Camille Rouzaud

P&C interview: Camille Rouzaud by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Sergio Díaz De Rojas

French photographer Camille Rouzaud is fascinated by intrepid bodies and unconscious courage. Foregoing the usual schooling in favor for a raw and intimate view versus a technical one, she captures humans in their purest essences; consequently, she rarely stages shots, she prefers to find candid moments and true stories.  

I was born and raised in the South of France. My childhood was filled with a lot of cultural diversity, living between a really small village in the countryside and the public housing in the city. I lived many moments of violence, drug issues, and sadness here contrasted by moments of happiness and freedom. I moved away as soon as I could, bouncing from city to city throughout Western Europe, and eventually made my way to Puerto Rico and New York where I currently find myself.

Headshot by Thibault Henriet.

Headshot by Thibault Henriet.

I have been taking pictures since I was fifteen years old.  I started with an old film camera, shooting photographs of architecture in black and white. When I was twenty-one, I moved to Barcelona and had to put photography on hold while I worked as an art director. My eyes and skills really developed while working in this field, but eventually photography came back to me naturally. Since then, I have been working to build a coherent and personal body of work.

I didn’t study photography, as I am not a fan of the education system… I never liked school very much.  I just started teaching myself while trying to capture moments and stories.  I like to tell stories.  That’s what I’m currently trying to do with every new photo series.

Intrepid bodies and unconscious courage fascinate me. Very sensual, violent, intimate. I mostly feel these emotions embodied by boys, simply because they carry a greater sense of freedom from the moment they are born. The best way for me to explain this is with this simple example: during their early ears, girls run around topless without judgement; however, eventually girls develop tits and one day, they just can’t take their shirt off anymore, you know? For me, that was a pretty traumatizing experience. I didn’t understand it right away. I thought, why is it that I can’t do whatever I want anymore? Boys just carry a lot fewer inhibitions and I find that interesting to document. I also give particular attention to movement. I love how bodies interact with one another and tell their own story.

The political view I’m currently developing, the work I’m doing on myself, and the struggles I’ve been through are all instinctively interjected into my work. Mainly through my subjects, the places, the people, the context all intertwine and all relate back to the desire for freedom.

As far as my practice goes, I use both film and digital mediums.  I prefer film but it depends on the equipment I have access to, the project, and my budget. I’m not a big fan of carrying a bunch of stuff with me, so I’ll shoot with whatever I have available at any given time. I rarely stage my shoots. I prefer the movement of the moment.  Most of the time, I know the people I photograph. I don’t want them to feel the camera between us or act strangely.  Again, the point is to have a natural, honest moment. I always prefer to find candid moments and a true story.

Check out Camille’s work at her website and Instagram.