If you’re a frequent visitor of Los Bangeles you have seen the work of Maxime in our interview with Hunting and Collecting. Now learn more about this young belgian photography talent.
Can you tell us who you are and what you do?
I’m an 25 year old image maker, born in Brussels, Belgium.
Have you always been interested in photography and video?
My first wish was to work as a movie director. I started to take photographs around the age of 16 and it’s still the activity that takes all of my time today, whether it’s personal or commissioned jobs. I’m now in a place where I can shift naturally to video, and it feels good to explore that. I just remember framing things happening around me, constantly thinking about images in general, images put together. It came naturally, I don’t know what I would do instead, to be honest.
How would you describe your style and the work you make?
It’s hard to say. I’ve discovered several artists along the way that made me think about style and approach to photography in general. Some of them I was so happy to find out about, it made me feel like there was room for me. I guess my work is intimate, natural but focused on details. I seem to shoot very distinct subjects, I have a clear idea of what I want to show. I’d love to think it’s cinematic, between portrait and fine art I guess. I’m as interested in portraying a person as a bike along the road.
What’s your balance between paid and personal projects? What kind of projects you like most?
It all depends on the freedom that the client gives you. If I’m free, I will approach a paid project just like a personal one. For my personal series, I’m a slow worker. It takes me a lot of time. I create and delete a lot of ideas. On the other hand, the rush and the pressure for commissioned jobs taught me how to be effective and to work under stress, with other people, and I like it. It’s a balance.
What can you tell about the video projects you’ve done like ‘Quiet Glow’ for example?
I started video because it felt like it was a nice addition to my photographs. It totally made sense to dive into it, and I’m developing my skills and my ‘style’ as I go. Visually it’s just a continuity of my images, it all goes together. ‘Quiet Glow’ is a kind of a fake trailer for a movie. It was made alongside a photo series for a fashion project. A good example of a project for which I had complete freedom.
Filming things is really exciting, I’m not really experiencing fear while taking photos anymore, I do when I shoot video. In a good way!
What’s your setup / gear you use?
I shoot with the 5D. Natural light. And for my personal projects I usually shoot color film. I love the Portra 160. I’m sure I could explore a lot more with equipment but I’m having a hard time really caring about it.
I guess my work is intimate, natural but focused on details. I seem to shoot very distinct subjects, I have a clear idea of what I want to show. I’d love to think it’s cinematic, between portrait and fine art I guess.
How do you promote yourself and how do you get new inquiries / projects?
I like to update my blog, website and Facebook page regularly. It’s fun tools. You curate your own content, knowing it will be surrounded by thousands of other images. It’s a strange feeling.
New projects come when I’m meeting with new people, or when I contact them directly if I feel inspired by a person/subject, or through my agents.
Do you have any role models?
I don’t know, probably filmmakers? But for specific films. Some movies by Almodovar or Gus Van Sant were the starting point for me years ago. I just like people doing things their way.
What is your link with NY?
I went there many times. I would save money, go there, come back to Brussels, then repeat. I first went alone at 18, telling my photography school teachers I would shoot my 1st year project there. I did, and after graduation I just went back there, to assist artists, photographers. A fashion designer, too. I was just eager to learn as many things as possible. It feels right when I’m there. I know a big side of New York is disgusting, it’s overwhelming, but I’m good at shutting out those elements. I’ve been living in Brooklyn, but mostly in the Bronx. I really miss it.
What are your plans for the future? Anything special coming up?
I’m planning on travelling. Always working on my photos. I’d love to shoot a short film.
Do you got any advice for upcoming talent?
Don’t imitate anybody? And take time to build your work.
Anything to add or any tips on who we should interview next?
I saw the work of Jamie Hawkesworth recently, I thought it was very beautiful. And completely different feel, but Osma Harvilahti is amazing. I could write many other names.
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