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.
Pierre Edouard Leopold Verger (1902-1996) was a French photographer, ethnologist, anthropologist and researcher who lived most of his life in the city of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, in Brazil. Verger developed a photographic work of great importance, based on everyday life and the popular culture of five continents. Verger also wrote several reference texts on the Afro-Bahian culture and the Diaspora, focusing his research work on the study of the religious aspects of Candomblé, an issue that becomes his main interest point.
Verger is born in Paris on November 4 th 1902. From a middle-class upbringing, until his thirties Pierre Verger leads a rather conventional lifestyle, corresponding to his social condition, even if he intimately disagrees with those class values. The year 1932 marks a turning point: he learns photography from his friend Pierre Boucher and discovers his passion for travel. Verger buys his first Rolleiflex camera, and after the death of his mother decides to realise his deepest desire: to become a lonesome traveller. Since the death of his father and two brothers, Verger’s mother had been his sole remaining parent, who he did not want to hurt in choosing an anticonformism and roving lifestyle.
Between December 1932 and August 1946, Pierre Verger travels around the world, making a living exclusively from his photographic art. Negot iating his negatives with newspapers, photo agencies and research institutions, Verger takes pictures for various companies and even exchanges his services for travel tickets. Paris becomes his base, where he receives his friends – including Jacques Prévert’s party and the ethnologists from the Ethnographic Museum in Trocadero square – while making contacts for new trips. He has his work published in the best magazines of the time, but as stardom is not his aim, Verger is always on the brink of a new departure: “The sensation that there was a wide world out there didn’t leave me, and the longing to see it took me towards new horizons”.
The name René Maltête is meaningless to most of us, since we don’t often look behind the camera, but he literally altered the way photography was handled, changing the game for good and all. He grew up in the 30’s and 40’s, when most pictures were taken of staid men in severe suits looking sorely unhappy as they stared into the lens of these photographic contraptions, trying not to blur the resultant images. Photos of the era were commonly staged, with little humanity. They were largely glamour shots or grim photos taken for utility. There wasn’t much personality to them, and they certainly weren’t funny. Then came the work of René.
As time progressed and more people could get access to cameras, the technology also became more mobile and less difficult to take out into the world, where life could be more aptly captured outside of staged shoots. Candid photography began to take off, and Maltête decided he wanted to show the hilarity of the human condition, so he made street photos that were odd, quirky, and often gut-busting. Meme-makers of today and those who devise “When You See It…” lists have nothing on the masterwork of this light-bending genius.
Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Apprenticed to a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône, he left for Paris in 1958.
He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world. From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and film-maker, he covered the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre, in northern Chad. Alongside his photographic career, he began to make documentary films: 1974, Une Partie de Campagne and San Clemente.
In 1978 Depardon joined Magnum and continued his reportage work until the publication of Notes in 1979 and Correspondance New Yorkaise in 1981. In that same year, Reporters came out and stayed on the programme of a cinema in the Latin Quarter for seven months. In 1984 he took part in the DATAR project on the French countryside.
While still pursuing his film-making career, he received the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1991, but his films also won recognition: in 1995 his film Délits Flagrants, on the French justice system, received a César Award for best documentary, and in 1998 he undertook the first in a series of three films devoted to the French rural world. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris mounted an important exhibition of his work in 2000. The sequel to his work on French justice was shown as part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.
As part of an initiative by the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, Depardon made an installation of films on twelve large cities, shown in Paris, Tokyo and Berlin between 2004 and 2007. In 2006 he was invited to be artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales d’Arles. He is working on a photographic project on French territory which is due to be completed in 2010. He has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books.
Julien Legrand is a photographer. Born in 1979 in the North of France, he graduated in webdesign and graphic design. He is the founder of the international collective VIVO and member of the French collective FRAGMENT. In 2012, he has the opportunity to present his work at the Miami Street Photography Festival and in 2016 he is among the finalists of the International Street Photography Awards in San Francisco.
Julien Legrand’s interest in street photography comes from his passion for skateboarding which gave him the opportunity to move freely through the streets of his city, linger and become a privileged observer of the many strange or amazing events taking place there. Skateboarding is also a pretext for appropriating the urban landscape for the skateboarders own purposes. The skateboards themselves, with their decorations, helped to inspire Julien Legrand’s taste for graphic compositions of street art. A violent fall, however, forced him to put a brake on this activity, he now pursues his urban exploration through photography.
Julien Legrand is never without his camera. “Photography is an obsession for me, it accompanies me every day like a faithful old friend, it is a kind of therapy that allows me to put aside my anxiety.” His everyday and candid photos mainly feature passers-by. Inspired by photographers such as Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Harry Gruyaert, Alex Webb, Ernst Haas or Garry Winogrand, Julien Legrand explores the boundary between urbanization and nature and questions the relationship of the individual to his environment.
Jean Pierre Favreau was born in 1940 and has grown in La Rochelle. He lives in Paris since 1962.
From 1970 to 1980, he travelled around the world : United States, South America and South East of Asia.
