Roland Lebrun

PHOTO  .  May 10th, 2013

Interview of  Roland Lebrun – photographer born in Brussels, Belgium in 1982.


Can you describe your style ?

It’s been evolving a lot since I started, but now i think it’s kind of documentary and coldish, but with too much prettyness. I don’t really know or want to describe my style. When i’m in photo mode, I see things that I find interesting. I shoot them and then treat the image to make it work, but it’s very subjective.

How did you get into photography ?

My father had an interest in photography when he was younger. He tried to pass it to me. I went to a few week-long camps, something like “english & photography”. I even had a small lab in the attic at my parents house. But then I forgot about it for a long time, until I could get my first digital camera. I started taking pictures of my friends at parties, and then some random stuff I was putting on my “photoblog” back in 2002 or 2003 I guess… After i got my degree in multimedia arts, I did 3 more years in a great photography art school called Le75.

What do you want to share with your photos ? What’s your intention ?

Most of the times I see things that get my attention. It’s a combination of factors: light, objects, traces, oddities. Sometimes people, but i’m less comfortable with people. I take picture of these things to make them my own, interpret them, and share them.

Can you tell us more about one of your work, “La Mort de Paule” ? [see some pictures of this the serie in the following]

Paule was the sister of my late grandfather. She lived in Nimes, in France. She spent her life in a wheelchair, and her apartment was equipped so that she could live her daily life on her own. She had a very strong character and I visited her often. Then, a few years ago, I spent 3 months in Arles, doing an Erasmus at ENSP (national photography school). It was a strange time for me, it was hard to get to know people there. So I spent a lot of time not going to school and traveling around doing landscape photography. At the same time, Paule was actually doing pretty bad and she died while I was in Arles. I visited her to say goodbye. Then we had to empty her apartment, so before I spent some time there photographing it. So this series is about me trying to make sense of my time down there, what happened with Paule and trying to connect to what I know, and eventually failed to do that.

What’s your equipment ?

Right now i’m using my iPhone 5 only. Shooting, processing and posting from it. I love the simplicity of it, and yet I don’t think the results are poor compared to my older pictures. And it actually motivated me to do some photography again. I hadn’t touched a camera in a couple of years. I was walking in the woods with my family and I shot this fallen tree trunk in b&w using instagram, and I went “hey, this looks good. I should do more.” Right now i’m using instagram as a platform even though I think it is more casual pictures oriented. The new flickr app also was right in time and made me use the service again. There are a lot of great photographers on there, and I see a trend in the people I’m following. Lots of them hadn’t posted for a while and are coming back.

Since I started doing photography I used about all the cameras types you can think of: digital pocked, dslr, slr, hasselblad, mamiya6, rollei, lomo, large format cameras, pinhole, etc… they’re all fun

Do you have current projects or plans for the future ?

I plan to live more of my photography, doing architecture photography and some commission work. I want to publish my work in ebooks, I think it’s an interesting way to publish and distribute pictures.

What are you going to do just after answered to this final question ?

I’ll go back to playing with my 2 year old girl.

Merci Roland !