Julien Laperriere is a Montreal based artist whose path to photography has been an interesting one. Julien experienced a rather uncommon way of living and has some very fresh views on photography. Sadness is an important theme in his work and he’s not afraid of self-critique and opinion sharing.
How did you start with photography?
As a teenager I used to draw and paint a lot, which helped me a lot later on in a Graphic design program I was studying. When I got kicked out of the program due to a massive drug use I applied to a carpentry program, then I switched from painting to photography. I got frustrated every time I was making a huge mistake on a canvas so I told myself that it could be fun to explore something new, and then I bought my first camera. It took me a long time to get somewhere, so my photography goes from really bad to not so bad.
Film or digital – how does it affects the quality and content of your work?
Digital gives me more flexibility when it comes to editing, I can control pretty much everything. I’ve started using film a year ago and I realised the shadow curve is much more surprising, I have this feeling that digital cameras still have a long way to go to beat film. I still use digital when I need the shots but every now and then I take some film shots to compare it with but I need much more development practice to pull out what I’m really aiming for with film.
How did the idea for the series come about? How did the shoot go?
You asked me to collaborate then I pitched the idea to a friend of mine and then we went with the flow, I kinda wanted to break the chain of the standard model body, diversity is beautiful, body shapes are beautiful, I think there are some great shots but I could have been better, I’m just lazy.
Can we photograph female body in a more powerful way?
Not sure what to say. In my opinion powerful shots rhyme with the right angle and the right look in the eyes. Look at Platon’s work for example, that is some powerful work.
How would you define beauty and how does it inspires you?
Beauty comes in different forms and aspects. I prefer the temporal one, the beauty in sadness moves me deeply, I like to stumble upon people crying, it’s very touching.
What makes you happy and what’s next for you?
Half a bottle of scotch makes me happy. What’s next … I’m not so sure but I’ll focus on refining my work and maybe it will get me somewhere.