There is something simply stunning about capturing people in motion, whether it be in sport, underwater, or in Ludovic Florent’s case, dancing. Beginning photography in 2007, French photographer Ludovic Florent’s love for the visual world allowed him to capture various aspects of the human figure.
Utilising light and various forms of human motion, Ludovic has aimed to create various photographic collections entitled “Poussières d’étoiles” (“Stardust“), “Deep Water” and “Innocence”. Shown below, these three different collections of images retain the true nature of photography; photographing emotion.
Below is our interview with Ludovic Florent, talking about the starting point for his series “Stardust” and what he looks forward to creating in the near future.
Hi there Ludovic how are you?
I am really fine, thank you so much to let me explain my work into your magazine.
So tell us a little about yourself and how you ended up with a camera in your hand…
I began photography in 2007. At the beginning I didn’t know exactly what to do with my camera. It was a revelation for me ! I think the photo studio combines two elements that are fundamental for me; the first, and principal one, is obviously human. I have a deep attachment to try to capture the soul of people posing for me. I have endeavoured to show the natural beauty, the grace, convey an emotion but without vulgarity, without desire to install a report seduction in my images.
The second one is obviously light. I love experimenting with light, a subtlety that allows me to juggle with light and shadows to both enhance my subject but also leave open some mystery. I did not necessarily want to make extravagant images, stick to the latest fashions or spend hours behind the computer to turn people into wax dolls. I try to make images simple and clean, focusing on the one important element; emotion.
You have a lot of images that are categorized in series. Tell us about the series “Deep Water” and “Innocence”.
Creating a series is rigorous but rewarding work. I do not ask my models to pose like fashion models; rather I put up an atmosphere and I ask them to immerse themselves into it. Therefore once they let go, they become themselves and the photograph highlights their personality in its truest form. The final images are the result of collaboration; there is a part of me, of course, but also them, and this is important to me!
“Innocence” perfectly meets this principle. I wanted, at the base, do the opposite of what a fashion photograph. Black and white against the flashy colours; no makeup, no wild hair and no styling. A simple and effective light. Just focus on the natural beauty of the models, with a touch of sensuality.
Regarding “Deep Water” it was my first attempt at underwater photography, something I want to continue to develop. What I like in water is the loss of gravity, which plunges us into a dream world … it opens many avenues to exploit.
Why did you photograph ‘Innocence” particularly, in black and white?
I am sensitive to black and white. One day, I was told “if the colour does nothing for the image in terms of the message, then the photo must be in black and white.” I quite agree with this point of view. Often the colour, if it is not mastered, leads to confusion in the image, while the black and white can work much more finely in light and lack there of.
There is again a timeless look that speaks to me.
To you personally, what element/s make a compelling photo in terms of quality and subject matter?
This is a difficult question. I would say that for an image to be successful, it must above all else, convey an emotion. It should carry you to travel. But also remember something yourself.
“Poussiere detoiles” is a very beautiful set of images. Tell us about your starting point in creating the set and how you went about capturing those images.
Thank you. I love dance and the ability of dancers to transport us through their natural grace. However I was frustrated because in photography, the image is instantaneous, and often the beauty in dance is expressed in movement. This series came to me from my desire to introduce into these static pictures, a little more time…hence the work of projections that can amplify the movement. Again, this series is the result of collaboration with the dancers. I worked with dancers from different disciplines, thus had ways to use their body very differently. I let them offer me things and when it spoke to me, so we worked together to improve the image.
It is a long process because it was a combination of 4 elements for the photo to be successful:
– I trigger at just the right moment in the movement.
– At this point in time, the dancer is graceful.
– That the light falls on her well on the body.
– The movement of dust is graphic and brings something to the image.
It sounds simple because the images are aerial, but in fact it is very complex.
What state of mind are you in when you capture photographs and how do you go about getting into that?
I’m really focused on what I do. I try to understand the person who is facing this me and why she is there in front of me. What is deep inside her and she wants to bring out unconsciously. This is what I have to capture. Too many people are conflating nudity and sexuality. It just has absolutely nothing to do with each other. I like nudity because it is the shortest way to the soul. When you’re naked, there is no more social landmark. You don’t show yourself like the false image you want to be seen in society, but the one you really are. Posing nude is also a mark both of courage but also a true expression of freedom. Freedom to be oneself, to live fully without worrying about the gaze of others.
Who inspired you to take upon photography?
I can mention two names. Firstly Andreas Bittesnicht, which tempted me to turn to the nude. He has a mastery of the body graphics and light studio that much fascinated and inspired me. But his images are cruder than mine, more defiant, less poetic. Also Jean François Jonvelle, who approach the models who looks like me. He lets hers be themselves, wandering in their apartment, he is forgotten and triggers at the right time.
Any news on a new set of photographs you can tell us about?
I have more projects in mind that time to image them. I will continue my series “chrysalis”. I like the report to confinement, and our desire to get out of the shackles that can often be our society, while bringing a new dimension to the graphics of the body. I will also continue to make portraits, I like to work a chopped light, precise, just as can do the Harcourt studio.
Is there a subject or element you wish to capture but haven’t yet? If so, what is it and why would you like to photograph it?
I would probably, next to my artistic work, produce militant images. Make report to alert people about the excesses of our society. But so far, I have not yet had the courage!