August 22, 2011

Interview: Nathalie Causse

I don't know if I've said it before, but I am loving the connections made through this Photo Project!  Nathalie Causse is a film photographer who lives on the Southwest Coast of France.  We connected after she read the interview with one of her favorite photographers (and mine) Leonie Wise.  I'm so enamored with her work and truly beyond excited to share our talk with you here.  Please meet:

Nathalie, please tell me a bit about how you became interested in photography?

It is a strange thing that I only remember a particular birthday present and not the others : it was a little instamatic agfa camera and I was 11, so very young and through my teenage years, I would take portraits of my little cousins and my friends, create little set up in nature, make them dress up with clothes found at flee markets or in my grandparents' attic.

In the last year of my college years, I would spend my lunch in the black and white printing room.

I sold my 1st photographs at 17 : photos I took at a concert and some of my fellows student bought them. I wanted to travel the world and be a photo-reporter … So as you can see, this is a long story, and yet, I feel that it is only starting !

Currently, what's inspiring you to go out and shoot photos?

I work on little projects to give me a sense of direction. I love watching them grow, evolve … sometimes, it leads to something else. Working on projects give me focus. It is like crafting little narratives. Furthermore, it echoes the slow process of analog photography and may take years to build …

Nature is always inspiring me, this is the theme with which i renewed with photography a few years back. I am currently exploring nature through a project called « Silence » which is more like a contemplation journey.

I am also photographying a very famous little village near Bordeaux, called St Emilion (highly reputed for its gorgeous wine) … i wanted to offer something different (away from the usual vineyards images, although there might be probably one or two !).

Another project is Agapanthe : about the light in the South of France where I spent my last holidays.

The next one will be on portraits ...

Do you carry your camera(s) with you at all times or when the mood calls for it?

I always take a camera with me if i go somewhere : my first choice goes for my 135 film camera.
Occasionally, i might take the digital reflex : it is light and can be fun.
As for the Hasselblad, well, because of it's weigth and size, we go out together for special occasions only (and once i have purchased a ligth cell, i believe that we will go on dates together more often !  I am definitely taking it this week-end to the lake, though :)

I love the dreamy light you capture and the soft milky tones of your film photos. Do you prefer film to digital?  Do you have any post editing tips you can share?

The soft look comes from the light at that particular moment, the camera I've used, the film I chose, the aperture I set … so it is choice, mechanical, natural and magical !

Yes, I prefer using film to digital. (But give me a canon 5D or a digital Pentax and I would have them both !!)

Analog is my first love and will always be. To me, using analog is a meditation and it makes my life magical !

When it comes to using films, the greatest thing is that i do not have to spend anytime at all on the computer re-working on the photos, i like them the way they are and I welcome they little imperfections too. As I work with 50 mm lenses, if I really like a photos but it needs resizing, then I would do it on the scan and choose a square format for example. And I would love to go back to the dark room for my black and white photos !

As for digital photos, most of the time, they need some computer work on them. I use Picnik to lighten or add some contrast to my photos or re-size.

What do you love to photograph most? If you could step out of your comfort zone for a minute, what would you photograph?

For a while now, I have been craving to do portraits - again this is where it all started for me when I was young and I want to go back to this feeling.
So this is my first obsession :)

Obsession number N° 2 is taking home decor photographs / portraits. Right now, i am visionning taking photographs with my Hasselblad in a house, quite bare, with walls covered with flowery wall-papers, parquet floors, hight wood windows and a chimney : in fact, i am describing french houses of my childhood (even my bedroom) …I feel a certain nostalgia about these and would like to re-visit them now through my photography.

As for stepping out of my comfort zone, it would be Street photography, daring to take photos of people in the street or daring to ask them if they would like to pose for me (for a project for example), but so far, I am still shy about it.

Could you share the names or links to photographers who have inspired you?

I love the work of so many photographers and they remain a great source of inspiration, when i look at their work, i am transported and feel that anything is possible : many of them can be find on flickr, i also love the work of Olga BennetPia Jane Bijkerkfilms for Vanessa Bruno , Mariam Sitchinava , some of the work of Anna Malmberg and so so many more !

Nathalie, I'm so happy to have learned more about you and I thank you for sharing a bit of your photo journey here today :)

Bio:  Nathalie is a photographer. She lives in the South West coast of France and has a degree in Development studies and Anthropology. She has lived in England, Morocco and Egypt.

Photography is her « art de vivre ». She is positively addicted to film photography and loves exploring the simplicity and beauty of a moment. She works with vintage cameras such as an Hasselblad 501c, a Semflex - french medium format camera from the 50s, a canon AE1 and a SX 70).

She loves rain, open windows, soft curtains floating into the breeze, the sea, potteries, linen, citrus fragrances, wide open spaces ...

Blog / portfolio / facebook / limited edition prints / flickr

*All photos have been posted with permission by: Nathalie Causse


Anonymous said...

thank you so much Bella for the opportunity to share my work with your readers, it is a delight to be interviewed by you !
nathalie :)

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed reading this! So nice to see that film is alive and well and absolutely still has a place.


leonie wise said...

her work is so beautiful and dreamy.

one day I hope to meet her in person....

Nauli said...

Thank you for the interview. So nice to know more about Nathalie.

Stef said...

So awesome meeting new people through here! great interview :)

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