Alexandre Souêtre‘s images can be compared to a breath, a moment of silence in a permanent hubbub. His refined universe, with its creamy tones, reveals a complexity and intelligence of which he seems to be unaware. We asked him about his inspirations, his way of building his images, and many other things…
Hi Alexandre, can you introduce yourself briefly?
Alexandre Souêtre, I am a creative director, based in Los Angeles.
“It will take more than 10 years before I rediscovered photography.”
What is your first memory related to photography?
My first pictures were taken with a film camera when I was 12 years old.
The camera disappeared with my passion shortly after. It will take more than 10 years before I rediscovered photography.
You work with various types of photography, but your style remains very assertive. How did you find your visual identity?
I don’t think about it too much and I think it shows since I go through different styles.
“I keep taking pictures like I’m 12 years old.”
Having never really considered myself a photographer and having learned on my own allows me to keep a more spontaneous and detached attitude towards photography.
I, therefore, cultivate a lack of know-how and preparation. I keep taking pictures like I’m 12 years old.
Your great strength (in my opinion) is your intelligence in the composition of your images. How do you build an image? Is there always preparation, or is it more often spontaneous?
It’s a compliment that makes me very happy; because a form of artistic intelligence allows you to create in a subtle way, and that’s probably my only goal when I’m holding a camera.
“[…] I cultivate speedy attention to detail […]
Most of my work is completely spontaneous. But for me, the work in a detailed and thought-out composition is done at the moment of the photo, not before. So I cultivate speedy attention to detail when dealing with a subject or scene.
What are your inspirations?
Things, people, and their problems. Male uncertainty, female strength, the disorder in society. Everything that is in front of me but cannot be captured. I try to find a way to translate it visually, without trying too hard to tell a clear and simple story.
“[…] I aim for the right balance between strong emotions […]”
What do you wish to communicate through your images?
A softness, a curiosity. Maybe a little melancholy. But above all, I aim for the right balance between strong emotions: this uncertain part that floats between sad and happy, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, man and woman.
“[…] never listen […] to a photographer who gives you advice. “
What advice would you give to a novice photographer?
Go, take lots of pictures, and never listen (or in a very selective way) to a photographer who gives you advice.
Do you have any current projects you can tell us about?
I run an agency that is gradually expanding. I continue to develop my skateboard brand.
I plan to get back to video filming with some projects in 2019/2020.
“[…] I draw so much that I will also end up doing a comic book, which is a childhood dream.”
I am currently working on a photo book (my first and probably last), as well as a literary work, with a rather philosophical tone. And I draw so much that I will also end up doing a comic book, which is a childhood dream.