Photography : "Live and Uncut" - Episode 36 with Marie Laigneau

A long way in such a short time.

Marie Laigneau

Marie Laigneau

Marie has come a long way in street photography in such a short time, just two and half years! By day she is a 'Strategist consultant' a job which she loves but, photography is slowly developing into an interesting and integral part of her life.

Her very first camera like many of us, was a small compact, but then moved onto a Canon DSLR with out really understanding how the camera worked. She took photos of everything, like most photographers start out. At this time there was no real genre that she found a direction from, until she found Google+ when she moved to Chicago. Finding this site she realised what she enjoyed doing most. Taking images of the people of the City she was living in. It must be said at this point, Marie is not a street portrait photographer. She prefers to take the image of the people in a candid way and street scenes that tell a story. In a way Marie is developing into a documentary photographer. So, from a Canon 60D with 17-55mm f2.8 to a Leica, which to me emphasises her 'passion' for street photography now, for her the Leica is the ideal street camera.

Moving from Chicago to London, just a few months ago, she has come to realise how busy, how dynamic with a variety of opportunities, that London has to offer. She is not a person to 'shy' away from making a portrait of a person in the street without asking for permission. She wants to capture that moment and not a staged or posed image! This is something that a lot of us find difficult to do. Maybe Marie's comment; that we are frightened to get close,  and its our British 'persona', that causes us to freeze at this time, is about right! Her favourite place in London to shoot would be far Soho, with its unlimited potential. There are other areas though which Marie is going to explore in the future. Having been in London only for the last few months she is confined to the evenings to go out shooting. So she is enjoying (if you could say that) the early dark hours and the wet lanes and streets which in the winter we are so accustomed to.

I found her camera set-up intriguing as it is exactly the same that I use and not one that is readily used. She sets ISO to auto allowing her to use the camera in manual mode. So setting the shutter speed to 1/125th and aperture to f2.8 or f4.0 for example given the light conditions the camera makes the adjustment with the auto ISO. You cannot as Marie said, have to much to adjust. If you prefer to have blurred or movement in your image by making the shutter speed at a slower level ie 1/30th the 'auto' ISO will again make the adjustment. To me this is the best way to take street photographs. 

Marie has developed her photographic "career' neatly in that she has had her work exhibited and has sold a number of prints. Now she is moving into the world of 'workshops'. Being in Chicago last year she met Valerie Jardin who invited her to join her in London for a dual workshop, something which I'm personally looking forward to. She will be attending the 'Out of Chicago Experience' this year, where she will be making a presentation of her thoughts on street photography and is also going to start soon a 'one to one' tuition session in an interesting concept by creating a program of story telling courses for photographers on-line.

She keeps to her thoughts of making sure your images are your own work and be understanding but, try not to stick to the rules, whilst encouraging photographers to be different. I think what Marie was trying to say was studying street photography too much could lead to a copycat style and not an individualistic one.

A fascinating short career so far and I have the feeling it will be a long one, for the future. And whats more she shares her E-books a lovely touch.

Thank you Marie, I hope you all enjoy the show..

Until next time "Leave your camera bag at home"


Here are the all important links...

To me this is the best way to take street photographs. 

Photography Live and Uncut :

Website for Marie Laigneau 

Ebooks for Marie

Marie on Facebook 

Marie on Twitter 

Marie on Google+