the province of Seine-et-Marne, near Paris, but grew up in Algeria, where he developed a passion for the pre-colonial Orient and devoted most of his professional career in search of the exotic. In 1894 he converted to Islam prior to making a pilgrimage to Mecca. Images collected in Turkey, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, India, Morocco and China formed the basis for his popular illustrated lectures, which he illustrated with lantern slides. With the outbreak of World War I, Courtellemont returned to his home province to record the war. After the war, Courtellemont began working for an American publication. He eventually became a photographer for National Geographic. In 1911, Courtellemont opened the “Palais de l’autochromie” in Paris, which comprised an exhibition hall, studio, laboratory, and lecture hall with a seating capacity of 250. It was in this hall that Courtellemont would project his autochromes both of the Orient and, after 1914, of the war, particularly the Marne battlefields. These lectures proved to be so popular that Courtellemont issued a twelve-part series later bound in book form called The Battle of Marne and later a four-part series entitled The Battle of Verdun. These are the first books ever published in color on war. Between 1923 and 1925 he wrote a three-volume work entitled La Civilisation – Histoire sociale de l’humanité, illustrated with his photographs. He was a lifelong friend of the novelist, Orientalist and photographer Pierre Loti. While over 5,500 Gervais-Courtellemont autochromes survive in various institutional collections, his work in private hands is quite rare and sought after. Courtellemon died in 1931. His German counterpart is Hans Hildenbrand.
Dora Maar was a famed 20th-century French artist. Though she might be best remembered as a romantic partner and muse of Pablo Picasso, she was an accomplished artist who has been the subject of renewed interest thanks to several posthumous exhibitions. Working across media, Maar created many poetic photographs, Surrealist collages, and painterly depictions of landscapes in Provence. Inspired by Brassaï and Man Ray in particular, her striking black-and-white images capture the portraits of many artists and intellectuals of the era, including her lover. In one of Maar’s most famous series, she documented Picasso painting Guernica in its many stages. Their nine-year relationship ending badly in 1943, with Picasso abusing Maar both physically and emotionally. She was left distraught and in the care of controversial psychiatrist Jacques Lacan, who treated her illegally with electroshock therapy. Maar then went on to abandon photography and paint largely in private, creating works that were both profoundly personal and emotionally evocative, and it was only after her death that these were ever exhibited. Born Henriette Theodora Markovic on November 22, 1907 in Tours, France, Maar studied at the Académie Julian in Paris. Her work has been exhibited by Paris Galerie, the National Museum Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Palazzo Fortuny, and in 2019, the Centre Pompidou. The artist died on July 16, 1997 in Paris, France.
Born in Marseilles, Antoine d’Agata left France in 1983 and remained overseas for the next ten years. Finding himself in New York in 1990, he pursued an interest in photography by taking courses at the International Center of Photography, where his teachers included Larry Clark and Nan Goldin.
During his time in New York , in 1991-92, d’Agata worked as an intern in the editorial department of Magnum, but despite his experiences and training in the US, after his return to France in 1993 he took a four-year break from photography. His first books of photographs, De Mala Muerte and Mala Noche, were published in 1998, and the following year Galerie Vu began distributing his work. In 2001 he published Hometown, and won the Niépce Prize for young photographers. He continued to publish regularly: Vortex and Insomnia appeared in 2003, accompanying his exhibition 1001 Nuits, which opened in Paris in September; Stigma was published in 2004, and Manifeste in 2005.
In 2004 d’Agata joined Magnum Photos and in the same year, shot his first short film, Le Ventre du Monde (The World’s Belly); this experiment led to his long feature film Aka Ana, shot in 2006 in Tokyo.
Since 2005 Antoine d’Agata has had no settled place of residence but has worked around the world.
From fashion photography to photo reporting, from fugitive moments to photographic set up, Françoise Huguier keeps the same pronounced graphic look and the same humour. Passionate with trips and the meeting of territories and their inhabitants, she brings us in Africa with her first book : “Sur les traces de l’Afrique fantôme”, followed by “Secrètes” in which she succeeded to share the privacy of African women. Then she heads into Europe, in 1993, she kept a log of a lonesome trip to Siberia. She won a World Press prize for this work. “En route pour Behring” was published by Editions Maeght. In 2001, she worked several years in Saint-Petersburg about communal apartments. This work resulted in a book, “Kommounalki ” (Actes Sud, 2008) and a documentary film “Kommunalka”, screened in Cannes. Asia is also one of her favourite destinations. After discovering Japan in the 80s, she returned on her childhood’s footsteps, when she was a Viêt Minh prisoner in Cambodia.
