Keeping the Family Tradition

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Philippe Poitevin

"My name is Philippe Poitevin, I am living in Paris but I am originally from Corsica. I worked for a long time as a TV set decorator. Now I am a professional freelance photographer."

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My name is Philippe Poitevin, I am living in Paris but I am originally from Corsica. I worked for a long time as a TV set decorator.

I am now a professional freelance photographer, even if my approach and my work are essentially artistic. I’m self-educated in Photography.

Photo courtesy of: Benoit Daynes

I have been photographing since the age of 8, since my father offered me a “Kodak Instamatic” that I used to bring with me at school. My teacher and classmates were my first models.

Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF18mmF2 @18mm . f/2.0 . 1/250″ . ISO 200
Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF56mmF1.2 @56mm . f/3.2 . 1/125″ . ISO 200

In my family photography has always been a tradition, and as my ancestor ALPHONSE LOUIS POITEVIN was a famous photographer and chemist, instead of buying me watches, they offered me cameras.

Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF56mmF1.2 @56mm . f/1.2 . 1/125″ . ISO 200
Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/1.4 . 1/125″ . ISO 200

I really enjoy taking pictures of the shadows, the lights and the human beings. I like to see and catch what the others don’t see and have a walk in this little parallel world looking for the ultime picture, a sort of «Grail». I still haven’t found it yet. For me the art of photography is a race without an end, a hunt, sometimes an obsession, a poetic way of telling stories to others, without words.

Even if really rarely, I go out without my XPRO, my eyes continue to take pictures… And at that particular moment I regret it instantly. I suppose I have been influenced by cinema as well as photography such as Kubrick, Hitchcock, Friedkin… etc.

Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF18mmF2 @18mm . f/2.0 . 1/30″ . ISO 200
Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF56mmF1.2 @56mm . f/1.2 . 1/125″ . ISO 200

As for the photographers, I could quote for the inspiration Saul Leiter, Harry Gruyaert, William Eggleston, Gregory Crewdson as well as some of the humanist photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson, Willy Ronis, Leon Herschtritt, Robert Doisneau and many more.

In 2016, a collection of pictures named “Paris, Regards vagabonds” has been published from «Éditions Clémentine» (still available online) which collect pictures from Paris, the streets, the life and the inhabitants.

Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/4.0 . 1/125″ . ISO 200
Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF56mmF1.2 @56mm . f/1.2 . 1/125″ . ISO 800

The same year, I created “THE STUDIO”, a concept of a cinema set in which. I shoot my models. I design the set, which is different every time, and I only use continuous lights, no flash. Generally, I use the GFX50S in this context.

Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.5 . 1/4000″ . ISO 200
Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF18mmF2 @18mm . f/4.0 . 1/125″ . ISO 200

I have a complex relationship with the photography technique, as I find it boring but essential. Nevertheless, I reached a certain mastering thanks to a lot of practice. I am passionate about beautiful pictures; and this technique allows you to catch the most beautiful instants. For a long time, I practised analog photography, essentially black and white, more easy to develop by myself.

I also used for a long period of time a Canon AE-1, followed by a Hasselblad 500C accompanied by the famous 80mn Zeiss. I kept this one and use it quite often with great pleasure. I discovered digital photography in 2012 with my mobile phone, and then under a friend’s advice, I bought almost immediately the X-Pro1.

Fuji X-Pro1 . @56mm . f/1.2 . 1/60″ . ISO 3200
Fuji X-Pro2 . Fuji XF23mmF1.4 @23mm . f/2.5 . 1/125″ . ISO 1000

I used, despite its solidity, 4 of those cameras. I’m still using two of them on an everyday basis, there are in my bag and follow me everywhere. I love its design and grip. They come with 3 Fujinon lenses: 35mm f/1.4,18mm f/2 and 56mm f/1.2. And I just acquired an X-Pro2 .

Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF35mmF1.4 @35mm . f/2.8 . 1/4000″ . ISO 200
Fuji X-Pro1 . Fuji XF18mmF2 @18mm . f/4.0 . 1/60″ . ISO 200

In certain situations, for more specific projects, I also use the amazing GFX50S that FUJIFILM FRANCE allows me to borrow. Since 2012, I have never had the need and the envy to change brand.

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