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February 23, 2020



Photography by David Quevillart
Interview by Melanie Meggs

French street photographer David Quevillart, almost always goes out with his camera, even if it is to get a baguette. He absorbs himself in his local French atmosphere, captured by the essence of subtle lighting or attracted by the lines. Sometimes he waits for that right moment, like a fisherman, blending into the background, otherwise, it is the action of camera drawn and the photo taken quickly. David wants to make pictures that tell a story.

“It is prohibited to prohibit.”

TPL: David, when did you start getting interested in photography?

DQ: In 2009 and 2010, I made two long trips of three months to India and Chile during which I took pictures with a Compaq camera. Then I didn't do any more for a long time. In the meantime, I lived in France in paradisiacal places (especially in the Alps). Then, to get closer to my partner, my family and my friends, I came back to the greyness of Lille, north of Paris. No more hiking, swimming in the lake, snowboarding and picking mushrooms. It was quite naturally that I clung to photography, thanks to which I managed to find beauty in this urban universe that I had fled for its greyness and lack of nature.

So in December 2018, I bought my hybrid camera (Lumix GX-8) that never leaves me.

TPL: Where do you find your inspiration?

DQ: Having little photographic culture, it was first of all Instagram that introduced me to a multitude of talented photographers, some eminently known and others completely anonymous.

Now I am more interested in photography through readings and exhibition visits.

TPL: Who are your favourite artists/photographers?

DQ: Difficult to choose. Tommaso Protti, Alan Schaller, Walter Rothwell, Lionel Buffe, Lisette Model, Vivian Maier, and Harry Gruyaert.

TPL: Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?

DQ: Yes, it evolves along with my gait.

I really like street photography, but it is a very vast discipline that requires very different approaches depending on what you want to do.

For example, at the moment, I'm questioning myself and training a lot to be able to practice reportage photography within the Traveller communities.

TPL: Where is your favourite place to shoot?

DQ: Hell of a question!... so far the place I've enjoyed the most is New York City. This city offers an incredible diversity, it's a concentration of so many cultures!

TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out?

DQ: For me, the question of equipment is not the first to arise, although I am aware that its purchase represents a significant cost. That said, today many phones make pictures with a sufficient definition to be used and start without investment.

The most important thing for me is to take pictures, as much as possible, always have your equipment with you and explore all the possible fields offered by the shooting. Try your hand at street photography, architecture, landscape, concert photography, reportage, wildlife photography, to know in which field you are flourishing, in which you can make your photos speak for themselves.

Once our practice asserts itself and refines itself, the choice of the material will be done by itself (a light and discreet hybrid?, or a full format with a telephoto lens for animal photography? or a film camera?).

TPL: What characteristics do you think you need to become a good photographer? Any tips?

DQ: I would like to be even more comfortable, there are still times when I don't dare to take the camera out. And to sharpen my eyes and my sensitivity to everyday scenes even more. To make pictures that tell stories and not just pictures in majestic frames.

A trick for street photography: practice taking freehand pictures, it allows more discretion and gives access to different and interesting shooting angles.

TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?

DQ: Never in practice, although I did go to Lille art school for a year. But as a spectator, I regularly attended concerts, exhibitions, and street festivals.

TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?

DQ: A project to publish a small photo book, an exhibition in progress and others to come, I hope. And a documentary project on the life of travellers in the Lille metropolis and in their country of origin, Romania.

TPL: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…

DQ: Craft-brewing!"