Eddy Brière : Pleasure first!
Eddy Brière doesn’t have a career plan, and lets himself be carried along by encounters. After studying physics, he quickly turned to robotics and computer science. And where does photography fit into all this? He came to it almost by chance, even though he has always been sensitive to all kind of images. Indeed, it was during a business trip to Singapore as an IT specialist that he bought his first analog camera. His first images were of little interest, so said he, but he soon discovered a passion for portraiture, a field in which he would specialize, combining it with his passion for cinema.
From then on, he didn’t hesitate to take a radical professional turn. Through encounters and experiences, he became convinced that photography was perfect for him . It allows him to tell stories in a more accessible way, while leaving room for a true sensitivity. He loves staging his characters, and his approach to photography straddles the border between fashion and cinema.
For Eddy Brière, photography is above all about creating complicity with the person he is going to immortalize, in order to convey emotion. When shooting portraits, he focuses on the subject, and more specifically on the gaze.
In parallel, he also produces fashion series, advertising photos and film posters. He worked on the poster for the latest Asterix and Obelix film, and he has photographed some of themes famous in the movie industry.
Website : www.eddybriere.com
Instagram : eddybriere
What was your first photographic breakthrough?
Eddy Brière: When I was in my twenties, I really liked fashion photography. I particularly liked cinematic black-and-white atmospheres, and I drew a lot of inspiration from this type of imagery in my early days. Later, I discovered that the photographer of those images was a certain Peter Lindbergh…
The man or woman who inspires you?
Eddy Brière: In photography, Peter Lindbergh was a great inspiration. But there are many others, such as Ellen von Unwerth, David LaChapelle, Bettina Rheims, Pamela Hanson, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin… and I’m forgetting half of them.
What image would you like to have made?
Eddy Brière: A great classic, “Le Baiser de l’Hôtel de ville” by Robert Doisneau. A simple photograph of such a common moment in the streets of Paris.
It’s a captivating image, with all the intensity of a kiss. Time even visually stands still for these two lovers, as the city continues its mad dance. A truly stunning shot!
Which one moved you the most?
Eddy Brière: Surprisingly, I’m often moved by figurative photographs. Obviously, there hasn’t been just one photograph in my life, but I remember in particular a press image from the 2000s illustrating an attack on a hotel, the author of which I unfortunately don’t know.
A camera lay carelessly on a carpet with a few bloodstains. Every element of this image was so powerful that it was easy to imagine the violence implicit in this tragedy. Lives had suddenly ceased.
What made you angry?
Eddy Brière: What can irritate me is when a photo is appreciated more for what it contains than for what it really is. Images don’t always have the success they deserve, and vice versa.
In practical terms, I love my mother, so I like photos of her. Are photos of my mother beautiful photos? No! In general, there’s nothing extraordinary about them (apart from my mother, of course).
A key image in your personal pantheon?
Eddy Brière: A photo of a pigeon… I’m a lousy pigeon photographer.
A photographic memory from your childhood?
Eddy Brière: As a child, I didn’t like having my photo taken. But I remember one particular shot I hated, taken when I was about 7-8 years old. I’m naked in a basin washing in my grandfather’s garden during the summer vacations.
Having always been modest, this photo made me feel uncomfortable, especially when the photo album circulated after some family dinners…
With no budget limit, what work of art would you dream of acquiring?
Eddy Brière: The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault.
What do you think makes a good photographer?
Eddy Brière: Patience and perseverance. And to be a good photographer 😉
Through my photographic encounters, I’ve learned that you have to accept that you’re not necessarily the photographer you want to be, but the photographer you are. There’s a big difference between knowing how to do something and being able to do it.
What, if any, is the secret to the perfect image?
Eddy Brière: A technically perfect image is easy to achieve. But there’s no such thing as an artistically perfect image, because art is subjective and unique to each individual. As far as I’m concerned, it’s when I manage to get the vision of what I have in mind in photography.
Who would you like to photograph?
Eddy Brière: I’d love to photograph David Bowie. After that, there are so many…
Which photographer would you like to have your portrait taken by?
Eddy Brière: I don’t think I’d like to be photographed by any particular photographer. Unless it’s a good reason to share a visions of photography with him or her. In that case, all the great photographers of the moment.
An essential photo book?
Eddy Brière: All books are essential for discovering the art of photography, whether the images inspire us or not… Typically, to come back to the notion of the perfect image, it’s also interesting to understand what we don’t like in a photo, because sometimes it’s just the matter of a few things.
What was your childhood camera?
Eddy Brière: I started photography at the age of 30 with a Canon EOS 33 from memory, but I never had a camera before that.
The one you use today?
Eddy Brière: I don’t have a camera of choice, and work with Canon, Fuji or Phase One, depending on the project.
What’s your favorite drug?
Eddy Brière: Chocolate! and failing that, sugar.
What’s the best way for you to switch off?
Eddy Brière: Isolating myself to create/think! Not necessarily photographic images.
What is your personal relationship with images?
