His name: Stéphane Kossmann. He is the founder and president of Pierrevert Photographic Nights and Photographic Nights of Essaouira. He is a photographer too and Bernard Plossu presents him. These photographs are taken from the book “We met in Cannes”, Lay out by Peter Knapp, preface by Jean-Francois Couvreur and published by the Auer / Ory Foundation in 2017.
I always wondered how it would be to be taking pictures during The Cannes Film Festival … What would I see there? This is not my world, but precisely, when I saw the books of Stephane Kossmann the photographer, who goes there every year, I looked at them with attention: first what is obvious, even more that the “stars” is how it really is black and white, not gray, apart from 2 or 3 photos.
Also, what seems clear is that he must surely be accepted and even be well perceived by all these people who are nevertheless surrounded by photographers and who see this giant, because Kossmann is very big, therefore very visible, he follows them, quite naturally, and hop click a picture. We can not not see him, and it has always seemed interesting to me that a photographer manages to make him or herself… invisible! but he, there in this crazy world, where a certain anguish must hover, he seems to succeed …
Well, there are “stars”, certainly, but not only that. And even, precisely, how to show a star without making “people” photography? I will say that there is tenderness, yes, in his pictures of well known people, who must, sometimes, be fed up with being photographed … He looks for the photo, but he succeed with tenderness and not voyeurism.
The other day, I had just received his book, a friend belonging to the film world, clever and fascinating, reacted looking at the book , within a second: “I do not like it at all!” Come on, here is a quick judgment ! and I wonder if I do not write this text in defense of Stéphane because I know that:
– He is sincere and does not “take advantage” of the situation to make himself known!
– and that I find his photographs really interesting to the extent that they give me a real human dimension of these people that we see only as unapproachable!
It is not possible to photograph them without them giving somehow their visual agreement! Look at the wonderful picture of Clint Eastwood and Catherine Deneuve, what tenderness! Kossmann shows there his reason for being a photographer! As for the very “star” photo of Julia Roberts, it shows this crowded atmosphere. The portrait of Meryl Streep is of great discreet beauty, overwhelming.
And precisely, between the style of its black and white, and the moments captured, I find him quite authentic. He needs photography to live, to live this funny dream that must be this festival, which would terrorize me! (More trouble than I think to go!) What more can I say? I am not Don Quixote, but with the years, I really still love more and more the photography of others. There, these images are so foreign to my world that I look at them stunned, but I feel that I have before the eyes real photographs, that is to say which do not lie.
Well, I stop, but this experience is all the stronger as this world is unknown to me, and that suddenly, I discover it a little better, I see better who they are, these people he has photographed on the most abstract red carpet in the world in black and white!