The book “J’avais huit ans”, which tells this story, was published by Actes Sud in 2005. The journey goes on in South East Asia with “Vertical/Horizontal” in 2012 from Singapore to Bangkok via Kuala Lumpur. She illustrates the evolution of postmodern societies in Indonesia (with the hijabistas), in Malaysia (with the KPOP movement) and in South Korea (Virtual Seoul). Curator of the Mois de la Photo in 2008, Françoise Huguier is then artistic director for the 2nd Luang Prabang International Image Biennial in Laos (2010), and for Photoquai Biennial 2011– organized by the Quai Branly Museum. In 2014, a retrospective of her work is presented at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. Françoise Huguier regularly exhibits her work all over the world : New York, Moscow, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Lausanne, Berlin, London, Madrid, Bogota, Valencia, etc. In 2018, Reporters Without Borders celebrates her whole career in the album “100 photos for press freedom”.
French photographer and cinematographer of Romanian origin, Eli Lotar (Eliazar Lotar Teodorescu, Paris, 1905 – 1969) arrived in France in 1924 and rapidly became one of the first avant-garde photographers in Paris. Close to Germaine Krull —Lotar worked as her apprentice for a time —and later to the Surrealists, his work was published in many of the avant-garde publications of the day, and featured in several major international photography exhibitions, including Fotographie der Gegenwart, Film und Foto, Documents de la vie sociale, etc.
Eli Lotar’s social and political interests and his penchant for collective projects can be revealed in his numerous collaborations with avant-garde writers (Jacques Prévert, Georges Bataille, and the magazine, Documents), as well as figures from the world of theatre (Antonin Artaud and Roger Vitrac), and well-known film directors (Joris Ivens, Alberto Cavalcanti and Luis Buñuel), all of whom were affected by the troubled socio-political climate of the 1930s.
In the northwestern corner of China lies the huge province of Xinjiang (literally: “new frontier”), more rarely called East Turkestan. Until recently, this region was predominantly populated by Uyghurs, a Turkish-speaking and Muslim Sunni people; but also by Kazakhs, Hui, Kyrgyz, Mongolians, Tajiks and other minorities from Central Asia. The Hans (majority of Chinese ethnic group), who have arrived by millions in recent decades, now represent more than 40% of the local population. China’s efforts to quell a separatist movement and sinicize its border regions have turned Xinjiang into a vast social control and domestic surveillance laboratory. It is almost impossible to move around the region without feeling the relentless gaze of the authorities.
In search of new frontiers in the oases that punctuate the ancient Silk Road, beyond empty and solitary spaces, I filled my memory from these horizons with their faces uncovered. In the old alleys of Kashgar, during a game of Buzkashi (game of “catch goat”) or at a traditional Tajik wedding, I let myself be carried by different expressions in search of harmony… leaving at the edge of deserts, steppes and snow-capped peaks of Central Asia, some intimate footprints of peoples in decline facing a new cultural revolution in motion.
Dani Olivier is a French photographer. He lives and works in Paris. This website features his experimental photographic work from 2014 to 2015.
Dani Olivier creates his effects at the time of the shoots, by projecting complex images and intricate light patterns on his models. He never touches up the originals.
The models are nude. They do not wear enhancing accessories. Their make up is minimal.
The pictures are taken with a black background. There are no artifacts: just the models and the light projection. The projections are either abstract or figurative.
The final composition is always surreal.
Dani Olivier’s abstract and psychedelic nudes are his exclusive creations. They confer a new dimension and innovative approach to the art of nude photography.
You can also discover his new projects photos on his facebook page: Dani Olivier
Réhahn is a photographer from Normandy, France, based in Hoi An, central Vietnam, since 2011. Led by his love of travelling and meeting people, he has visited more than 35 countries prior to making his home in the ancient town of Hoi An.
He is particularly renowned for his portraits of Vietnam, Cuba and India. The media regularly cites him as the Photographer who captures the souls of his models. Indeed, Réhahn spends time with the people he meets and builds a relationship with them before taking their photographs. Specialising in the ethnic groups of Vietnam, he travels the far reaches of this country on his motorbike in order to capture the latest images of these dying cultures.
