July 15, 2020
Photography by Eric Renard
Interview by Melanie Meggs
Los Angeles based photographer, Eric Renard, has an enviable knack for capturing beauty and peace in the most unlikely of places. His work brings to life the cinematic drama in the shadows of cityscapes and the tranquil wilderness of rural landscapes. Growing up between the bustle of New York City and the serenity of Maine, Eric was exposed to a unique dichotomy of urban and rural living. This duality can be seen throughout his work, from the gritty streets of San Francisco to the sun-soaked highways of Los Angeles. With each high-contrast image, he reveals a distinct sense of peace and solitude rarely featuring more than one or two people. His study under Siegfried Halus at Tufts University further honed his skills, allowing him to capture this elusive beauty with each click of his shutter. Eric Renard's works are as captivating as they are mysterious; ultimately, they take us on a visual journey through the same places he once called home.
“I was first exposed to photography by a summer camp counsellor in Maine, named Nick. I don’t recall a lot about him except that he always had a camera in his hand and he was pale and British. Ten years later in college, I studied under a wonderful professor and photographer named Siegfried Halus, who got me passionate about black and white and the Southwest. I was lucky enough to visit with him a few years ago in Santa Fe before he passed away.”
IN CONVERSATION WITH ERIC RENARD
THE PICTORIAL LIST: Eric, where do you find your inspiration to photograph?
ERIC RENARD: Anywhere I can find it. It’s a wonderful thing when something inspires you.
TPL: Has your style of photographing changed since you first started?
ER: Yes, it's evolving every time I pick up a camera.
TPL: Do you have any favourite artists that you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance?
ER: Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Weston and Siegfried Halus. I would have loved to have been at the Yosemite campfire discussions with Adams, O’Keeffe and the Rockefellers.
TPL: Where is your favourite place to photograph?
ER: I love to shoot in both urban and rural places. New York, Venice and the Southwest of America have always been favorites.
TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out?
ER: Yes and no. Knowing how to get the most out of your equipment is more important that what you use but you need have to have the right lens for the right situation. I’ve seen phenomenal photos with all kinds of cameras whether digital, film, SLR or phone.
My advice to someone just starting out, go take pictures. Henri Cartier-Bresson said it best, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” You aren't going to get to 10,000 unless you keep shooting. Patience and curiosity too...go find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Always keep your eyes moving.
I don’t see the world completely in black and white. Sometimes I do. - Benicio Del Toro
TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?
ER: Yes. I have been a graphic designer/creative director for advertising for over twenty five years.
TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?
ER: I had an exhibition here in Los Angeles for Abandoned Spaces & Urban Places last year. I am always adding photographs to that series.
We just got back from Venice and Florence in March (the day everything closed down for Covid-19), which is where most of the these images came from. We just returned from a road trip of the Southwestern States, but I have not gone through those images yet. Keep your eyes open for them!
TPL: “If I wasn't photographing what would I (like to) be doing?...
ER: When I am not being a photographer, I am a father, a husband, a creative director or playing softball.”
Eric Renard's photography take us on a visual journey, connecting us to a beauty hidden in the everyday. He has the ability to transport the viewer to a place of serenity, striking a balance between the urban and natural worlds, conveying emotion and story in every image. To truly appreciate Eric's work and to keep up to date with his latest please use the links below.