10 Questions: Thierry Joubert

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Based in Anglet, Southwestern of France, Thierry Joubert shoots weddings worldwide. To Thierry, life is about building real connections with people, be it family or the couples he meets and photographs. Inspired by memories of a nomadic life, Thierry blends childlike openness, and philosophical ideas of trace and sign, with a skill for telling other people’s stories. Unafraid of dreaming big – Thierry’s work showcases his mastery of light and the depth of human emotions.

Editor’s Update: Thierry will be speaking at Choo Choo Camp this October, 10 – 13th 2016, in NYC! If you want to hear him speak, sign up here.

1. What does making images mean to you?

Telling a story, setting the time, leaving a trace. Wedding photography brings me so much. It’s a time of sharing with my couples. A connection.

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2. What is life to you? What it should be?

For me, life is my family. My wife and my 2 boys. After that, my couples. It’s they who allow me to live, to be happy and fulfilled. I don’t want much besides that. I prioritise human relationships. I’m open to others, to those who want it. I’m not calculative when it comes to giving my time & energy to others. To exist on this earth and not share with others makes no sense to me. Life is about sharing in my opinion.

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3. Where did you grow up and how did that play a part in your photography?

I moved 12 times since birth till I turned 18 years old, living in France and abroad because of my father’s job. “Travel” certainly opened my mind during my childhood and has inspired me to extend this into my adulthood.

I think part of me remains in the memories of my childhood and being childlike. My logo was inspired by my childhood; it was my wish. A tree that represents life and a kite and a swing reminiscent of carefree childhood. Daring to dream, keeping one’s innocence allows one to keep a healthy balance with today’s world.

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4. There are a lot of professions out there – why be a photographer?

Telling stories always fascinated me. Now I do that with a camera. My “past” is just the opposite of my present. I spent 18 years in the French Army. But also on trips in another state of mind.

Years passed so quickly during my childhood. Memories are only in my mind like “virtual” images. Today, for me photographing people permits me to leave a real sign.

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5. Are you creativity satisfied at the moment?

I strive for creative satisfaction by focusing first on building a genuine connection with my subjects. So in that way, I am creatively satisfied. 🙂

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6. What are you reading now?

To kill a mockingbird” By Harper LEE.

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7. Describe your path to what you’re doing now.

My past life was a first life for me. Without this past, without this experience, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I would not make the pictures I make, see the world the way I see it. Knowing one’s current self is to understand one’s past. (Getting into your past to see as you as you are today.) Restart my life? I wouldn’t change anything.

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8. Do you make more personal images or are they mainly for other people?

Except wedding commissions, I only take pictures of my family, mostly in film, because I like to have them in my hands and print them and put them on the walls of my family house. It’s like leaving a trace.

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9. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?

Right. And I shoot with my heart.

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10. Where do you see yourself in 10 year’s time?

I’m not able to know where I’ll be in 2 years… In 10… I still hope I’ll be travelling to document love stories. I hope I’ll be writing a book. And still photographing as I can’t live without that since I always view human relationships as an important aspect in my life.

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Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?

I like to say and think that the material must adapt to our mind and never the opposite. Our mind, our desire to create and connect with couples, that I believe is crucial. But for us to artistically express what we are internally we must also prioritise the equipment. I like to say and think what concerns me is that the priority remains our mind, our heart and the hardware. Our cameras are extensions of our minds.

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Field Notes:

I only work in digital.

In digital, I love deep black and white, which reflects my past, my experiences, something I never want to forget and which I use every day to create.

I keep film for my family pictures, my personal pictures. Rolleiflex, Nikon FM3a, Polaroid… I prefer Black & White rolls rather than color. I found film in 1996. I take pleasure developing  film and paper prints, discovering the magic of the negative, or the appearance of an image in the darkroom… The smell of fixer, touching the sheet, contemplating the image, the work.

Gear List:

  • 2 NIKON D750
  • 24mm 1,4 Nikon
  • 35mm 1,4 Nikon
  • 50mm 1,4 Nikon
  • 85mm 1,8 Nikon
  • Flash SB700
  • Filson Bag

 


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See also our other interview with Thierry : Then and Now.

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