Eddy Brière: My background is in computer programming, where communication is based on languages that are incomprehensible to the uninitiated. Photography, on the other hand, is universal and that’s what I like.
What’s your greatest quality?
Eddy Brière: Patience, I think.
Your latest folly?
Eddy Brière: I’m lucky enough to be able to indulge in little and big follies on a regular basis!
An image to illustrate a new banknote?
Eddy Brière: An hourglass!
What job would you rather not have?
Eddy Brière: I can’t blossom in a job that forces me into a corner, with repetitive tasks and little human interaction.
What if you hadn’t become a photographer?
Eddy Brière: I’ve already had the opportunity to live several professional lives, as I taught in the IT field, then became a computer engineer before becoming a photographer. I’m interested in so many areas that nothing is set in stone, and we don’t have enough time in our lives to do everything.
Your greatest professional extravagance?
Eddy Brière: Engineer with a comfortable income, and at the dawn of my thirties I threw myself into a new passion, without any training or career plan. Today, I work in a professional niche, photographing celebrities for the press and cinema. With hindsight, perhaps my extravagance was to approach the world without restraint or preconceptions.
In your opinion, what are the bridges between photography and art photography?
Eddy Brière: Art photography is to photography what experimentation is to research. We revolve around a concept, an idea, a theme, in cycles and according to our evolution and periods of life. And only then do we begin to make art.
What city, country or culture do you dream of discovering?
Eddy Brière: I’m curious and open to all destinations and cultures. The important thing is exchange and discovery.
The place you never tire of?
Eddy Brière: It’s not the perfect place, with its faults and drawbacks, but it’s certainly my home. Even after a great trip, I’m happy to be back in my own world.
What’s your biggest regret?
Eddy Brière: When I was very young, my fear was that I’d have regrets when I got old. So I’ve always done what I wanted to do and have no particular regrets.
There are certain things I would have liked to have done, but didn’t. But time has allowed me to learn. But time has enabled me to understand why, and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do them any more.
In terms of social networks, are you more into Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or Snapchat, and why?
Eddy Brière: I have a lot of trouble with social networks. I have a Facebook account that I don’t check and an Instagram account on which I’m not very active.
Why is that? I actually wonder.
What have digital technology and smartphones taken away from or brought to photography?
Eddy Brière: Digital photography has democratized a lot of fields, and that’s a good thing. Even if many productions are mediocre, on the other hand many talents have been revealed.
On the other hand, the weakness of digital technology is that it has no limits. When it comes to creativity, this is an undeniable asset, provided you know what you want or what you’re looking for, otherwise you run the risk of falling into endless spirals.
And AI isn’t going to make things any better… New tools with no limits that will turn some projects into a nightmare.
Color or B&W?
Eddy Brière: I started out in B&W, because I found color compositions very difficult. When I switched to color, I retouched my B&W images and then rephotographed them in color. In fact, my first color images were desaturated.
Today, I work exclusively with color.
Daylight or artificial light?
Eddy Brière: I don’t really have a preference, I just adapt to what I want or need. Some places offer magnificent light, and when the moment is unique or periodic, I don’t hesitate to seize it. Artificial light, on the other hand, offers the advantage of working without time constraints.
Does your heart lean more towards film or digital?
Eddy Brière: When I started out, film was the only way to go, and that’s how I got my start. Then, as soon as digital cameras became more sophisticated, I let go of film with no regrets.
My use of film was limited to shooting and scanning the film, which I then retouched in Photoshop, a field in which I was comfortable as a computer scientist by training. Developing photos in a lab never appealed to me, and I never processed my own images.
I’ve got nothing against film photography; on the contrary, there are some magnificent films. Photography, whether digital or film, is like painting, it has many modes of expression.
Which city do you think is the most photogenic?
Eddy Brière: The suburbs of Paris offer graphic and exotic backdrops for photography. Some images can cast doubt on where they were taken, suggesting that they were taken in London or New York!
If God exists, would you ask him to pose for you in heaven, or would you opt for a selfie with him?
Eddy Brière: Neither… I’d prefer him to take a photo of me. Just to see what a photographic portrait of God would look like.
If I could organize your ideal dinner party, who would be at the table?
Eddy Brière: Impossible, we’d be falling into a paradox. I’d be inviting so many people with whom I’d like to exchange ideas that it would be impossible to do so in a qualitative way.
Which image do you think represents the current state of the world?
Eddy Brière: An hourglass! We’ll come back to that It represents time, and it’s also said to represent money. It’s money that dominates the world… and time is running out for us. Yet we are but a grain of sand in the universe.
What’s missing in today’s world?
Eddy Brière: We have everything we need in this world, it’s the distribution that’s not right. We need to find the right balance of things, but for that to happen, homo sapiens needs to mellow down, rid himself of his most destructive emotions and vices. But I doubt that’s going to happen, because it’s so ingrained in our genes.
If you had to start all over again?
Eddy Brière: Well! We’d start all over again for new adventures.
Any last words?
Eddy Brière: What was your first photographic breakthrough?