Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Aymeric Neau (France)
Tell us something about yourself
Where to start ? I am 27 years old, I am a French guy living in the beautiful city of Nantes. I Became a professional photographer 3 years ago, my work is quite varied, but I am particularly interested in fashion and portrait.
How and when did you get into photography?
I started making photos when I was 16, when I was offered a camera on my birthday, a Bridge Olympus if I remember well! I have always been attracted by the image (photo or video) since my childhood, having always wanted to "save" moments of my life in image, and with this camera I could take my first steps in this fantastic world, then I quickly switched to the SLR, and finally I became pro at 24!
What does photography mean to you?
Very personally, photography is a "parallel" world where I like to venture, explore paths already existing or new ones, to seek to transmit emotions. In my eyes, photography is one of the best vectors of emotion and feeling, the impact of an image on the mind is almost instantaneous, even before your brain starts to interpret it, you already have an emotion which invades you, I find it intriguing and powerful.
What is your goal in photography?
To deepen my style and my creative way, to try to create things "differents", photos creating an emotion, a strong feeling to the spectator. I also hope to be able to evolve sufficiently to have the means to carry out big personal projects, more expensives in time and money.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I don’t know if my work really comes out of the millions of photographers in the world, but I especially like to work / play with the light (natural or not), creating effects of softness and atmosphere. This is something that tends to be lost today with digital photography and retouching, the photographer does not bother to reveal the ideal ray of sun that will give a seal to your image, they imagine they can correct or create this on photoshop easily. I use obviously photoshop too, but when I shoot, I spend a lot of time exploiting the light!
Where do you get inspiration from?
The majority of my inspiration comes from my imagination, or from the mental image I create by reading books. However, more concretely, I like to spend time watching the work of other photographers on the web, picking interesting ideas, sometimes on simple details. I also love the image of Tarantino’s movies, which inspire me a lot on composition and colorimetry.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
More and more. To be honnest, I worked for a long time just with "my instinct", but, finding myself often short of inspiration, I began to prepare my photos, looking poses, compositions, and sometimes making storyboards. Today, when I arrive on a session, I already have all the pictures I want in my head, because I now work in series (editorial format) and I like that the these series tell a story. However, during the photo shoot, I do not forbid myself to improvise if an idea comes to me at the moment.
Studio, on location or both?
I have a big preference for photos in natural light, being able to cope with the sun is a game that I like a lot. I especially like working outdoors at sunset, it’s an atmosphere that often defines my photos. However I also have a studio that I start to exploit and catch up wit flashes, it is a very different way to create pictures, which interests me too, even only for the principle of mastering the subject !
Do you work on your photos and describe your post production work?
I work exclusively with Camera Raw and Photoshop CC, I process them all one by one (no group retouching), the main part of my work focuses on light and colorimetry. I try to learn new technique by following many tutorials, my usual techniques for portrait photography are dodge & burn and Split frequency, but if I need for a particular picture, I do not hesitate to look for the tutorial that will suit me to realize the rendering wanted.
What are the places and topics that appeal to you the most?
I love natural environments (forests, fields, beaches ..) it brings a softness and an authenticity to the composition of the photo. Aside from that I love the old stones, the old and elegant buildings, loaded with history, which can add an elegant or dramatic dimension to the pictures.
For my subjects, I have a preference for the "girls next door" which have a natural that I find difficult to find with models too formatted to "fashion", I find the natural much more expressive to transmit emotion
What are your future or short term plans?
My projects for 2017 are to work my photos in serial form, for the narrative side of the process, and to be able to submit them to magazines and various publications.
In the longer term I plan to go abroad to the USA or Canada to live my passion in countries that attract me by their wealth and their cultural diversity
What would you like to photograph?
I would like to spend several months on road trips across the United States, traveling, exploring the varied places of this continent and finding models throughout my trip to make photo shoots by composing with local environments (forests, natural park, Deserts, mountains, big cities, east and west coast ...), I hope to realize it soon, but it requires a long preparation!
What is the most important thing you have learned over the years?
That precipitation produces nothing good, it’s necessary to learn patience. Patience to learn technique, patience to find a good place, a good model, a good inspiration and the right time. Always wanting to improve yourself or trying to make something different.
What are you looking for models with whom you work?
I am looking for a feeling, I appreciate being able to bind a minimum with the models to be able to have a positive creation atmosphere. I also seek a natural that I exploit to give a maximum of authenticity to my images.
What is one piece of advice for the models?
Be Natural! And if you like my work, don’t hesitate to contact me to consider a photo project!
What do you think of our new magazine?
I know your magazine for several months now, I appreciate the quality and the diversity of the work that you put forward, no matter how well the photographers are known. You have the bias to find the artists who have real universes, I like that a lot.