Edouard Boubat

Prior to assignment five, I decided to do some research into portrait photographer Edouard Boubat. “Photographer Edouard Boubat (1923-1999) is a poet with a camera. His work is part of the great tradition of French photography that includes such masters as Brassai, Bresson and Doisneau.(1)” This inspirational photographer has a style that I absolutely love, we are going to look at this in a little more depth below.

Firstly, Boubat captures a variety of genres, including street photography, documentary photography and portraiture. “Combination of classic 1950s street scenes, documentary travel, Paris, and intimate portraits of ordinary people.(2)” All of these styles centre around Boubat’s love and passion; capturing people. He had a deep fascination for capturing the true depth and heart of his subjects. He was able to capture their real personalities and character through his work. “For Boubat, photography meant meeting his fellow-man. He loved to photograph humanity; his images bear witness to the specific relationship he had with his subjects, on which he commented: “We are living photographs. Photography reveals the images within us.(3)” This was a hugely important element of portraiture which I noted from previous research into working under a client specification. To produce strong images that capture the true personality of the subject, one must create a trusting relationship with the subject. This cannot be over-emphasised, and Boubat put great importance on this point.

Secondly, we see that Boubat is starkly different from many fellow photographers of his time. He did not dwell on the doom and gloom of the world around him, but strived to capture the positives of the world, and of the subject’s he captured. Even in the worst situations and places of the world, Boubat still created optimistic images that showed the joy in the worst of circumstances. “Boubat’s approach to photography was deeply affected by World War II: “Because I know war… because I know the horror, I don’t want to add to it.…  After the war, we felt the need to celebrate life, and for me photography was the means to achieve this.” Spanning a 50 year career, Boubat’s photographs do just that. They celebrate the beauty, simplicity, and little things in life.(4)” This is the style and approach that I love. In my final assignment, I intend to show the joy, innocence and contentment of the new-born or child which I am capturing. We see Boubat’s positive and joyous representation of human nature below.

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Thirdly, we see that Boubat tells a story through his images. “Edouard Boubat…was one of a number of near contemporaries whose supreme talent was to tell a story in a single frame.” The British Journal of Photography. His images tell their very own special narrative. We see this in his well-known image below. Grenier states of the following image; “The photographer’s art let’s us decipher the dog’s expression, just as it suggests a meaning for the man’s face in the background. You think you understand everything, that you’ve figured out everything, know everything. The art of the portrait is close to that of a novel. In its own way it proposes a story. It liberates the imagination.(10)”

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Through his images, Boubat tells the story of people’s lives. He uses composition, expression and unique subjects to do this. Such as the large dog in the image above! There could be many different stories behind each of his images, and this enables the viewer to add their very own tale to the image. I love the idea of using unique subjects and compositions to create images that tell their own story. In Boubat’s work below, the viewer’s mind rages with possible plots and narratives for each image. This adds great interest to all of Boubat’s shots.

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Therefore, we have seen that Boubat is an amazingly talented photographer, who’s passion centres around capturing people. He takes his camera all over the world, capturing portraits of people in the best and worst situations, yet he always bringing out the positives every time. We see that he captures images that tell many possible stories, mostly of love and romance; yet always a celebration of life. “[Boubat] sought to make photos that were a celebration of life. The French writer Jacques Prévert once called him a “Peace Correspondent.(17)” Boubat states; “When I see people I also see the spirit of goodness, kindness and love.(18)” Edouard Boubat; what a true inspiration for photographers today!

(1) PARIS VOICE (2012), Edouard Boubat’s Camera Poetry, Available from: http://www.parisvoice.com/photography/480-edouard-boubats-camera-poetry [Accessed 28/06/13]

(2) KENS JOURNAL (2011), The Monograph by Edouard Boubat, Available from: http://www.kensjournal.com/featured-books/the-monograph-by-edouard-boubat-book-review/ [Accessed 28/06/13]

(3-4) DUNCAN MILLER GALLERY (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from: http://www.duncanmillergallery.com/boubat/thumb/boubat-bio.html [Accessed 28/06/13]

(5) ONLINE BROWSING (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from:http://onlinebrowsing.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/edouard-boubat.html  [Accessed 28/06/13]

(6) JACKSON FINE ART (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from: http://www.jacksonfineart.com/Edouard-Boubat-733.html [Accessed 28/06/13]

(7) BLOGSPOT (2010), Edouard Boubat, “Photo de Rémi”, Available from:  http://chelseaktheblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/edouard-boubat-photo-de-remi.html [Accessed 28/06/13]

(8) BLOGSPOT (2010), Boy Meets Girl, Available from: http://boymeetsgirlproject.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/edouard-boubat.html [Accessed 28/06/13]

(9) ONLINE BROWSING (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from:http://onlinebrowsing.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/edouard-boubat.html  [Accessed 28/06/13]

(10) Grenier, Roger (2010), A Box of Photographs, University of Chicago Press.

(11) JACKSON FINE ART (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from: http://www.jacksonfineart.com/Edouard-Boubat-733.html [Accessed 28/06/13]

(12) ONLINE BROWSING (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from:http://onlinebrowsing.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/edouard-boubat.html  [Accessed 28/06/13]

(13) ONLINE BROWSING (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from:http://onlinebrowsing.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/edouard-boubat.html  [Accessed 28/06/13]

(14) JACKSON FINE ART (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from: http://www.jacksonfineart.com/Edouard-Boubat-733.html [Accessed 28/06/13]

(15-16) ONLINE BROWSING (2013), Edouart Boubat, Available from:http://onlinebrowsing.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/edouard-boubat.html  [Accessed 28/06/13]

(17-18) PARIS VOICE (2012), Edouard Boubat’s Camera Poetry, Available from: http://www.parisvoice.com/photography/480-edouard-boubats-camera-poetry [Accessed 28/06/13]

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