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Interview of Freddy Rapin

Could you introduce yourself a little, talk a bit about your background?

Nothing particularly circulated right in my life journey. With hindsight, I think that the winding paths provide, perhaps, a vision more relative on the world. I forsake technical studies which bore me to integrate the University of Fine Arts in Rennes in 1994. After four years of Catholic high school boys, it's a real shock! The lid which lifts, makes me discover the world of arts, thought, culture. A world, that henceforth will rhythm my life passionately. I now 39 years old.

When, how and why did you begin to make photography?

The photographic act germinated later on, only at the age of 22 years. It raised awareness in the deep black of an amphitheater during the screening of the film documentary I'll be your mirror of Nan Goldin. You could see the young artist wrestling with life, drug, testifying that she came to photography in hopes to cheat death, to keep track of her family then carried off by the tide of AIDS. The documentary ends with a sour note of a veritable illusion. She explains that the effect is unfortunately inverse. Not only the photographic action can not prevent the passing away, she also produces proof, by the revealed image, of veritable loss. Death punctuated with my life since childhood, I also want to be bitten by the naivety to believe that photographing is to keep people alive. Death has punctuated my life since childhood, I also want to be piqued by the naivety to believe that photographing is to keep people alive.

What do you like in this form of expression?

It stops time and makes us believe in immortality.

What are the themes that you like to photograph?

Human being. For all these facets, from every angle. In his relationship with the world, in his questions, in his contemplations, in its intimacy, in its fragility, in its nakedness. Time. I especially photograph my friends for 19 years and I am pleased with the confidence that they carry me, to be able to follow them throughout their lives. My images show as well, of passing time, a concept that haunts me as much as it fascinates me ...

What are you looking to share through your photography?

I need my images tell stories. They can be viewed, of course, but mostly read. I try to make them run like books. I like to associate them by creating diptychs, so that they interact with each other. Sensitive to poetry, I affix poems or extracts of poems, especially those of Emily Dickinson (American poet of the 19th century) or those of Mimy Kinet (contemporary Belgian poet).

What is your idea of sensuality?

The detail that turns the emotion into thrill behind the shoulder.

What photographers fascinate and / or inspire you?

I am fascinated by the power of the pieces of photosensitive paper. That the artist is known or not, matters little to me, honesty, hard work, authenticity and sensitivity are only important. We often retain the imprint of photography at the expense of its creator, as if finally the photographers behind their cameras managed to be forgotten. Some however are inseparable from their images: Nan Goldin, Sarah Moon, Paolo Roversi, Jean-Loup Sieff, Peter Lindberg, Bettina Rheims, Mona Kuhn, Karl Lagerfeld ...

How do you prepare a session of shooting?

Ideally, I like to share before, feel envy, respective expectations, discuss the contents in the wardrobes ... especially with the models I do not know enough, I feel reassured. I need a starting point. I do not want to intellectualize the whole photo session, I also want to leave room for the unexpected. My ideas are never fixed at the point of asking people to come and play a role. Photography is for me, a sharing, a meeting. Then I cross my fingers that the magic of the moment carries us away.

What (s) camera (s) do you use ?

I worked with film for 15 years with different cameras, Pentax, Canon, Mamiya, and my favorite paper was Ilford Warmtone. Today I work daily in digital, but I am ashamed to write that I'm still with the old-fashioned 50D SLR.

What (s) techniques do you prefer?

Let's say I have kept my old habits of argentic photographer. I do not work in continuous shooting and I let my cards a few days in the cupboard before looking upon. As for shooting, I prefer the soft natural light and capricious.

How and why did your photography changed?

Probably because it follows my personal change. Over time, we learn to know themselves better, to tame themselves, to contemplate more serenely. The photograph is here to prove.

What brings you the internet media?

It allows to show his work easily, exchange to infinity, to get feedback and no longer requires the Provincials "to move up to Paris!". It gives a chance to everyone. It is a free virtual space, we must inhabit and make it welcoming.

What do you expect from a website like Sensual Photography?

I am waiting with its notoriety, that it demonstrates that photography is and will always remain a serious subject of demanding creators in the world of art, and, despite the common use of the medium.

What are your plans?

In parallel to my color images constructed as diptychs, I'm working on a series that is very close to my heart. Named "La Rayure" my models are invited to come to move around in the same conditions for the same space. So, the images are built in a spirit of laboratory, more experimental research with a search tribute to old process. Alert to opportunities for exhibitions, I am perpetually searching for new places, reading print is for me an added value.

What would you add?

I wish to congratulate and thank the administrators of Sensual Photography having succeeded in the challenge to bring together, in just a few months, more than 1,500 photographers from around the world, to publish a book, and to uplift, so beautifully, creative souls.

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