Interview with the french photographer, Stanley Bloom.
Stanley BloomPHOTO . December 12th, 2017
Who are you Stanley?
Hello, I am a photographer and graphic designer working in Paris. Despite The fact that I have a degree in multimedia, I am passionate about photography and drove my path through the years learning from other artists, reading books and shooting a lot. I created the contemporary photo zine Velvet Eyes a bit more than a year ago. I also have a neo-soul band called Pacific Shore, which has allowed me to travel, but I always find a place for my camera.
Can you explain this statement introducing your series “Whispering Souls”?
During the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to spend two months in the sets of Quebec, thanks to my band. This trip was really like a parenthesis in the tumult of my daily life. In the city, distractions are constant, the rhythm is frantic, and I often feel disconnected from nature. There is not necessarily room for wandering and contemplation, and we disconnect to the present moment.
Whispering Souls is all about that: taking the time to sit, to contemplate the present and nothing else. Feel our presence to the time. What interests me first is the moment of the shooting, before the result itself. And these fragile instants are the set of elements like light, shapes, colors, textures. I think this approach gives these pictures a timeless quality, and I remain curious to see how I will see them in 10 years, will my eyes have changed?
I’m kind of fascinated by this specific peaceful feeling, that I think everyone has experienced one day when everything’s aligned. We can find this feeling by looking at your series the right way. I’ve always wanted to describe? and share this rare state of mind with others but this is so difficult and personal. Maybe a mix of nostalgia and the feeling of being alive, connected to your environment? I’m not sure but I think your photos are a good way to translate and represent this. I wonder if you managed to put your finger on what it is exactly and if you have techniques to retrieve this feeling again in your life?
Being alive and connected to the environment is definitely something I try to embrace in general. It is an important notion that we tend to lose nowadays, and photography helps me to convey that awareness. I don’t think there is a very precise method to trigger this feeling, but you can get yourself in the right condition to provoke it. It’s about being aware, to get away from our fears. A trip in the nature could be a perfect way to disconnect from the daily parasites of the city.
For me, the act of photographing plays its role of catalyst. I think it’s important to have this connection and presence to take pictures, to be attentive to small details. I like to blend myself in the sceneries, and sometimes you see very clearly all these interdependences within nature, how everything is nested and connected.
Do you think it would be easier now to do another series like this one someday? And do you know you would do? Or maybe it’s something you can’t plan, something you realise only after these moments have passed – when you look at your shoots.
As you have to be ready to take the chance when it arrives, then the best I can do is put myself in condition by staying open, and carry my camera with me. When I shoot, I try not to think too much, leaving my instinct to guide me, and avoid curbing my creativity. It is only when I develop my photographs that I sometime discover results that I did not expected at the moment of the shoot, either a good or a bad surprise. It is definitely something I like about film photography.
What camera did you use?
In general, I photograph with a manual medium format, requiring some time before shooting. I wanted to take the opposite of my habits, I bought a 35mm Olympus XA2 when I arrived in Quebec. Super light and easy to use, it allowed me more spontaneity. It was the right camera to capture the furtive events of nature.
What’s next for you?
Currently, I am focusing on a wider body of work that I started in 2015 on the island of Madeira, Portugal. It’s a fascinating place, and its story, binding people and nature, inspires me a lot.
You also run the the very neat art webzine, Velvet Eyes. Can you tell us a little bit about this project?
The Internet is full of talents, and I spent a lot of time looking for new photographers, so I decided to build a webzine to highlight these emerging artists. The original idea was to make a beautiful paper magazine mixing photographs together, it is still something I plan for someday hopefully…
What are you going to do just after having answered to this final question?
I am actually going to write an article for Velvet Eyes!
Merci beaucoup Stan.