Remi Rebillard is a New York based French photographer who was born in Paris in the 60’s, a period he describes as an era of great artistic freedom. Lucky to have been in the right place at the right time, he became the assistant of famous French director Jean Becker, who fuelled his passion for photography. Rebillard produces thought-provoking visual essays, capturing women in an almost disconnected manner to the world surrounding them. He never fails to depict the sensual side of his protagonist without blurring the edges between the real world and the imagery. His editorials have gained much acclaim and appeared in high-end fashion magazines including Uomo Vogue, Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan etc. For more of his images visit www.remirebillard.com or www.remirebillard.blogspot.de.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I am a citizen of the world with a story to share.
How did your photographic career start?
It all started with feature films. I had the good fortune to be born in Paris in the 60’s. This was a period of great artistic freedom. I grew up surrounded by actors and artists which naturally led me to my first important experience with imagery. I became one of the assistants of the famous French director, Jean Becker. During this period, I came to know Francis Giacobetti. At his house I would sneak a look at the slides laid out upon his light box from his latest shoot. This triggered something within me. An excitement that led me to pick up a camera and commence my journey as a photographer probably.
After working a few years in Paris, I decided to disembark upon a real journey and try New York. This is where I started to find my style, my voice as an artist, if you will. Living in a tiny Greenwich Village artist’s loft, I experimented by combining the daylight from my north facing skylight with strobes and gels. This was my start in the 90’s. And the journey continues……
What was your favourite project and why?
My series in the desert (the Western USA): “Red is the color of Rubies, Strawberries and Alea”, “Where Dust Meets Dawn”, “A Desert Road From Vegas to Nowhere….” This was a pivotal trip for me. Summing up my journey of where I had come, to where I was going. I felt a strong connection with this place, like this is where I belong. The heat, the sand, the long lonely roads, the broken down shanties, abandoned gas stations, miles of desert and brush land as far as the eye could see and my camera with me to capture it all. To tell the story. But not with sadness, instead with the emotion of that moment and hope.
Quotes and Wisdoms
How do you define creativity?
To me creativity is nothing more than seeing something and bringing it to life. To have the ability to find a new mode of expression, to never be stagnant, forever evolving. Everyone has the ability to do it, but to be brave to take the leap, to stand alone, that is for those who are somewhat different.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
I will take the one of Susan Sontag “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
To follow my instincts and not listen to the banter of what is the trend or what is in the magazines.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Have a strong unique style. Be different. Don’t follow the herd.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
No, I love what I do, I cannot think of a replacement or anything that would entice me to change.
All images © Remi Rebillard
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