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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rudy Boyer, thank you for your time!
Here you can find more of Rudy’s Work.