Interview with Rudy Boyer | Nice, France

Hello Rudy Boyer, we are very honored to have you as our featured street photographer on Street View Photography!


Please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with.

Firstly, thank you for granting me this interview. I’m 29 years old. I was born and I still live in Nice, France. I work in a laboratory for analyzing building structures.

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Looking at your incredible pictures, I ask myself: Where does your creative drive come from?

My creativity comes from my curiosity. I also think that much of it comes from my father who listens to a lot of music, and he also did photography when he was younger. I’ve also always appreciated famous painters like Dali, Mossa, Egon Schiele, etc.

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Other than Photography, have you been involved with the arts in some other form?

Yes, I’ve been playing jazz guitar for almost 10 years. Actually, I currently play in a hip hop fusion group.

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How did you first became interested in street photography and how did you start?

I started taking street photography more seriously in March of this year. Just before leaving for my trip to Mexico, I bought a magazine at the airport about street photography. It spoke to me and so it inspired me to try it.

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Seeing your work, some are in B&W and some are in color, do you have any preference which one which?

No, I don’t really have a preference. However, I think b&w is better for the streets because I find it more effective. But sometimes, I shoot in color.

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What equipment did you use in the beginning and what are you using now?

I started with Nikon D80 with 18-135mm. I’ve moved on to Nikon D700 with 24-70 and 50mm—they’re my favorite weapons.

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Has your style of shooting street photography changed since you first started?

Since I haven’t been doing this for long, I think my style is the same but is in constant progression.

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What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other street photographers?

I don’t know. There are so many good photographers out there and I never really thought about comparing my work with theirs.

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Do you often interact with your subjects and if, before or after you took the picture?

Personally, I never ask someone if I could take their photo because I want to capture the moment as it is. But if the subject comes and talks to me, I gladly engage in a conversation with him before or after. It’s a not a problem for me.

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 What do you think of street photography compare to other genre?

What I like about street photography is ordinary people – it’s the everyday life.

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Do you see your personality reflected in your work?

It’s too difficult for me to answer this question. I think it would be better to ask this question to the people who know me well.

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Are you able to find inspiration for your photographs by staying in Nice or do you sometimes need to change the location to do so?

I need change. Even though I think that by going outside in my own neighborhood, I could take a lot of different pics, I do need to travel for my inspiration.

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Did you ever take a photograph which compromised your emotional balance in a deep and profound way?

Yes, with this guy just below. I went to the beach one day, not to swim however because it was two days before Christmas. While walking along I noticed a strange place, some kind of bunker. I went in and saw this man. I said “sorry to disturb you, I will leave” and he answer me “no it’s ok, you can stay!”. Although he seemed very tired we started talking and he told me about his life. Until that moment I did not take any pictures. I noticed his slightly broken guitar on the floor and I asked him if he can play it. He just took the guitar and started to play. That’s when I reached for my camera and made this picture. We continued to talk and a bit later I went my way.

When I got home I reviewed this photo and I didn’t feel well at all, almost sick because of the impact the image had on me! A few days after I return to this place but he wasn’t here anymore, however there were still all his things. About a week later I was working near his place so I went back to check again. He was there, recognized me and we started to talk again. It was very cold inside and he was tired again so I told him that I’ll come back to bring him some clothes tomorrow. So I went back the next day to bring him clothes and food. We talked until I needed to leave for work but I told him that I’ll come back again. A month later, I was traveling in the meantime, I returned but he was gone again. However a few things where lying around of him so I didn’t give up hope to see him again. Since that I returned a few times but there is no trace of him anymore. I will remember him for the rest of my life, his name was Kiri.

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Among your works, which is your favorite and why?

I don’t really have a favorite. It always changes as I advance. When I look back, I see all the imperfections. I’m eternally dissatisfied.

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What would you tell a newcomer who asks you for advice and what are some of the most important lessons you have learned for yourself?

No advice. Do what you want—there’s no limit.

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Rudy Boyer, thank you for your time!

Thank you.

Here you can find more of Rudy’s Work.