Q: Tell us a little bit about your background!
Since I was a child, I have known that I am made for art and creation. I have never had other ambitions. As a result, I have experienced a lot of different art forms: painting, sculpture, engraving, or even mosaic art. My favorite hobbies as a kid were being on my own and creating all kinds of things, a kind of lonely bubble, that I never left. After studying applied art, I graduated as a graphic designer but never studied photography. Completely self-taught in the matter, and especially in film photography, I built my style all alone by practicing. Today, my second job as a florist allows me to flourish in creativity with my hands, while my profession as a photographer allows me to create links with others with only my eyes.
Q: When was the moment you realized you have a passion for photography?
Photography has always attracted and fascinated me, but I was told that there was no work, so I put aside my ambition to become a photographer to become a graphic designer, a matter that I do not know and which I am not passionate about. But deep inside me, from the moment I had a camera in my hands, I always knew that photography was what I wanted to do.
Q: Do you ever have trouble getting inspired? What do you do when moments like this arise?
I never run out of inspiration, on the contrary, I am full of ideas and I have to guide them, otherwise, I launch too many projects without finishing them. I would rather say that I have downtime, not for lack of inspiration, but after too much work, I have to recover my energy. So I need moments without photos to want to make them again.
Q: What would you say is the hardest thing about photography?
The hardest thing today is to stand out among the thousands of photographers around the world. I find that photography, and in particular film photography, has developed enormously since the advent of social networks.
But this is good: I have never tried to imitate a style or follow a trend, I stay true to myself and I believe that it is also a very difficult thing to be sincere in your work, without being influenced by what others do, as there are good images on Instagram. I think the hardest thing is to have an unmistakable style so that the author of the photo is recognized directly.
Q: You have been chosen Analog/Film Photographer of the Year for your work “Marées.” How was this project born?
This unique photo is in fact the result of a very large series of photographs taken by the sea for 4 years. It was then published in a book in 700 copies, now out of stock. The idea was to play with this place, which I think is an inexhaustible playground of inspiration: sand, water, rock, are ideal textures that I never got tired of. This series was produced on the Brittany and Normandy coasts of France, which are magical places to relax. The nude, quite naturally comes to take its place, without sexualization, it is simply there, obvious.
I suggest you discover the whole series on my site to better understand what I’m talking about on www.angeliqueb.com
Q: What were the biggest difficulties you were faced with when shooting this project? What was the most notable memory?
The biggest difficulty was the weather conditions. Indeed, to take pictures of naked women on the beach, I had to wait until autumn and winter for the beaches to be empty. Thus, it was often very cold, with a lot of winds, and sometimes rain. The sessions were therefore very fast and intense. Some lasted only 15 minutes. It’s both exciting and stressful to go above and beyond to take a good photo in such a short time, personally, I love this type of challenge!
Q: Why did you decide on entering this particular photo into the IPA?
I particularly like this photo because it was taken at the end of the day in September. The weather was much milder. You can feel the serenity and calm in the model’s gaze, which is not the case with the photos that were taken in the middle of winter. I like its very simple composition, so the viewer can see the essentials: the gaze, the face. I also love the sea, dark thanks to the light of the setting sun, which envelops the model like voluptuous silk sheets. It’s quite rare to take a photo that I’m completely happy with, but I think this image has both an ancient and modern composition. That is to say, it is timeless, and will last through the years, despite the changes in fashion.
Q: Are Analog and Film Photography your main passion, or do you enjoy shooting in other genres as well?
In film photography, I mainly photograph human subjects. What interests me are the bodies, the faces. I also like landscapes, but I prefer them when there is a human presence. Regarding the “film section”, it was obvious, because I do not practice digital photography. I only work in film, from the start. It’s a whole different way of working, digital photography is really not for me.
Q: What does winning this competition mean to you?
In fact, I was extremely surprised to win first place in the portrait film section, I thought I would get an honorable mention at best. Then, when I won the Film Photographer of the Year Award, I really couldn’t believe it.
I am very proud that my photo was selected because it is a mark of recognition in the world of contemporary photography, as I said above, it is hard today to stand out from other photographers, there are many and they’re talented. So, I’m really happy with this award, especially in the film category. It makes me very proud, thank you.
Q: If you could do anything or go anywhere, what would your dream photography project be?
I am one of those who have a lot of dreams and who want to make them come true. My main dream would be to photograph the ballets of the operas, whether in New York or even in Paris, above all I want to photograph professional dancers. Because the body is the main element of my work, and also because I have practiced classical dance for 12 years, this project is evident in my career as a photographer.
Q: What is next for you, are you working on anything right now?
At the moment I am releasing my second book “silk” which is self-published in 1000 copies. It is a book that brings together different series of photos: studio, nature, portraits, bodies, and landscapes, like a stroll in the heart of my universe. Then, my project is to put men in the spotlight and photograph them naked, as I do with women because, except in the gay community, it is a project that is too little exploited in photography. I want to show that naked men are also beautiful and aesthetic in photos. It is a challenge and at the same time a necessity in 2021 to show a kind of equality at all levels. My second project is also to photograph more burlesque artists from French cabarets. I have done this in the past, but now I want to make it a series.