French born and raised Antoine Henault soothes our souls with his dreamy, colourful, high-contrast style. Nous plaise!
Your photographs’ aesthetics are very natural, sensual and calm. Some might say this falls in line with a lot of French artists’ work. Would you agree that your style was mainly influenced by your cultural background or are we mistaking?
“I grew up in the French countryside. Most of the time I was alone or just with few people. Surrounded by nature, days were lazy and perfect for dreaming and introspection. My parents listened French music all the time and my only access to cinema was our television that broadcasted old French movies. My first encounters with photography were the works of Jacques Henri Lartigue, Willy Ronis and Guy Bourdin in books I found on flea markets. When I was a teenager, the internet allowed me to discover more inspiration from other countries. But I keep a very strong connection to French culture.”
We have spoken to many aspiring photographers and learned that the situation, which precedes a picture, is a token of their creative work. Some plan the setting as well as the wardrobe, some just grab their model and wander around and some leave everything up to coincidence. What about you?
“My process is simple and intuitive. I go to places I want to shoot with friends and a bag of clothes. We then take a couple of test pictures. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. I try not to think too much before a shooting otherwise it puts pressure on me. It needs to feel like it is a game to keep it a real pleasure. I don’t take a lot of lifestyle pictures. I use photography to create something different from my life, like an extract of a film I will never direct.”
Do you consider yourself strictly an art photographer or do you work on other maybe commercial projects? Can you imagine yourself collaborating with artist from other genres?
“I’m not even considering myself an art photographer at the moment because I don’t haven’t done a lot of work. I don’t know how all of this is going to evolve. In my personal work, the rules are set by myself only and I’m curious to see how I can manage my desires with more constraints. I’m really interested in fashion photography and I hope to work with stylists and designers in the future. I also want to work for bands or musicians in order to mix their universe with mine and to see what happens.”