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The Questionnaire : Laurence Laborie by Carole Schmitz


Laurence Laborie : Femininity & Aestheticism.

Born in the North of France, nothing predestined Laurence Laborie to become a photographer. She got her cue discovering an instamatic on a bench in a public garden when she was a teenager. This passion for the magic of the image never left her. She nevertheless pursued brilliant engineering studies at first before discovering the world of fashion by becoming a model. But very quickly the evidence of professional photography imposed itself to her.

She made her first images on location with natural light before investing herself in research on Beauty and being fascinated by the construction of light in the studio.

From then on, her work became feminine and her quest intense, sensual, audacious and with eloquent aesthetics. The woman as a whole inspires her infinitely. She likes to infuse it with rock’n’roll accents, both masculine and feminine.

Awarded at the Cannes Fashion Photography Festival in 2008 and at the Hasselbald Master in 2007, whether she works for Dior, Make Up For Ever or Valérie Messika, or even VOGUE, L’Officiel, ELLE, HARPERS BAZAAR PHOTO, GLINT, her images are pure and full of emotion.


Website :
Instagram : laurence_laborie


Your first photographic trigger ?
Laurence Laborie: I was 14 years old, I was looking for a way to express my feelings. I realized that one could give one’s own interpretation of the real world through photography and this passion naturally took a place in my life.

The man or woman of images who inspires you?
Laurence Laborie: Peter Lindbergh, his dark and emotionally charged portraits have always made me dream, as well as his stagings, he knew how to provoke and capture like nobody else the moments of letting go of his models, those magical moments where the beauty of the soul shines through.

The image you would have liked to make ?
Laurence Laborie: A portrait of Simone Veil, I would have loved to meet her.

The one that moved you the most?
Laurence Laborie: The photo of Melody Gardot tying her shoe strings with a cigarillo on her lips, a stolen moment that represents her as I see her. As she says so well “a photograph is not you but the look of someone else”, and to manage to make her forget the camera with the help of my accomplice Véronique Droulez moved me a lot.

And the one that made you angry?
Laurence Laborie: The image of an Afghan woman in a city devastated by war fleeing with her children.

A key image in your personal pantheon?
Laurence Laborie: My first female nude, it made me aware of the subtle accuracy between the emotion delivered by both the body and the look.

A photographic memory from your childhood ?
Laurence Laborie: The family photos of my grandparents that I used to look at while my grandmother talked to me about my ancestors, they brought them back to life, and without these old prints I wouldn’t have been so interested in them.

With no budget limit, what would be the work you would dream of acquiring?
Laurence Laborie: The Lovers with Poppies by Marc Chagall.

According to you, what is the necessary quality to be a good photographer ?
Laurence Laborie: To find inspiration in the moment.

The secret of the perfect image, if it exists ?
Laurence Laborie: It is an image that goes beyond aesthetics, that reflects the being and not the appearance, an image that you never forget without knowing why.

The person you would dream of photographing ?
Laurence Laborie: I dream of photographing Jane Fonda, I love this woman I met in Cannes, she is committed, daring and inhabited by grace forever.

An essential photo book ?
Laurence Laborie: Images à la Sauvette by Henri Cartier Bresson, he was the first to capture the truth in everyday life.

The camera of your childhood ?
Laurence Laborie: A Nikon F2, 50mm lens.

The one you use today?
Laurence Laborie: A Canon R5.

Your favorite drug ?
Laurence Laborie: Photography, it anchors me perfectly in the present moment, it is my way of loving.

What is the best way for you to disconnect ?
Laurence Laborie: Sleep.

What is your relationship with the image?
Laurence Laborie: Spontaneity.

Your greatest quality ?
Laurence Laborie: My sense of humor.

Your latest folly ?
Laurence Laborie: I had a sandblasted glass studio built on my terrace to take portraits in natural light.

An image to illustrate a new banknote ?
Laurence Laborie: The sad clown of Cindy Sherman

The job you would not have liked to do ?
Laurence Laborie: Accountant.

Your greatest professional extravagance ?
Laurence Laborie: A fashion shoot for L’Officiel Maroc in Jean-François Fourtou’s Maison à l’Envers in Marrakech. Entering this work of art designed with the furniture installed on the ceilings was a crazy experience for the whole team.

What do you think are the bridges between photography and design?
Laurence Laborie: The eye and the methodology to call the imagination, many designers draw their inspiration from the photographic creation and vice versa.

What city, country or culture do you dream of discovering?
Laurence Laborie: South America for the « grandeur » of its landscapes and the charisma of its people.

The place you never get tired of?
Laurence Laborie: Morocco.

Your biggest regret ?
Laurence Laborie: I hardly have any remorse but certainly no great regret.

In terms of social networks, do you prefer Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or Snapchat and why?
Laurence Laborie: Instagram is the social network of Photography according to me.

Color or B&W?
Laurence Laborie: B&W.

Daylight or artificial light ?
Laurence Laborie: A preference for natural light that does not freeze the characters and lets them express their emotions more freely.

The most photogenic city according to you ?
Laurence Laborie: New York.

If God existed, would you ask him to pose for you, or would you opt for a selfie with him?
Laurence Laborie: I would ask him to pose for me.

If I could organize your ideal dinner, who would be at the table?
Laurence Laborie: All my friends.

The image that represents for you the current state of the world?
Laurence Laborie: A sad clown by Cindy Sherman.

What is missing in today’s world?
Laurence Laborie: Peace and hope.

If you had to start all over again?
Laurence Laborie: I would dedicate myself much sooner to portrait photography because it is the most beautiful way to get to know people. In a few minutes you connect with the other person without the usual barriers, it is above all a human experience. The director of publication of Forbes France, Dominique Busso, recently entrusted me with the realization of the portraits of the laureates of the Forbes Women 2021 award, a big challenge because the timing was tight and most of them had no experience in the field. During the award ceremony, I could see the joy in the eyes of these women as they discovered themselves on the prints of their portraits displayed in large format around the room, these portraits were their gift from the editors. They confided in me that I had been able to make them feel confident and to capture the expression they liked the most in them, that they found themselves on these images in their best light. This moment of celebration and sharing was a great reward.

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