Matthieu Lemaire-Courapied Keeps It Real
As long as he can remember, Matthieu Lemaire-Courapied has always had an interest in photography, and through it, would develop a penchant for the complexities of women. It’s his favourite subject to shoot. It was in Paris (France) where he works and where he will probably die, that he remembers being impressed and curious about his mum’s Minolta. Only trouble was, she wouldn’t lend it to him. Not all was lost though. To comfort him, she bought a six year old Matthieu several disposable cameras. He describes these early days with photography as ‘wobbly’, referring to the framing of his photos. As he got older, his mum graduated him from the throwaways to a ‘real’ camera, more specifically, a Nikon FE [Line 7 and Line 9]. It would mark Matthieu’s initiation into the real world of photography.
In his days as a student, when he used his bathroom to develop film, fashion wasn’t the kind of thing he was into. It was only after a stint as an artistic director, that his passion for photography would lead to a curiosity in fashion. “Being an artistic director led me to work with photographers who were really inspiring to me; Miles Aldridge, Ellen von Unwerth, Vincent Peters…This is when I started to consider fashion photography as a way to express myself.”
By the time we heard of him, Matthieu is a very busy, very in demand photographer. Our first correspondence was a long the lines of “yes, let’s do something. I’m doing work for the Louis Vuitton show tomorrow. Talk soon.” We’re sure glad he found his niche in fashion. His photography is a punch in the face and the fuzzy feeling afterwards combined into one eye-catching moment. They are bold, beautiful, and bright, with all the professionalism of art and graphic design training, which he’s been studying at French university for four years.
Find out Matthieu’s favourite thing to do besides taking photos in our Q&A. Gracious thanks for taking some time from your busy schedule!
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is a concept, an abstraction linked to who you are, what you believe in. It’s subjective. I believe beauty is staring while feeling good and filled with great feelings.
Who, or what is your favourite subject to shoot ?
Women’s complexity, in general.
Best shoot experience ?
One of my last shoots. We were in Normandy (France), I was directing my first commercial film. At the end of the shoot, we had one afternoon free, many clothes and a splendid landscape, and we were like ‘let’s do it and see what happens!’ We didn’t know what we were going to tell through this shoot, but the atmosphere was so perfect and peaceful, I knew it couldn’t go wrong! We had a lot of fun doing it and the result is really amazing. Maybe the fact that everything was spontaneous and unprepared gave us a new breath of creativity. I’m really proud of this shoot, and I know that the symbiosis with the crew is for a lot in the result.
What kind of camera do you use ?
My secret, sorry !
Digital or film ?
Film of course!!! Beauty comes from reality! Film is the best way to keep it real! But I also use digital for commercial stuff…
The best kind of photo is one that…?
A photo that, seen once, will last in your mind and soul forever…
Besides photography, what do you love to do ? Sleeping ! haha ! I have a full time job as an artistic director in a advertising agency, but I try to do photography as much as I can, which doesn’t leave me much time for other things. However, I still have many freelance projects: video clips, graphic design or whatever is related to images. So you can easily understand that when I have free time, I like to spend it at home with my girlfriend, or outside with my friends…