Creative French artist Aurelie Lagoutte is a woman who has experienced plenty of professions and committed herself to various passions. She was a gymnast, a make-up artist and now a film photographer. With all her experiences combined and translated into her photographs, she creates sophisticated studies of the female body. Her portraits are of her models and herself. Get to know Aurelie and her work in this interview.
Hi Aurelie, how are you lately as a photographer?
Words are not really my thing and I guess photography is what allows me to create images that speak for me. So far it’s the medium that I resonate with the most to share with others my feelings, emotions, sensitivity.
How did you get into film photography, and what did you love about film?
I was a makeup artist when I discovered film photography for the first time. That day, photographer Sebran d’Argent was taking polaroids. I was young, grew up digitally, and never saw a Polaroid before. I was immediately fascinated by its instant and very unique result — almost like a painting. Soon after Sebran kindly showed me how to print color in a darkroom. This process is happening in full darkness where all your senses are being explored in ways I never experienced before. For me, it felt like a meditation session, like time stood still and this is what definitely got me into film photography; I wanted to develop my own images. I bought my first polaroid & 35 mm camera when I was 21 years old and since then, I never stopped taking pictures. Film photography has this very soft, dreamy and authentic result that so far I didn’t find with digital.
You shoot a lot of female subjects portrayed in an intimate and delicate state — some of them faceless, some showing their faces. May you walk us through your creative vision?
I always had an interest in women’s bodies, therefore nude studies. I grew up being a gymnast, postures and mobility in a graceful or tonic way was a big part of my childhood. As a Makeup Artist, I connected very well with body painting and as soon as I had my first camera I started looking for female nude subjects.
I see the human body as a sculpture. Its curves, shapes, marks, perfections and imperfections have so much to say. I often find that showing the face interferes with it. Therefore and only when I feel that it will serve the image I choose to give it an identity.
What connects you to the genre of film portraiture?
In a society where women's bodies are objectified, portraying the female body in a nude form is my way to celebrate and honor it. A couple of years ago, I started a long series of self-portraits… 70% of my work has now become like a study of myself, perhaps with the wish that one day I will fully understand who I am.
May you share with us a brief insight on how you work with your models? What do you usually observe when working with your subjects?
When being in front of the camera some are naturally confident, others need time. All I am creating during a session is a safe space for the model(s) to feel comfortable and give them the opportunity to connect or reconnect with their body. Which is why recently I have started offering pregnancy photoshoots. It's a great moment to help going through this big transformation and see yourself from another point of view, on top of having beautiful memories.
What’s the most important element for you when taking photos?
Subtlety and sensitivity.
What inspires you, in general?
Flowers!! I love them so much as well as plants. Quite often you see them in my photography. I have been moving to a lot of different places and each time the 2 things that always followed me were my cameras and my plants. It might sound weird but with them I feel home anywhere very quickly.
What's next for Aurelie Lagoutte?
I love textured and matte paper. I have been exploring alternative handmade printing a lot recently such as salt printing, bichromate printing or cyanotype-toned in coffee and tea, always using cotton paper. My dream would be to start printing on my own paper. I’m just about to start a course to learn the technique of Japanese Traditional papermaking and I can’t wait!
written by cielsan on 2021-12-18