Yann Arthus Bertrand in Saint-Brieuc, to paint a portrait of the French!

8:37 a.m. by Dolorès CHARLES

Yann Artus Bertrand and SNSM sailors

Credit : Yann Launay

The famous photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand set up his studio in Saint-Brieuc (22) in Côtes-d’Armor, this week as part of his journey across France. His project, to highlight the people who are for him “the true beauty of the world”.

The famous photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand has set up his photo studio in Saint-Brieuc for three days: he continues his journey to paint a giant family portrait of the French, and show their diversity. As with each step, it is free and open to all. Since Tuesday morning (May 28), families, craftsmen, associations have followed one another in front of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s lens, in a performance hall, where a large background tarpaulin, flashes and screens have been installed control.

“What is it like to be French today?”

“The spirit is to do sociological work. What is it to be French today? That is to say putting faces, putting blood, putting body on the figures of the INSEE. At what age do we get married and at what age do we die… It’s about explaining that, telling the story in a tender way with French people who are happy to be there. What I would like is for everyone to find themselves in the book, and in the work. I want to go to France… and I think that the true beauty of the world is there. She’s not in the landscapes, she’s in the peoplepeople who do, who share, and who give.”

Yann Arthus Bertrand
Yann Arthus Bertrand

Credit : Yann Launay

Every detail counts… it’s quite impressive”

Dozens of residents registered to participate: work colleagues in professional attire, couples, a navigator with his oar, a luthier with his violins, or Katell and her friends from a board game club, who came with part of their collection pose. “We have to bring everyone together and it would be nice if they all played a game… I vI read an article in the press and I said to myself “Yann Arthus Bertrand in Saint-Brieuc”, this is the opportunity to meet him and for me, “The earth seen from the sky”, it’s a book that dazzled! We didn’t really know if it was him who was going to be behind the lens, or if it was going to be assistants, but it’s him who is there, and every detail counts… it’s quite impressive. We’ll see the results, but what we’ve already seen, the photos we’ve been able to see, it’s great.

Katell and Yann Artus Bertrand
Katell and Yann Artus Bertrand

Credit : Yann Launay

Yann Arthus Bertrand

Yann Arthus Bertrand

Credit : Yann Launay

“The installation takes much longer than the photo itself”

It is advisable to bring rather colorful outfits, and accessories evoking an activity that you enjoy: Marie-Annick and Stéphan faithfully respected these instructions, coming dressed in bright colors, with their beach equipment, from folding chairs to parasols. . They registered out of admiration for Yann Arthur-Bertrand.

Their impressions after the session. “He’s very picky and in fact the photo itself lasts ten seconds. The installation takes much longer and there are still people around to help, who check if the light is good, if our eyes are good, if the colors are right, etc. There are people who came just normal, without having anything special, and he takes the photo and the photo looks really good… It’s very natural, he speaks to everyone on familiar terms, it’s a little curious at first, but frankly it’s good-natured, there’s no stress and it’s a nice experience.”

Marie-Annick and Stéphan
Marie-Annick and Stéphan

Credit : Yann Launay

Yann Arthus Bertrand in his studio in St-Brieuc

Yann Arthus Bertrand in his studio in St-Brieuc

Credit : Yann Launay

More than 17,000 portraits taken

This is sociological work, which Yann Arthus-Bertrand has been engaged in for years. The photographer wishes in a certain way to embody, to dress INSEE statistics in flesh and blood, and also to leave the archives of an era.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his team have already completed more than 17,000 portraits. The Tour de France was due to end at the end of 2024, but it will continue into early 2025. The photographer never tires of these encounters. “There reigns in these studios a kind of empathy, of natural benevolence and, as we tell people to come with the people they love, we like to photograph them and they send me love and I send them of love. It’s amazing ! I can’t believe how intoxicated I am by what people give me here. I love this work. We are there to be together and show the best we have at the end of the day. So, it’s a world of care bears perhaps, but I accept…” This work will be the subject of one or more books, and an exhibition, which will stop from 2025 in all the cities where the photographer has set up his studio.

Yann Arthus Bertrand
Yann Arthus Bertrand

Credit : Yann Launay

Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his team are in Saint-Brieuc, at the Robien room, until Thursday evening. Registrations are closed, but there may be withdrawals, and you can still try your luck. You can also attend the photoshoot sessions: the curious are accepted.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand will be back in the West next fall, with a stop at Gacilly, in Morbihan, from October 25 to 27.

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