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July 15, 2020



Photography by Eric Renard
Interview by Melanie Meggs

Eric Renard is a Los Angeles based photographer. Born in New York, he attended school in Riverdale, New York. Eric spent his summers in Maine, where he was first exposed to photography and learned his way around a dark room. Eric’s passion for photography was once again ignited at Tufts University in Boston, where he studied under Siegfried Halus. After graduating, Eric moved to San Francisco, as an architectural photographer before moving to Los Angeles. Eric’s unique exposure to both urban and rural living can be seen throughout his work, as he is equally at home in both settings. Whether working in black and white or vibrant colors, his urban places and rural landscapes often reflect an eerie sense of peace and quiet, rarely portraying more than one or two people.

“I don’t see the world completely in black and white. Sometimes I do.”
Benicio Del Toro

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

ER: 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.

TPL: Where do you find your inspiration?

ER: Anywhere I can find it. It’s a wonderful thing when something inspires you.

TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers 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: Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?

ER: Yes, it's evolving every time I pick up a camera.

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.

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 be doing?...

ER: When I am not being a photographer, I am a father, a husband, a creative director or playing softball.