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The Questionnnaire : Jean-Léonard Polo by Carole Schmitz


Jean-Léonard Polo : Onirism

Photographer since he was a teenager, Jean-Léonard Polo has especially known success since his series “Corps pour Elles” initiated in 2016. A recognition that has earned him exhibitions in France, the USA, Switzerland and Australia.

A fan of Helmut Newton, he is, like the latter, fascinated by the female body which he uses as a starting point, it acts as a trompe l’oeil and gives the illusion at first glance of an authentic landscape. A way for him to create an imaginary world and to tell his stories with the help of figurines of modelism which are integrated there.

If the aestheticism of his work is obvious, the erotic dimension is also but in a subtle and poetic way, leaving free rein to the imagination of those who contemplate his images. His lighting is precise, carefully studied and gives rhythm to his compositions. None of his productions are retouched, he only shows what he sees.

To be discovered…


Instagram : j.leo_corpspourelles



Your first photographic trigger?
Jean-Léonard Polo: As a child, around 5/6 years old, I used to take my mother’s Kodak for birthday photos.

The man or woman of image who inspires you?
Jean-Léonard Polo : Helmut Newton.

The image you would have liked to make?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Photos of stars.

The one that moved you the most?
Jean-Léonard Polo : A picture of my daughter when she was in South Africa for a 3 month internship.

And the one that made you angry?
Jean-Léonard Polo: A series by an American photographer with naked children.

A photographic memory from your childhood?
Jean-Léonard Polo: My first black and white developing in the darkroom.

With no budget limit, what would be the work of art you would dream of acquiring?
Jean-Léonard Polo: The Statue of Liberty.

According to you, what is the necessary quality to be a good photographer?
Jean-Léonard Polo: To have eyes and ideas.

The secret of the perfect image, if it exists?
Jean-Léonard Polo: If I tell you, it will no longer be a secret…

The person you would like to photograph?
Jean-Léonard Polo: The next one.

The photographer you would like to have your portrait taken by?
Jean-Léonard Polo: A paparazzi.

An indispensable photo book?
Jean-Léonard Polo: “La terre vue du ciel” by Yann Arthus Bertrand

The camera of your childhood?
Jean-Léonard Polo : Kodak instamatic and a Polaroid.

The one you use today?
Jean-Léonard Polo : Canon 5D MK IV.

Your favorite drug?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Champagne.

The best way to disconnect?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Sleep.

What is your personal relationship with images?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Sometimes disappointed, especially after having accumulated 10 good points with difficulty.

Your greatest quality?
Jean-Léonard Polo : 1m80.

Your last folly?
Jean-Léonard Polo : Paying the bill for a table of 15 people in a restaurant.

An image to illustrate a new banknote?
Jean-Léonard Polo : Scrooge.

The job you would not have liked to do?
Jean-Léonard Polo : Butcher.

And if you had not become a photographer?
Jean-Léonard Polo: I would be an asset manager.

Your greatest professional extravagance?
Jean-Léonard Polo : A shooting from an open door helicopter with a simple harness to hold me and not fall out.

The city, country or culture you dream of discovering?
Jean-Léonard Polo : New Zealand.

The place you never get tired of?
Jean-Léonard Polo : New York.

Your biggest regret?
Jean-Léonard Polo : Not to have kissed Nadège, a girl I was in love with since I was 10 years old and who, during a trip to England when I was 14, had literally offered herself to me, and I had not understood that she was waiting for my first kiss.

In terms of social networks, are you more Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or Snapchat and why?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Instagram, my posts are seen, saved, and shared by the largest number.

What has digital technology and smartphones taken away or brought to photography?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Competition, and a way to be more demanding in my photographic work.

Color or B&W?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Both have their place in my creations.

Daylight or artificial light?
Jean-Léonard Polo: I take all the lights at my disposal and I adapt.

Does your heart swing more towards film or digital?
Jean-Léonard Polo : Digital now, my series “Corps pour elles” would have been more complicated to do in film.

What is the most photogenic city in your opinion?
Jean-Léonard Polo : New-York, great diversity of landscapes and architectures through the 5 boroughs.

If God existed, would you ask him to pose for you or would you opt for a selfie with him?
Jean-Léonard Polo: I’ve already taken a picture of him without knowing it.

If I could organize your ideal dinner, who would be at the table?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Brilliant people who don’t know each other, for a dinner of discovery and sharing.

Which image represents for you the current state of the world?
Jean-Léonard Polo: The melting of the ice.

What is missing in today’s world?
Jean-Léonard Polo: Humanity.

If you had to start all over again?
Jean-Léonard Polo: I would kiss Nadège.

A last word?
Jean-Léonard Polo: I will say it on my deathbed, not before.

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