Jean-Michel André aka @yuri_76 on Instagram is a professional photographer.
When it comes to portrait photography, The iPhone allows him to be as close as possible to the people and to take the time to talk with them.
To know more about Jean-Michel and his relationship to photography, read the interview at the end of this post.
OOTP: What is your background & relationship to photography?
JMA: Photography became my passion at the age of 20. I started studying engineering but quickly dropped everything for photography. After a time spent in London collecting a number of odd jobs and a degree in photojournalism, I took the entrance exam at “l’école de l’image des Gobelins” in Paris in 1998. On leaving, I started working in a professional lab in Paris. I handled color prints for professional photographers, a very demanding job! A few years later , ten years from now, I myself became a photographer. I exhibited my personal work in galleries both in France and abroad and I am now one of the photographers of R.E.A agency.
OOTP: Can you tell us more about your portrait series?
JMA: With my iPhone , I mostly do “street photography ” looking for the decisive moment : it reminds me of my early days with my Nikon FM2, a film camera I had all the time with me when I lived in London and Paris during my studies. But I also like to be as close as possible to the people , to take the time to talk with them and to honor them through the portrait . For that, I use another “lens” : Tinto 1884 by Hipstamatic. The rendering is close to what can be done with a view camera, even if it is of course not comparable … The idea of composing a series of portraits with my iPhone was born through a photographic project about immigration in Martinique . Since then, I continue this project where the road leads me with the desire to share as many faces as possible: an hymn to life and to the beauty of differences.
OOTP: What apps do you use?
JMA: The app that I use all the time is Hipstamatic / John S lens and C -Type film. I love the rendering of these images with high contrasts, a green cast, a shaded contour and several imperfections in the image. I think that the nostalgic side of the film has attracted me from the beginning. I never crop my photos. However, I sometimes use apps for the editing such as Photo toaster to add a bit of brightness on the whole picture or to make a spot adjustment.
OOTP: Some names of photographers whose work inspires you?
JMA: The list is long and is getting longer as time goes by! I discovered Instagram reading an interview with Ben Lowy. Since then I follow all kinds of photographers, professionals or not, all around the world. This is the magical side of social networks…
OOTP: Anything about the red accents often present in your pictures?
JMA: I think this is both conscious and unconscious .. Red, black and white are my favorite colors with the orange. What matters most to me is harmony, composition , sense … but , yes red, I love it! This is my Spanish side !
OOTP: Thank you Jean-Michel!