Why We Chose to Create Fine Art Photographs – Part 1
We started working as professional photographers in June 2003 when we were in the United States for two years. We evolved drastically when our focus turned to artistic photography in 2010. Since then, we have gained great experience.
Once Upon a Time …
We began our career as professional photographers by selling photographs for magazines which specialized in underwater photography. We also wrote bilingual texts in French and English.
Naturally, this approach led us to publish technical books on photography as well as produce images, commonly referred to as “stocks”, for photo agencies. Today, we have thousands of images on sale in different international stocks.
After seven years of demanding work, we realized that the days dragged longer and longer, and yet our financial income stagnated. Competition between other photographers became harder and harder as their numbers expanded. Moreover, we lacked joy when creating photos, because each work seemed to be nearly identical to the next.
Motivation gradually disappeared, giving way to an immense weariness that weighed down our spirit. We could not think of exciting new goals that we wished to achieve. We limited ourselves to the production of new images of illustration, which wasn’t even interesting to us, and nothing more.
While we were in a state of fatigue and intense overwork, we decided to return to our foundations. We traveled to the coast of Charente-Maritime In France where we had previously visited before coming to the United States.
It was the winter of 2010. During this journey, we experienced a revelation.
We chose to photograph the Atlantic Ocean in hopes that we might relax, refresh our mind, and recharge our spirits. Seeking calm and serenity, we were hoping for something more. From our first session, we began to feel alive. It was as if we could suddenly inhale fresh air through new lungs that had previously been blocked. Despite the icy northern winds and our frozen hands, we stayed outside with our cameras until nightfall. For several days, we repeated this experiment. We allowed ourselves to view our activities from a leisurely perspective instead of a business orientation.
During each photo session, we only made one or two photographs. We spent hours contemplating the ocean, watching the waves, and feeling the sea air which is quite extraordinary in that region. Our state of mind ventured away from repetitive, drab shootings for agencies and magazines. For the first time in years, we patiently took our time while creating photographs. We shot simply for artistry and creativity rather than for technical reasons, which had previously enslaved us as professionals. We greatly pondered the purpose and structure of each photograph. Focusing on the process rather than the end result gave us an indefinable pleasure. Instead of making descriptive photos and testimonials, we were creating pictures that reflected our state of mind and our way of being.
It was during this winter trip of 2010 at Charente-Maritime in France, that we decided to focus more on fine art photography. We realized that if we wanted to keep our passion for photography intact, we would need to completely change our state of mind.
The Need and the Desire to Express Ourselves
This trip resulted in the creation of a beautiful collection of 9 printed and framed photographs. When we looked at the final products, we realized that we had an irrepressible need to convey personal messages, emotions, and experiences. We wanted to be in tune with the photographs we were making rather than be present as witnesses to ordinary scenes that would be used as illustrations for magazines or technical books.
We understood that nature would become a real vector through which we could better express ourselves. We chose to live each day by believing in a purpose: to show the beauties of nature through a contemplative and artistic interpretation. We wanted to transmit tranquility, peace, and serenity away from the hubbub of major cities. It is for this reason that our artistic approach is focused towards dreamlike and minimalist scenes with ethereal atmospheres.
The Need to Build Sustainable Foundations
After the winter of 2010, we gradually undertook several photo projects including the great mineral landscapes of the western United States, which is not too far from where we live. As great as these landscapes were, they more importantly offered us beautiful opportunities in relation to our emotions and our photographic vision.
Our artistic approach was strengthened by the fact that we finally wanted to build solid foundations for our professional, personal, and artistic life. These three points joined together naturally.
Each photo project became one of the pillars of our foundation that would support a much larger building. We strived to share our passion for the beauties of nature with the greatest number of people possible. In order to achieve this goal, we needed to leave an imprint in history by crafting timeless pieces of work. We finally understood where our artistic, ethical, and moral values were. We had found our life line.