What drew you to street photography initially?
Traveling. I like to travel. I started taking pictures of people in my trips. I like to make portraits of people that I meet for the story that comes with the pictures. I also like to take shots of people in the streets. It is the taking a picture of a moment that existed for only a fraction of a second that shows part of the daily life of certain city or country. Photography is now a way of traveling for me.
Love seems to be a recurring theme in your photography, why is that?
Good one, I didn’t really notice 😉 Probably the intimacy. Lovers leave the surrounding world for a moment to be fully in their own little world with only one person. I find it “touching” and photography makes it “public” or available for everyone to see.
How do you get close to couples without seeming, well, like a creeper?
You have to stay after the shot has been taken!! At least that’s what I do most of the time. Like for the shot “Love at the time of Pokemons”. It was taken at the Osheaga Festival in Montreal (during that weird period where people were fighting imaginary things (Pokemon) on their mobile phone), a couple started to hug, I took the picture, waited and showed it to Nick & Eîdih, the couple, and they were happy about it. Who wouldn’t be? It’s a souvenir of you and the one you love.
Where is your favorite place to do street photography and why?
Markets or crowds. I shoot with a 23 or 27 mm and I like to be close to people to take the shots. The crowd allows you to be “concealed” for a moment. I recently discovered night photography. The darkness permits you to get closer to your subject without disturbing in it. And with the new cameras these days, the results are quite amazing.
How would you describe your street photography style?
I was strongly influenced at first by Cartier-Bresson in his “decisive moment” but now I like modern street photographers like Maciej Dakowicz or Fermin Guzman. My style is probably a hybrid of the two, if I can compare my work to theirs. I also like to work by themes (foodtrucks, colors of Montreal, people of the desert, etc.).
Do you think it’s important to document more positive than negative things in street photography? Why or why not?
Positive. Personal preference. I like beauty. But if you are a photojournalist you have to show the world as it is, positive or negative. It’s a matter of who you are or what you do. There’s no right or wrong.
What has street photography taught you?
That cities have different personalities. It’s difficult to shoot in New York because the city is tense, or La Paz where indigenous are probably fed up of being in tourists’ pictures. Istanbul on the other hand is friendly. You never know how shooting street photography will be.
Editor’s Note: You can see more images like these by visiting Stéphane’s Flickr photostream. Stéphane was selected from our Flickr group (Street Photography Magazine) where we regularly choose photographers’ work to be published in our magazine.