Lisa Lesourd is a freelance Parisian Photographer.
She graduated from the CE3P school in Paris, where she studied the arf of photography.
She has a taste for portraits and impromptu snapshots of every day life.
Roger Corbeau, born November 20, 1908, in Haguenau, Alsace, was drawn to the cinema from a very young age. He moved to Paris in 1932 and began helping with props on film sets, first for Roger Richebé, then for Marcel Pagnol.
Who hired Corbeau as a movie stills photographer in 1933. They worked together for six years. With his demanding work ethic and talent, Corbeau quickly became a force in the French cinema. His photographs serve as a fervent tribute to the actors who left their mark on the medium from the 1930s to the 1980s. Corbeau took pictures on the sets of 160 films.
Corbeau is not a stills photographer in the usual sense of the term. He quickly decided to break out of the promotional limits of his role, imposing his own vision on the actors and the film, going so far as to arrange the performers himself. Fascinated by the human face, Corbeau developed an art combining a keen dramatic sense with a search for an ideal beauty. Mostly shot with a Rolleiflex on 6 x 6 cm film, the photographs were cropped by Corbeau himself.
He attached enormous importance to the printing process. His prints were often dense, and he would create a blurred effect by placing a silk stocking under the enlarger lens. These characteristics are what make Corbeau’s visual universe unique and immediately recognizable.
Corbeau died in Paris in September 1995, followed a major retrospective of his work, organized by the French Ministry of Culture at the Hôtel de Sully, Paris.
Born on May 1, 1968 in Bordeaux, France, Alain Laboile is a photographer and father of six.
In 2004, as he needed to put together a portfolio of his work as a sculptor, he acquired a camera, and thus developped a taste for macrophotography, spurred by his passion for entomology.
Later on, he pointed his lens towards his growing family which became his major subject : a life on the edge of the world, where intemporality and the universality of childhood meet.
The fashion photography of Raymond Voinquel is little known compared to his work as the finest still-photographer and portraitist to the stars of a golden age of French cinema. For over 40 years, he collaborated with the greatest directors in France: Marcel l’Herbier, Jean Cocteau, Abel Gance, Max Ophuls, Marcel Carné, and Sacha Guitry; the latter called on Voinquel for every one of his films.
It was at the beginning of Voinquel’s career, around 1935, that he first tried his hand at fashion photography, using it as a means for experimentation, drawing directly on his negatives, or being the first photographer in France to take his models out of the studio and into the streets. He went back and forth between his work in fashion and cinema, his goal always being to transform the given into dream-like images. And even though cinema and fashion may seem very close, a photographer split between these two worlds is a rarity. It didn’t take long for Voinquel to abandon fashion and dedicate himself entirely to his first love: the cinema. He threw himself completely into projects as soon as they were thought of by writers or directors, and was at times responsible for the meetings between them and the stars; he was thus the catalyst for the advent of certain films. Had he desired, he could have gone much further in fashion, imposing his talent and his ideas so modern for the time, but he was undoubtedly not stimulated enough by the prospects of the milieu, too often worried about preserving a conventional image, with room for innovation allowed only to the couturiers.
His obsession with the cinema permeates all his work; his landscapes at night look like sets in a studio and his train stations might be confused with film stills. It is artifice, the seemingly real which fascinates Voinquel.
Albert Kahn (3 March 1860 – 14 November 1940) was a French banker and philanthropist, known for initiating The Archives of the Planet, a vast photographical project. Spanning 22 years, it resulted in a collection of 72,000 colour photographs and 183,000 meters of film.
In 1909, Kahn travelled with his chauffeur and photographer, Alfred Dutertre, to Japan on business and returned with many photographs of the journey. This prompted him to begin a project collecting a photographic record of the entire Earth. He appointed Jean Brunhes as the project director, and sent photographers to every continent to record images of the planet using the first practical medium for colour photography, Autochrome plates, and early cinematography. Between 1909 and 1931 they collected 72,000 colour photographs and 183,000 meters of film. These form a unique historical record of 50 countries, known as The Archives of the Planet.
Kahn’s photographers began documenting France in 1914, just days before the outbreak of World War I, and by liaising with the military managed to record both the devastation of war and the struggle to continue everyday life and agricultural work.