This photo was made along the cornice between the Vallon des Auffes and the beach of Catalans in Marseille. I have just returned from 3 days in the Phocean city. Friends lent me their apartment and I was able to walk during these few days the streets of Marseilles. When I started Street Photography and I was bored in Aix, I went to Marseille to satisfy my need for exoticism. Convinced that if my photos were not good it was because of Aix-en-Provence which was too small … For those who follow my work, you know that 99% of my work is now done in the streets Aix. For more than two years, I do not go to Marseille to take pictures. The grass is not greener elsewhere.
I started a project called EGO some time ago. You can have a look in the SERIES section. You’ll tell me it’s just a selfie project ! For me it’s more than that. I did not start this project because I had a massive ego and I wanted to shout aloud : me Me ME ! I have always had a problem with my image and I enjoy myself only rarely on a photo. Maybe that’s why I like being on the other side of the viewfinder. It’s also hard for me to feel comfortable when I’m in the center of attention. Just for the anecdote; at our farewell party, I had to give a speech in front of nearly 80 people. Even if they were friends, I was pretty uncomfortable. People told me that it did not show. It’s normal, I put up the front but deep in me I just wanted to go hide myself !
This EGO project is therefore a challenge for me. Succeed to accept myself in photo. I brought back two pictures of my recent stay in Marseille. The entrance to my friends’ apartment was right in front of the elevator. An elevator they do not use elsewhere because they stay on the ground floor. The light is always on in the cabin and a mirror is inside. I suppose we often put mirrors in the elevators so claustrophobic people do not feel oppressed by the cramped space. Anyway, this mirror allowed me to play with my reflection. It was the day of my departure that I had the idea to use masks hanging around my friend’s apartment. You can see on the photos below, the evolution of my work during these 3 days. The last picture is the one I selected. I tilted my head a little, which gives a little creepy side or toxic aspect to the photo.
The opening photo is a classic with a small difference. I had spotted this window with this huge impact. Many people would have tried to align the impact on a passer-by. Not me. From the beginning, I knew it was my head that had to be covered by the impact. No need to sit on a sofa to analyze this approach. I just thought it was very aesthetic and it worked well with my EGO project. I had on my back the blue sky which offered me a beautiful uniform reflection. The focus was made on the glass in macro mode. I waited for people to complete my composition to click. Even though there was no crowd passing on this sidewalk, I still could get what I wanted. Including two people including one of them who looks at me asking what I was doing.
It’s very egocentric as a procedure. So don’t we say that in street photography, even if we photograph others, in the end, it is ourselves that we reveal in our photos ? My photos tell a lot about who I am and how I feel when I take pictures.
All photos were made with the Ricoh GR and the Ricoh GRD 4.