Philippe Marchand, lifestyle photographer, was born in a small country village in France.
“I was very, very far from the work I do now, very far from the very idea of being a photographer,” he said. “It’s something I discovered as a teenager and hasn’t left me since, so I started taking pictures and I’ve never stopped.”
Although the inspiration for his career as a photographer came ‘from afar’, his imagery retains the kind of idealized, pastoral wholesomeness one might associate with small-village life – people in country markets or enjoying lavish outdoor feasts – people in workshops, making rocking chairs or restoring antiques – people working in the fields. From rural sunsets to seaside frolics, craftsmen and farmers, families and newlyweds, Marchand’s subjects exude ease, leisure and sincerity.
“I actually like creating atmospheres where I would like to be,” says Marchand. “I want people to want to be in the scene. If you let the scenes unfold, you’re capturing something real, that’s all. There is nothing better. Capturing people in sublime scenes of ordinary life, scenes where there is beautiful light and a unique atmosphere. Once the atmosphere is there, we forget all that and we can focus on the human and try to capture moments of emotion.
Marchand works with his wife, Cécile, who is also a photographer, and helps design their shots.
“We like to be at the origin of the project, to meet the people, to know the request, the project and to imagine the story,” he said. “For us, it’s great. For children, it is a little heavier. They hear a lot about photography.
Marchand’s family lives in Nantes, in the Loire Valley of France.
“The Loire is the river that flows near the city,” he says. ” It’s freedom. We are surrounded by nature, we camp on the beaches, we make campfires. It really is an immersion in nature. I love it.”
Image credits: (left to right): Adobe Stock / jackfrog: portrait courtesy of Philippe Marchand.
Then, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic upended their ideal little world and jeopardized Marchand’s future as a photographer.
“We had a lot of professional projects that were canceled and frankly, we didn’t really know what the future held for us professionally,” he said. “Time passed and we got a little bored and we had the idea of creating photo productions between us [and our family].”
These images shed light on the interior of the Marchand household, capturing moments with his wife and children, particularly at the center of every French home: the kitchen.
“You know, for the French, food is very important and in fact a lot of the moments in life that we live together revolve around food,” he says. “So, creating these little stories, staging, working with the lights as we usually do, it really did us good. At the beginning, the children were not necessarily very enthusiastic. But in the end, everyone put their heart into it and let’s say it kept us busy.
Children appear in a superhero series, which captures the imagination of, say, a cinematographer of a little girl riding her tricycle to the moon with a paper rocket strapped to her back. Working with his children has allowed Marchand to photograph exactly the kind of subjects he loves: people who aren’t used to modeling and who tend to be more natural around a camera.
“I particularly like working with people who have done very little photography, he says, and creating trust, complicity. To get people to trust you and also to let go. That’s what I love about it. You hear people say “I’m not photogenic” — no, no, that’s not true. You put people in a pleasant context. You work with a reduced depth of field, with lenses that will open up a lot and magnify the actions. And beauty just happens.
Analog to digital
“When I started taking photos, Adobe Photoshop didn’t exist, so I always edited my images,” says Marchand. “And now it’s such a comfort. I breathe Photoshop, it has become something completely natural. For me, this technical knowledge was essential because I wanted to control the final result. I needed to master the technique to get exactly what I wanted to achieve.
Marchand’s attention to detail shines through in lighting, depth of field and setting, often using out of focus and vignetted bokeh effects to center certain subjects against a background and produce fun twinkling lights. background. While his Stock catalog features casual, light-colored images, some of his personal portfolios are moody black and white, capturing the details of a seafaring community or the architectural nuance of Nantes.
Overall, ideas of freedom and self-sufficiency permeate Marchand’s images and process.
“Photographers are often quite lonely,” he says. “I think it’s this notion of freedom to have only oneself to rely on. Get rid of constraints. Do what you want to do, when you want, when you can. »
“The pleasure for me and what brought me to Adobe Stock is to do the productions from A to Z where I am the only decision maker”, he continues. “I think it comes from the fact that Adobe has worked with artists since the beginning and indeed, we feel it, we feel respected. It is truly a privilege. This is my motivation to continue to produce quality images. And I’m very, very happy to be part of it. »
Discover more of Philippe Marchand’s portfolios on Adobe Stock. Do you feel inspired? Visit our Adobe Stock Contributor page to sign up and upload your photos, videos, and more to the collection.