Geography of the Body w/ Arnaud Ele

Photo Journal

Artist //

Arnaud Ele

Interviewer //

Shane Allen

Posted //

July 9th, 2021

What moments are you trying to capture?

Every shoot is an encounter, an action on a specific moment, a scene. I aim to disrupt the poses of the person in front of me, from the natural to the unreal. I push the model to its boundaries to create a move or a series of movements to capture. It is like a geography of the body; let the body create its inner sculpture.

What’s the best memory you have with your camera?

The best memories I have is in the nature. Being alone with my camera in the immensity of mother Earth. Going to Island will stay a good memory for me.

Do you remember getting your first camera?

I already had camera as child’s play. You remember, those cameras that got twelve scenes... you click, look through it and you see a photograph. I was fascinated by this object. Maybe I became familiar with the tool at that age. During my film-making studies in Geneva, we had a photography course. The camera came back in my hands and I naturally started to take pictures everyday.

What about photography was alluring enough to make you want to start taking

photos in the first place?

I started with lifestyle photography: Swiss landscapes and friends around me. I had the chance to meet great artists in Switzerland and collaborated with singers and dancers from the art scene in Lausanne. Then, I moved to Berlin and teamed up with my partner, art director, so we digged a bit more into fashion. I don’t make a difference in the spheres. My approach is always the same: express narrative through images that are highly stylised, appearing almost cinematic. The composition of my images is rarely cluttered, and suggest an understanding of mise- en-scène. It’s all about the moment and the process that you organize in order to keep the spontaneity in a specific time that is given to you.

How has the process of taking photos changed from then to now?

We are in a visual decade. Pictures are part of our everyday life. Scrolling became an habit and images a medium which is everywhere around us. Globalization got an effect on creation. I think that the biggest challenge that we are facing nowadays – and every creative – is the social media influence interfering with the creative process and photographer’s identity. It is important to keep distance with the trends. Consuming this huge data with your fingers can sometimes take the photographer DNA away.

What details are you looking for when shooting?

I am not looking for details, but for the moment. Details comes out of the moment

What qualities are you looking for in your model?

Elegance, courage, energy.

When directing models, what is an important part of your process?

As the photography is the result of the encounter of the model, myself and also the team on set, I would say interaction / exchange during the shoot.

Was there ever a photo that got away?