Series interview with Nature Photographers
by Kristel Schneider
‘ I’m keener on photographers who show skills and know-how in the long run than on those who produce a very good shot every now and then’
When I moved to the French region Auvergne from the Netherlands I noticed a difference in the attitude of photographers. In Holland it is common to go out with your follow photographer and spend a nice day in nature, exchange your passion for photography or even some tips and tricks. Over here people are a bit more reserved. Emmanuel was the first local photographer willing to to invite me to his favorite places in Auvergne. That was more than three years ago and Emmanuel now one of the upcoming photographers in France. His work is published in many magazines and this year, you hardly can open a magazine without seeing his work in it.
I just love his way of looking at nature, clean and crisp and I am very happy to introduce him to those who were not familiar with his work. When you look at his images you will see that he was influenced by Japanese photographer, Shinzo Maeda (1922–1998). So since I moved to in the Auvergne I have found two inspiring photographers: Maeda and Boitier.
I’ve been a photo-reporter for some years now and I have contributed on a regular basis to a couple of French magazines, published both nationally and internationally. That is the main part of my activity- Emmanuel
Who is your inspiration?
I can’t say that I have been influenced by someone in particular, I’d rather say that my influences are many, including the works of some photographers and illustrators. I really like those who work with light and composition in their images and I am very receptive to photographers who would always strive to create beautiful images even if the subject they photograph is sufficient unto itself.
What inspires me is not compulsorily a photographer’s shot in itself, or a photographer’s set of shots. I’m more sensitive to the photographer’s background and foundation, that is to say, thought and work processes. I’m keener on photographers who show skills and know-how in the long run than on those who produce a very good shot every now and then. I really like it when I can see some kind of coherence instead of portfolios compiling single shots from all over the world. Therefore, if I had to set an ideal, as a photo-reporter, it would be a photographer of the National Geographic who combines news and artistic excellence in a magnificent way.
What do you like about Nature Photography?
I don’t really wonder what I like or what I don’t like in nature photography. It’s my life, it’s essential and vital to me. There is no other justification or any usefulness in it either.
Are there things you don’t like about Nature Photography?
What I really don’t like is some nature photographers’ proclivity to show themselves and their ego off to advantage nowadays and of course all the negative effects of such an attitude. As far as I’m concerned, photography has never been a way to perform or to show off, it has just been an artistic way to express myself.
Do you have any tips for Visions and Nature readers who would like to become professional nature photographers?
To my mind there is only one way to become a photographer, and it’s to take pictures again and again. You have to work endlessly, and keep on training the way you look at things. Photography has to become your sole way of thinking – or almost. Moreover I think you have to build up some knowledge as a naturalist, get to know the wildlife you want to take photos of, and try to understand how scenery and landscapes work too. You can learn all this in books but nothing will ever replace wild experience.
Last, you have to remember to make your work be known all over if you want to be distribute it. It’s an understatement but today’s world is mainly virtual and many think that they only need to own a website, to take part in forums on line or to social network to introduce their work to the rest of the world. Many tend to forget that there is nothing like real live exchange, especially today when we literally drown under images.
What are your specialities?
I have the chance to be able to evolve in a couple of fields : animals and wildlife, flora, landscape, macro photography and illustrated report. However, landscape photography is the one that appeals the most to me.
Share with us one of your personal favorite photographs?
It is really hard for me to emphasize one picture. But I must admit my sympathy for the bonsai-like tree in the snow. I took it very close to my home, during a snowy day. Besides the fact that it is a familiar tree (my elder daughter liked climbing on it), this image made me become aware that there was another way in photography. I mean an ‘artistic’ way vs. a ‘realistic’ one. Actually I believe that this picture made me understand many things, and had strongly modeled my current photographic work.
You are now on Visions and Nature Blog, a Nature and Landscape Photography Blog from Kristel Schneider. Do you know her work?
Yes, we got to know each others work when she moved to France. I appreciate her work because, as so many female photographers, she is not in performance but in emotion.
I like her own special way to look at the Auvergne area, where we both live. Her photos show me things I’m familiar with, through a different point of view, which is very enriching.
The series Interview with Nature Photographers is almost finished.
In January 2012 I will close this series with a living legend in Nature photography.
All photographs are Copyrighted © 2011, Emmanuel Boitier — All Rights Reserved