Jean-Loup Lafont

Jean-Loup Lafont

The Eiffel Tower is outside the window of the studio where I work, but even so I don’t look at it very often. That’s because in addition to my photos I do a lot of reading. My current hero is Jim Canada, a comic-strip adventurer—I’ve got all his books. As for my still lifes—a journalist friend calls them ‘photos taken by a disturbed adolescent’—I get my ideas from objects I find on my walks. Toys, bits of string and plant matter I’ve picked up in the Bois de Boulogne where I often go walking. My camera’s a bit old but I like it. It’s a Rollei SL66, the classic model with an 80 mm Planar or 150 mm Sonnar lens. When it comes to films I prefer two emulsions which have a reputation for soft colours. I use the Fuji Reala for colour photography and the Kodak T-Max 100 for black-and-white.

Something my photos won’t tell you, perhaps, is that I like silence and walking, going to the suburbs and sitting outside cafés, pencil in hand, thinking about what to photograph next. Or wondering what made me start a photoblog last year. Was it money? Certainly not, although (and I’m not pretending to be Cartier-Bresson here) I’d be happy if enthusiasts liked the photos on show in my shop. No, I’ve got other plans. Like having a successful exhibition of my photos, for example, or forming a photographers’ collective with friends from all over. This seems to me better suited to my taste for travel, which has already taken me far afield.

In 2004 I struck lucky: I had a major exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie des Saints-Pères then, at the beginning of the summer a small exhibition of my polaroids at Focale in Nyon in Switzerland. Since then, nothing. Admittedly, I’ve not really tried to show my photographs. In fact I’ve usually gone about it through a process of trial and error. I’d be certain I’d finally got an idea in the morning then, by the evening, I’d be convinced of the opposite. The two books which I wrote just recently give me hope that, perhaps, I’ve found my niche. The Brezhnev Rose takes place in Moscow. It’s a romantic thriller enacted in forty scenes and as many photos. Waikiki Beach is set in Honolulu.

The Brezhnev Rose by Jean-Loup Lafont La Rose Brejnev par Jean-Loup Lafont Waikiki Beach by Jean-Loup Lafont

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