Behind the Camera - Alexis Machet

A bit of me and why


1.What inspired you to be a photographer, especially a street photographer?


I think it’s the idea of keeping a memory at a precise time, something that will never happen in the same way, with the same light, colour, character or atmosphere.

I guess all of my photographs, especially the street ones are open to limitless interpretations.


2.What inspires you the most in street photography?


What inspires me most is seeing scenes of everyday life playing out in front of me like in a movie.

I love capturing candid moments of people on the streets and I’ve always been fascinated by shadows.


3.What is street photography for you?


Be up for a no goal walk in Dublin at 4 o clock in the morning and photograph what happens there.


4.Which are your preferred places for shooting (even if photography can be done anywhere), and what makes them outstanding?


My favourite pictures are either in a place where I haven’t been before or in a place where I spend a lot of time! Both of these scenarios excite me.

I adore taking the time to talk with the people I shoot, like the portraits of the seniors in the local typical cafe I was working for in Annecy, France.


5.Beyond passion and talent, the gear also is part of the process. What do you use and why?


I spent 8 years using Nikon from amateur to full frame, always with prime lenses.

I prefer moving to frame then zooming and dezooming and I’m always relatively close to someone I want to photograph, I want people to see that I am taking a picture of them.

Sadly, I got mugged in Dublin and lost all my equipment, now I’m using a Fujifilm XPro1 with a 18mm lens and it’s working perfectly for street, point and shoot, discreet, but a bit low for high ISO and autofocus.


I also recently use disposable Kodak Funtime Cameras and scan the films to edit them on Lightroom.


6.You shoot mostly in B&W or colour? Why this choice?


It really depends on the subject, I love black and white because it gives a sense of a surrealistic timeless scene and I have been very impacted by the works of Diane Arbus, Robert Capa, Sebastiao Salgado, René Burri and many others who make B&W pictures transcend life symbols.

But I also love colours and the atomsphere they can provide. By making an image cold blue or sunny warm orange you can help people understand the feeling that transpire from the scene.

I would also say that I'm kinda obsessed with Terry Gilliam's aestetics and atmosphere.


7.Which is your workflow (post-processing if any, selection criteria, cropping, other)?


I usually don’t shoot more than 3 photos for each one I know something is happening so the selection goes to Lightroom in RAW format.

Then I delete all the ones I know won’t work, edit one by one every picture left, I often use a package of filters which simulate analog camera films (from Fuji, Polaroid, Ilford…), I have 2 favourite ones for colours and 2 for B&W, then I slightly touch contrast, white balance, darks, whites, and a bit of clarity.


8.How do you see your photography in the future. Any regrets, anything you missed?


I don’t have any regrets and I have my life in front of me, what is waiting for me is a lot of travels, meetings, random awesome scenes and of course memories through photography.


9. Last but not least, which picture(s) of yours is/are significant and why?


The one with the kid playing in the backyard in Chefchaouen is definitely my favourite, I was travelling on my own in Morocco for 15 days to take pictures of this amazing country.

When I stayed in Chefchaouen, I went on a walk through the village where the wall and ground are blue, to keep the village colder in the hot season and keep bugs away.

After a 3 hours walk I stopped in front of a door that looked like a « holy » cave, N°4. I went on a hike to the Chapel uphill in front of the blue city and when I reached it , a son and his dad were playing, we talked, he invited me to drink tea at his place.

When we randomly met again 2 hours later it was destiny, I had to go and was happy to do so.

When I arrived at N°4 I definitely knew it was destiny, and after an hour of conversation about the world, his son decided to go playing in the backyard, this is when he opened the shutter, when I saw these colours and light and scene I knew it was a good shot.


Interview conducted by Michail on Feb. 23, 2017 for  http://www.streetcorephotography.com.


Thank you again