Leo Berne is a French photographer and director and musician, here’s an interview we made with him along with a selection of our favorite pictures.
How and when did you start photography
My father is a part time photographer, so I started using his Nikon to shoot B&W and develop myself, I was pretty bad.
Do you remember the first picture you ever took ?
A monkey in a zoo, trying to grab my toy camera.
Your work seems to be very personal, who are the people in your pictures ?
They’re all my friends, and friends of friends, and my ex.
You live in Paris, France, how does this city inspire you ?
I almost never shoot here actually, I feel inspired as soon as it doesn’t look parisian.
You’ve been travelling a lot, what was your favorite destination so far ?
Madagascar and Japan.
Where is gonna be the next one ?
I wanna go back to Taiwan, people are so nice there.
You’re a member of french directing collective Megaforce, you also have a music project, where do you get the most satisfaction ?
Unfortunately, the less paid is a job, the more enjoyable it is. So basically music videos and editorials are the things I prefer. I sometimes do some gigs of the music I did in the 00’s. I now focus on simple piano compositions but it sounds super naive as I never learned to play the piano.
Following your Instagram and Vine, it feels like you’re « creating » all the time, do you feel the urge of doing that ?
When I was 6 years old, I went to a shrink, she said to my mum that I’m gonna be depressed if I don’t create things.
Now I think she was a fucking prophet.
Your previous website was called Ibarellyremember, do you still see photography as a way of remembering things ?
Always, even when I do a fashion shoot, even though it’s staged, I still see it as taking a souvenir.
You’ve been starting to shoot editorials for fashion magazines, was it a natural evolution ? do you want to go into more commercial photography ?
My wallet would love to.
What is your favorite camera ?
I love the Mamiya 7, but I don’t even own one, scanning is so expensive. It’s such a shame that all the technological progress and democratization that had been done on digital cameras and full frame sensors haven’t been done on scanners.
Who are you favorite photographers ?
I really like Jin Ohashi, James Nachtwey and Man Ray.
One movie, one song, one book ?
Koyaanisqatsi, 山崎ハコ～流れ酔い唄、The kindly ones.
What are your next projects ?
Going back to Taiwan to shoot my weird friends there.
Where do you see yourself in the future ?
I’m really bad at projecting myself, I don’t even know if I’m gonna do the “next project” I talked about in the previous question.
Anything we forgot to ask ?
I’d just like to precise that I don’t consider myself as a great photographer or director. I feel like a newbie in those domains, and when I’m over-satisfied by something I’ve done, there are always real masterpieces to put me back in my place.
To see more of Leo’s work