One shot interview with Joseph-philippe Bevillard

September 28, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

One shot interview with Joseph-philippe Bevillard 

I have choose the image of Charlotte with her family caravan in the background as one of my favourite and commercially successful as prints and media usages. To date, this particular image received over 40,000 likes on Instagram, thanks to the sharing by individuals as well as collective groups, curators, news agencies and magazine groups. Instagram is an excellent tool to help you decide which images go into book publications, exhibitions and websites.


What made you push the shutter button to capture this image?


I was photographing the surroundings looking for elements that are related to the travelling communities before I saw Charlotte walking to me and I immediately start clicking the camera. Her hair contrasted with the neglected brown couch behind her, the lighting from a very low late afternoon winter sun, her state of mind, her sad looking beady eyes, glowing rosy cheeks and the dramatic clouds adds mood to the image which makes it theatrical and poetic. Also the tape to repair the caravan’s window and the sooty black smokestack draws my attention.


Is this image part of a wider project, if so what is the project focus?


Yes, it’s part of my ongoing project with the Travellers. I’m documenting the culture and hardships of the people in the travelling communities. It’s my third year using digital camera but I have been using B&W films with medium format camera since 2009. I like using the digital camera since its much quicker to work with and to make prints for the subjects while the B&W films takes months because I have to send the rolls to be developed and then I have to rent a room to scan those negatives which takes months.


Why is this image special to you?


I have been photographing Charlotte for three years. There’s so much sadness and innocence in her. She is very photogenic and I hope to photograph her for the years to come to document her life growing up. The future of every Traveller after age of 12 are very bleak and unfortunate. Many left school after 13 and some committed suicides due to racism and bullying by the Irish society. 1 out of 10 Travellers died from suicide. Over 87 percent of Travellers are unemployed. My greatest worries are their future and I hope nothing bad happened to the people I admired and photographed.


Is there any photography books that inspired you to capture this image?


I’m a huge fan of photography books. When I was in school, I used to go to library and look at any photography and art books I could find. My brain is like an archive! My greatest inspirations are: Diane Arbus, Josef Koudelka, Richard Avedon, Mary Ellen Mark, Danny Lyon, Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, Alex Webb, Sally Mann, Brassai, August Sander, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and William Klein.


What camera are you currently using?


Nikon D7500 with just one lens, 16-80mm and a Hasselblad 503cx with 50mm or 80mm


Please tell us about yourself


I was born in Boston and was in an orphanage for a month before I was adopted by a French parents. I started drawing and painting after I lost my hearing in both ears at the age of 3. I took up photography during my senior year at a private school in Massachusetts. In 1985, I enrolled at the Rochester Institute of Technology to study photography where I remained there for 2 years before changing direction in career due to financial circumstances, In 1990 I return to photography to study at the Art Institute of Boston. It was in 1990, I developed a style for square B&W portraitures of people I met in the nightclubs and on the street. After working for several major photo labs in Massachusetts in the last half of 1990, I moved to Ireland in May 2000 to start a property management business. In 2007, I went back to photograph portraits using the same camera and style as I did in the early 90’s. In 2010, I started a new project, photographing the Irish Travellers and four years later, I formed the Irish Travellers Photo Workshop. In June 2018, I started a new project on Irish Travellers using a digital camera and still shooting B&W film with Hasselblad. I currently reside on the border of Clare and Tipperary with my partner of 13 years.

Publications: Amnesty International, Der Spiegel, Vogue Italia, Square, Shots, Lenswork and Life Force.

Recent Awards: International Photography Awards, PX3 Paris, Photo Vogue Italia, and Lensculture. 

Recent Exhibitions: Joseph Gallery, Paris, LesRecontres d’Arles, Espace Beaurepaire Paris, Leica Gallery Milan, Photo London, New Hampshire Institute of The Arts, Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin and Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC.


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