About Alain Laboile...
Born on May 1, 1968 in Bordeaux, France, Alain Laboile is a photographer and father of six.
In 2004, as he needed to put together a portfolio of his work as a sculptor, he acquired a camera, and thus developped a taste for macrophotography, spurred by his passion for entomology.
Later on, he pointed his lens towards his growing family which became his major subject, be it in a realistic depiction of their atypical lifestyle in “La Famille”, or in bizarre stagings around a pond in “Réflexion autour du bassin”.
Alain Laboile's work has since been exhibited around the world and he is scheduled to publish a book with Steidl Verlag.
text from above found here
And now I feel compelled to blab a bit about my thoughts on photography...
We see so many photographs every day, but every now and again I see a photograph that stops me in my tracks. It makes me pause in wonder. That is how I feel about these photographs by Alain Laboile. They are SO GOOD. The subject matter, the lighting, the timing, the composition, the connection they bring -- pretty much perfect.
Long, long ago I took a photography course at a community college. I ended up taking the class over and over again with the same instructor. Often times we were given rather mundane assignments (take pictures of red round things!). We had to take our photographs with Kodachrome (quite possibly the most unforgiving film ever created, but I kind of miss it!) using a manual camera. To put it bluntly: my photos weren't very good. I could get one element right -- maybe lighting or maybe composition, but then the shot would be slightly out of focus. Or harsh afternoon shadows would ruin the effect I was going for. Or the subject matter was pretty boring. Or something like that. But I kept at it and tried to get a little bit better. I think it takes a long time for most of us to improve our photographs, but with time and persistence it can happen. :)
A few things I have learned about photography:
•Not every shot works. In fact, most shots DON'T WORK. When possible, take a zillion shots hoping that ONE of them might work.
•Not every shot needs to be published. When I first started posting pics on Instagram, I was FRANTIC to post a shot every day. WHY??????? Crazy! If the pic is shitty, if it is out of focus, if it is grainy, if the lighting sucks, and if the viewer will have NO IDEA WHAT IT IS, why post it?! Sometimes less is more.
•There will always be the one that got away. You can't catch everything. Get over it. Try your best and move on.
•Keep your eyes open. There are a million interesting things going on in our world, and it is up to you to SEE it, and to try and capture it.
•Composition counts. I think some people get this naturally, and some don't. Cropping is your friend. Or carefully composing in the first place so that much cropping isn't needed. I don't really know how to explain good composition. Maybe someday I will post some pics (pics of my own) that have crappy composition, and how I fixed them to have better composition. Maybe.
•I hate flash photography, and I refuse to use it. I just can't stand it, and I'd rather miss out on a shot than use a flash. So I have to rely on natural lighting to get what I want. Some photographers have a style that incorporates flash photography and harsh shadows, and they make it work (Terry Richardson comes to mind). So...there is no ONE way to be a good photographer. You can pretty much make anything work.
•Sometimes I have stupid debates in my head -- is one a better photographer for catching things on the fly, or is one a more skilled photographer if they can carefully arrange/set-up shots? The answer? Neither -- they both have their place and I don't think one is necessarily better than the other.
•Yay or nay to filters? Meh. I am sort of bored with filters at this point, but I was very excited about them years ago, mostly because they can make a shitty shot a little or a lot better. I think every photographer enhances at least some of their shots with filters, with Photoshop, or in the darkroom, but I am most excited when I can get something naturally and I don't need to enhance it. But to each his/her own -- whatever works.
•There are a lot of trends in photography (particularly pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and blogs). Feet shots. Manicure shots. Sunset shots. Food shots. Cloud shots. Pet shots. Architecture shots. Flower shots. Palm tree shots. Street art shots. 14 scrillion shots of the same goddamn kid over and over again. Etcetera. After a while, many pictures/feeds start to feel so routine. Predictable. I am just as guilty of posting predictable pics as the next person, and I think most of us could stand to mix it up and vary the subject matter and setting. But maybe I am just fickle? Easily bored? Maybe I am comparing apples and oranges? Social media photography vs. fine art photography? Maybe social media pics don't need to be held to a higher standard? I don't know. Maybe. Regardless, clearly I like surprise and unpredictability, and I tend to over-analyze/be critical of things that I find to be repetitious.
Well I have babbled on and on here, so I'll shut up for now. Take a good look at the photos above. They are inspiring, and they make me want to be a better amateur photographer. :)