Romain LaPrade on Nostalgia

Paris based photographer Romain Laprade is known for his visually mesmerizing photographs shot for clients like Isabel Marant, Aesop and Rimowa . He may capture the simplest detail, like a lamp post or a car on the street — and yet there’s a sense of reminiscence that transports you to another time and place. His dreamy colour palette evokes a sense of warmth and nostalgia, like you’re suddenly in the South of France in the sixties.

What is your main photography principle?

“My main principle is to keep working as naturally as possible, following my instinct. I don’t like overthinking my projects. I want the result to be simple, concise and yet visually emotional. I want to create images that make people dream — that they’re in the picture almost. I like creating strong images that linger in the mind. And I also like to show places that are yet unknown to people.”

In your work, you present even the most mundane objects or places as aesthetic perfections. What does visual perfection means to you?

“I like to find beauty in the most unconcerning details of every-day life. I find it gives off a feeling of immense tranquility and I like capturing things that aren’t necessarily obvious — things you don’t notice at first hand. Visual perfection is absolutely essential to me. I like being surrounded by it. It somehow makes me happier, more relaxed and peaceful.”

What does your creation process look like?

“For my personal works, it’s mostly just to go out, looking for things to discover. It can be a city, a neighborhood, or a specific building. I try to locate interesting points through Google Maps, books or websites, but mostly, I let fate guide me to points. As for my commercial works, I start with a discussion with the potential client. It’s important that my aesthetics and philosophies fit the brand. With some brands it’s easier than others but that’s part of the industry.”

If you can tell an artist’s emotions and thoughts through their work, how would you say your works represent you as a person?

“I think I have to see the world differently in order to accept it. So I’m constantly forcing myself, unconsciously, to glorify what is around me and that is why I capture it. In a sense, my work represents the world as I want it to be — my work is what I see.”

Looking back at your works, what was the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome? 

“I think the more important challenge, like with any other artist, is to keep your own aesthetics and vision, even with commercial jobs. I want my images to be recognizable and identifiable as mine, different from others.”

Lastly, what do you think has shaped you the most as an artist?

“That’s complicated to answer. I feel that everything has arrived naturally in a way. I certainly have been influenced by magazines, images and movies I watched when I was a kid. I’m also inspired by my summer holidays in the South of France when I was young. So it comes from every thing I’ve seen throughout my life.”

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This interview was featured in Currant Magazine's book N°Fantastic.

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