We asked Jefferson, a French photographer, some questions and he answered every question with simplicity. To be honest, the way he talks about his passion and the suggestions he gave us just made us want to have photography as a hobby as well!
As mentioned above Jefferson is super passionate about what he does and loves to express himself through photography. “I’m not used to talk about myself but more about my work…However, I’m almost 35. I’m living in Paris now, but I have lived everywhere in the past.” His passion for photography started at a young age, ever since he can remember. “I have had a passion for photography for years now. Since I was a child. When I was little I used to travel a lot and I was using a film camera. I found so much joy in whipping out my camera and taking pictures. I love taking picture and see what the outcome will be! Art and painting is also a passion of mine, I always used to do this when I was younger. Now, I associate art and photography. For now I’m just focusing on photography.”
When Jefferson first started photography he used his iPhone. “The first pictures I took didn’t come from my camera. When I started photography, it was with my iPhone, like many people. But there were limits to Smartphone, even if they have good quality photos, it is not the same level as a reflex. This means being able to change the lens to have different renderings.” (For the photography lovers out there Jefferson has a: Canon 550D, 600D, and most recently Canon 5D Mark IV, that is the latest version of 5D released by Canon)
Jefferson has all the experience he needs to share some tips and tricks with us beginners. “Photography is so open, you can do anything you want. It all depends on the style you want to do it in. If you want to do portraits, it’s not like landscape or architecture. Each time you’ll need to have a material that’s adequate. But, if you’re just starting out you don’t need much. You can either buy a small Reflex or a small compact to start.”
“First and foremost, the most important thing is to know how to use the equipment, before you want to buy good equipment. It is useless to have a device at X euros and not knowing how to take photos.”
“Listen to yourself. Rather than doing like Mr. X or Mr. Y. Deep down we all have a sensitivity, and our sensitivity will guide us more than letting the other be our guide by what they want and their external looks.”
“You must start by listening to yourself to find our style and our technique and once you have found, let the feeling do it for you…”
Jefferson has seen so much of the world, and we wanted to know if he could only photograph one place where it would be. “Oh, that’s quite a complicated question for the simple and good reason that I am quite an eclectic person. I don’t really like to lock myself in one style for a very long time. I always need to change and evolve to something else. But, if I had to choose one style and one place, it would be Iceland. For the climate, its large spaces, very little population so I am alone in the big spaces. Also, the mountain, the snow, the sun and the Aurora Borealis. There is a lot to do, it’s so huge and impressive for a small country.”
He was thinking about the U.S. as well but Iceland remains a good choice because it’s close to Paris. However, the U.S. has been one of his favourite places to photograph.
“It’s the place that speaks to me the most.”
Jefferson used to be super picky and would take an immense amount of pictures of the same spot before being satisfied. But, he has now managed to reduce it. “I realized that I can easily find myself with twenty pictures of the same place nowadays. When I say “same place” it means that I don’t move of one centimeter. I will make 20 photos by just changing the position of my camera and to see different dynamic renderings. Also, I can move between 1 and 10 meters to have a different angle of the same subject. I have to test all possible fields.”
It surprised us when he said his favorite theme for his photography is exploration and discovery. “Definitely is exploration and discovery. Since I am a big fan of travel, and in travel there is something very interesting that is the landscape. Whether urban landscape or nature. Having the astonishment of seeing a landscape that you have never seen before.”
We all get inspiration from somewhere, and Jefferson loves art. “In painting, it would be Florentine art. It’s an art focused on a very special color treatment, the taste of “beautiful”. To bring out beautiful faces with movements. For example, if you go to Italian churches, you will see this very present Florentine art as the expression of bodies with movements.” He added “I also associate Florentine art with the impressionism and design.” But, if he had to choose a photographer it would be Ansel Adams.
If you want to see the process Jefferson has gone through and how his work has evolved you should definitely follow his Instagram. That is where he is most active! “I am more active at the moment and it’s easier to follow the evolution of my work. I went through different phases: black and white, colors, more refined, urban style, landscapes, portraits…”
Jefferson has so much to share with us, we could probably fill a book with everything he says. “Here are some of my favourite quotes:”
“You don’t take a picture, you do it”
By Ansel Adams. Picture is a whole process. The photo must be done, it must be created.
Also, one by Willy Ronis.
“A beautiful image is a geometry modulated by the heart”
To end our amazingly interesting interview with Jefferson we asked for some last advice he could share with us.
“Don’t be afraid to take risks. Often in photography, when people manage to create a style, they’re afraid to leave this style, afraid of losing audience. Creativity remains alive if we continue to challenge. Don’t be afraid to go to other things.”
“We must really give ourselves the means for its ambitions. The best photos are not necessarily in the best conditions. It doesn’t just come your way, it’s up to you to go. You have to take the picture, look for the angles, look for the subjects and the compositions. It joins the quote of Ansel Adams.”