Laurent Baheux’s work speaks for itself. Known for monochromes, and contrasts, his wildlife photography is none like you have ever seen.
1. What do you think is the greatest challenge for self taught photographers like yourself? And what is the advantage?
The greatest challenge for self-taught photographers is to find their own way and artistic style. It is the most difficult I think. Personally, I hate procedures, prerequisites and other constraints that lock into pre-formatted ways of working. The big advantage is that you’re totally free to do what you love.
2. As you travel, you experience different stories, and natures. Have you ever felt that language and culture ever came in the way of your photography?
That’s a very interesting question! Probably, my culture has inspired my work more than my language. I am French and I grew up immersed in the black and white images of famous photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson or Robert Doisneau. I totally agree with the philosophy of the instant of Cartier-Bresson. Just like him, I am a world watcher; more specifically a natural world watcher and I love letting myself be surprised by its beauty and harmony.
3. You spoke of how as a wildlife photographer you are often alone. Do you perceive it as a thrill, a meditation, or something else?
In fact, I feel less danger photographing wild animals than living with civilized people. Wildlife rules are simple and clear. It is not always the same thing with humans. I feel a lot of emotions when I take a picture in the wild: it may be something like confidence and concentration, a tranquil state of body and mind.
4. Amongst the various animals you have clicked, which has been your favourite, and why?
The lion is my favourite biggest African animal to work with because he is the most impressive. His personality is both quiet and strong. He is really the king of the bush and that is apparent in everything he is or does.
5. Which part of nature are you yet eager to explore?
Wherever wildlife can express itself freely.
6. What according to you is the greatest resource?
Staying a long time in the wild, close to the animals and in their territory.
7. What do you believe is the purpose of life?
It is important for us to have a conscience about animals, and our impact on them. We must open our minds to the fact that we are on a living planet and are just a piece of this wonder. We have to leave more space, more life, for all other species because we will not survive at their extinction. It is humanity’s absolute challenge.