After 1980, the traveller gave the way to the photographer, as he choose to focus his attention on people in the urban environment. Quite a few years later, part of his work was integrated in a book named Incertaines cités (Uncertain cities) , published by Filigranes in 1997.
In 1982, he was given a grant by the French Ministry of Culture to do a photographic work on New York.
From 1985 to 1991, he stayed regularly in Cap Vert. In 1990, his photos were exhibited in the building of the french newspaper Le Monde in Paris then in the Contrejour gallery in Paris too which published his book Blues Outremer (Overseas Blues) in 1991 . The same year the photos of Cap Vert were shown at the Sevilla World Fair.
As a regular contributor to Le Monde, he worked on several special editions, among them one about France which became the subject of an exhibition held in 1992.
From 2001 to 2009, he continued his work on the subject of man in Japenese cities. He started a work on China in 2005, until 2012.
2013, PASSAGERS, first monograph, was published at Five Continents Éditions and his work was shown in Paris at 6 Mandel Gallery.
The Académie de la Grande Chaumière, cafés like Le Dôme, La Rotonde, and La Coupole, artists’ studios where nude models used to pose, Boulevard Edgar Quinet and jazz clubs: this was the heart of Montparnasse where Émile Savory began his painting career, started as photographer, and frequented his sculptors, painters, poets and musicians friends. It was there that this talented jack-of-all-trades who “had many strings to his bow ” lived his entire life.
His work revived “the hot hours of Montparnasse”, this artistic, friendly hotspot rooted in the smoky atmosphere of the cafés of the Vavin crossroads. There, one could see Alberto Giacometti, Victor Brauner and Antoine Prinner who Savitry photographed in the intimacy of their studios; Samuel Granowski, captured at the bar of La Rotonde; Pablo Neruda, returning from Spain after the French victory, here he was photographed at La Coupole with Paul Grimault and some Latin-American friends, mourning the Spanish Republic which he had always supported.
It was after his return from the Pacific Islands (where he had fled, frightened from a success too quickly acquired during his first painting exhibition at Galerie Zborowski in 1929) that he met Django Reinhardt at the port of Toulon. He offered room and board to the still unknown gypsy guitarist and introduced him to the music of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. The Reinhardt family soon joined Savitry in Paris and took refuge from time to time in the photographer’s beautiful apartment on Boulevard Edgar Quinet, made evident in a few touching photographs.
This project puts forth the relationship that 11 indigenous minorities share with their environment and reveals how this relationship is affected by the intrusion of the modern world. Their situation brings us back to ours. What is our relationship with nature? Is the link not broken between the planet and our western societies? Create awareness amongst the public, raise questions about our relationship with nature as well as our responsibility with regards to the changes that are being brought about by our abuse of nature.
Boubat was born in Montmartre, Paris. He studied typography and graphic arts at the École Estienne and worked for a printing company before becoming a photographer. In 1943 he was subjected to service du travail obligatoire, forced labour of French people in Nazi Germany, and witnessed the horrors of World War II. He took his first photograph after the war in 1946 and was awarded the Kodak Prize the following year. He travelled the world for the French magazine Réalités, where his colleague was Jean-Philippe Charbonnier, and later worked as a freelance photographer. French poet Jacques Prévert called him a “peace correspondent” as he was humanist, apolitical and photographed uplifting subjects.
I started in this business as a hair and makeup artist 20 years ago. It’s a world I love and understand, even though it is sometimes crazy and superficial.
I started photography late in my career, simply with my children, their cousins and friends in my home state of Massachusetts and on vacation in Maine. I love photographing children and adolescents-their expressions, their offhand style, their innocence and spontaneity.
As an American, who has been living in France for the last two decades, I feel I bring a certain “Made in the USA” authenticity and naturalness to my photos.
If I can achieve a blend of European sophistication and American realism in them, I’m happy.
Born in Oran, French Algeria, Sarfati grew up in Nice, France, graduating in Russian from the Sorbonne in 1979 with a thesis on Russian photography. In 1986, she became the official photographer for the Académie des Beaux Arts. From 1989 to 1998, she lived in Russia, photographing decaying industrial sites and abandoned young people[clarification needed] in Moscow, Norilsk and Vorkuta. Her first book, Acta Est, presents 43 of her Russian photographs and explains her imaginative appreciation of deterioration, change and beauty.
In 2003, she photographed solitary young adults in the United States as she travelled through Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Oregon, and California. They all appear to lack enthusiasm for action. The works were first presented as The New Life at New York’s Yossi Milo Gallery in 2005 and were published as The New Life/La Vie Nouvelle.
Sophie-Anne Herin begins her artistic career in Bologna, where she graduates at Dams.
She works as an actress in various theater companies, participating also in some theater productions with the Navile Theatre.
In 2006 she moves to France in Paris : here she continues her artistic training by studying Barbara Dauville’s Drama Therapy and she pursues her research on the body at Peter Goos Center of Dance.
In 2008, by meeting the artist Marino Catalano, she approaches photography: a study that she will deepen by attending the Master of Photography at Turin’s European Institute of Design, choosing in this way to side with the viewer, to stay with those out from the scene, those watching at, those waiting for what happens or “falls