‘You don’t do this «job» to make a living obviously. It’s all about passion.’
Where are you from?
I’m born in Lyon, France. I spent most of my childhood in a village 30 min north from it. Then, I came back at 19 years old. Around 2010 I started to go to Barcelona often until I finally moved there couple of years later.
Why did you decide to move there permanently?
I actually didn’t decide to move there, it came naturally. I just went on my first Antiz tour the summer before and some of the guys used to live in Badalona. So, the next winter I visited them for a month. Second winter that was 2 months and the third one I stayed 6 months. I was always going there to avoid the winter in Lyon and step by step I started to live there the whole year about 6/7 years ago, I think. I guess we’re all living there because of the weather, the spots and the cost of living. Definitely not for the love Catalans are showing us. (laughing).
Assuming you started off skateboarding at what point did you move to photography and why?
I started skateboarding at 12 years old in 1997 but I was already bombing hills sitting on my board years before. Around 16, I met one of my best friends that was shooting with flash already.
Then at 18, my birthday present was a shitty digital camera. I started shooting everything at the skatepark. Really bad photos. (laughing).
Then at 19, I gave up going to the university after only a month, went to work at the local factory and the year after I had the chance to go to a photo school in Lyon thanks to my parents. I almost didn’t learn anything, but it got me motivated.
Going to this school was basically an answer to my parents. They wanted me to study something to not be a labour later on, but I just wanted to skate. So, photography was the closest I could find to try to stay around skateboarding. Even though I couldn’t picture myself making it at that time.
‘I guess we’re all living there because of the weather, the spots and the cost of living. Definitely not for the love Catalans are showing us.’
What do you like most being a photographer?
Probably being surrounded by all these incredible human beings, visiting lots of different places, the vibe in the van, the music and the satisfaction of opening a mag and seeing your photo printed in it. And yes, laying on the dirty floor to get the right angle is also nice! Not joking.
What don’t you like at all?
Carrying the 15kgs bag every day, waiting for answers from some magazines/ brands for ages and especially not being able to pay the rent every month!
Is there one skateshot you wish you had taken?
Not really. I mean, I look at every skate photo I can find for 25 years now but I don’t really envy any shots. I just love it, or I don’t. It’s more like I wish I had the chance to be on this tour or that mission with this or that guy.
Which skaters would you love to shoot and why?
I don’t really know. I feel like I already shot some of my heroes as a kid. Shooting with Hugo Liard for the first time 12 years ago or so was something huge for me and Fred (Mortagne) was filming the trick, so I had a crazy pressure on my shoulder that day! (laughing) Then all the OG Antiz guys. Later on, meeting and shooting with Dustin Dollin was a dream coming true in a way. It was one of my favorite as a kid and still is so. Being on these Baker tours was another dream coming true. So now, I’d say Reynolds even though I have one shot of him, but I’d like to shoot some more. Cardiel would have been on the list too, but I don’t really have one person in particular that I’d love to shoot with. Just nice dudes with good vibes knowing how to enjoy a beer or ten after the sesh.
Proudest moment as a photographer?
Anytime you get your photos printed!!! But this Anti Hero ad I had couple of months ago (thanks to Chris Pfanner!) in Thrasher with my long-time friend Victor « Doobie » Pellegrin is really something special and important for me. Also having the chance to get half of the Baker 4 article in Thrasher is something I’m really proud of. It’s only a matter of luck and thanks to Dustin but I’m so stoked about it. I actually think that I’m the photographer with the most photos in it. The little guy from EU having more photos in it than the big Californian skate photographers, it’s kinda funny.
You mention Dustin Dollin helped you out. How do you know him and how was he able to help out?
I got to know Uncle Dustin at the Hellfest in France. We were there with Antiz and Volcom was also there, so at the end of the festival, Dustin jumped in the van, and we spent 2 weeks on tour together. Then we went to Transilvania together and to lots of other tours. He helped me out putting me on some tours with the « big guys ». I did 2 Baker tour because of him and got a double page ad in Thrasher out of it! A dream that I ‘d have never dreamed of!!! I think Dustin is always down to help and to connect people together. He’s a sweetheart!!! Love you, Dustin!
Anytime you don’t like the photo you’ve taken. I’m never 100% happy about my shots but sometimes, it happens that I really hate one and it feels so bad to have to tell the skater that you fucked it up or that you couldn’t find the right angle.
I feel like asking the guy to jump again and again after landing his trick should be embarrassing for any photographer!!! But lots of us are doing it all the time. I try to never do that, but it happens sometimes obviously. I feel bad anytime that happens!
Do you have a fun story to share on this?
Not really. It just reminds me that time Steve Forstner had to refilm a trick in Berlin cause the filmer wouldn’t send him the footage. He just went back and broke his foot.That’s why I always feel bad asking someone to try again for the photo but when you’ve got to, you’ve got to!
‘The little guy from EU having more photos in it than the big Californian skate photographers, it’s kinda funny.’
Is there any post-production you do? If so, how far do you go?
Yes for sure. You need to work a bit on your photos, RAW files are just raw so… But I don’t like to work on it too much. Anytime someone does it too much, it looks like a fucking disgusting extreme sports photography. So just the basics.
What is on your wishlist?
That the world wouldn’t be that fucked up?!? That skateboarding would pay honestly the people who are producing the content: skaters, filmers and photographers?!? (laughing) But obviously that won’t happen ever so maybe just a new good analog point and shoot camera if anyone is down to offer it to me. (laughing).
How do you make a living off photography then?
I don’t. (laughing) I just have a really low rent. I rent my room anytime I’m out on tour. I also used to work as a seasoner in a kitchen during the summer for 9 years. Next week I go work with friends as a construction worker. You don’t do this «job» to make a living obviously. It’s all about passion. And to be honest at 36 years old, I start to be fed up with fighting every months to pay the rent. I really think of stopping it. We don’t get any recognition financially wise and it’s really boring. But what am I gonna do if I stop? Real life, 8am/7pm job, a month of vacation a year is definitely not an option. Slaving for this society is not an option so we’ll see.
Last question. If you could interview one person, who would it be and why?
Lemmy Kilmister but the interview would last 3 weeks and a few gallons of beer!
‘’We don’t get any recognition financially wise and it’s really boring.’