Critique

Portfolio: Louis Biver

Today in our "Portfolio" series – Louis Biver, who travels everywhere with his Nikon and captures images of people.


Louis Biver, 19 years old

Born in Germany. Raised in France and Italy. Lives in Paris and Liverpool. Studies law. Travels and takes photos all around the world. Loves to shoot people on film.


How did you get into photography?
My grandfather had a Pentax P30, and I was always fascinated by how the camera was built and how photos appear inside of it. I decided at age thirteen that I wanted to take photos, and since then the only thing that changes is the camera. Now I’m 19 and I always have a camera with me just in case I get a chance to capture something worthwhile.


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What do you shoot?
I really enjoy shooting during my travels around the world. I take photos of European culture, especially youth culture. For this, my favorite city is Paris.

At university I study law and do a lot of work that makes me tired. Photography helps me focus on something else from time to time and, at the same time, relax. I love to catch moments and get the opportunity to show them to someone else without describing them in words. When my friends and family look at a photo, they’re interested in what’s behind the shot, and for me this is especially gratifying – telling them what was happening in that exact moment.

What, in your opinion, makes a shoot successful?
When newcomers join our photography club at university, they always ask this question. I’ve seen incredible photos taken with an iPhone and mediocre ones that were shot on camera for three thousand pounds. It’s all about the ability to see. Personally, I like photos taken in a crucial moment, when you take in the whole situation and can retell it to someone in a single shot.
As a photographer, what difficulties do you encounter?
As a street photographer, I like working with people. But not every person wants to be photographed. I’ve had difficulty several times with the dissatisfaction of people who accidentally slipped into the shot. I’m English, so I just delete the photos to avoid a scene and anger.

Another problem: I love it when there are a lot of colors in photos, but it’s always raining in England and the shots often look like an Edgar Allan Poe story.


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What or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by styles of photography from the past, such as Vivian Meyer and Willy Ronis. Meyer was a nanny, and she kept thousands of pictures of New York in secret from everyone. Willy Ronis’ documentaries can say a lot about French culture.

Now I’m really into Theo Gosselin and Richard Moss. They’re both wonderful and their adventures influenced me to go back to film. When I first saw the collection of pictures entitled “Enclave,” I decided that it was a masterpiece.

What do you take pictures with?
Now I have a Nikon D7100. I also use a Nikon F100 for filming. But, my special pride and joy is my grandfather’s Pentax P30. I take that camera everywhere with me.
Do you make money with photography?
I shoot house parties, concerts, and for clothing manufacturers. With this money, I can travel during the summer and discover new places.
What else interests you?
I’d like to learn how to play an instrument, either the piano or the saxophone. That would be awesome.
What goals have you set for yourself?
I would like people to look at my photos in the future and enjoy images of the world that I knew.


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