There are many reasons why someone might get into photography – a desire to highlight the world around them, a constant need to create or a wish to preserve a moment in time. For French photographer Côme Saury, it’s all the reasons above and more. We fell in love with Côme’s ethereal photography, which combine stunning landscapes with intimate snapshots from his personal life. We spoke to Côme about exploring new places, capturing memories and the influence of his father.
Hi. Tell us a little about yourself - where are you from, where are you based and what do you do outside of photography?
Hi, I'm Côme, a Frenchman born in central France. I'm currently living in this wonderful town that is Bordeaux, studying law and history of art. These are not my only occupations though, as I often go hitchhiking in the French mountains and travel overseas to embrace cultures that are new to me, chill and enjoy my true passion - photography.
I associate my photos to a specific moment of my life, an odour, a feeling, an emotion, a trip.
When did you begin shooting, what made you start and what has driven you to continue?
My father used to be a photography enthusiast when he still was a young man, in the 80s. As far as I can remember, I've always seen his Nikkormat and his Voigtländer lying around in our house. One day, I asked if he was willing to lend it to me. Little did I know when asking that he was not only going to lend it, but instead give it to me as a present! He taught me everything, including how to develop photographs myself at home. It was a way to reinforce our father-son relationship, around a common passion. Till this day, I have the habit to snap anything and everything. From my girlfriends, to landscapes or even my mates. I mostly take these photographs so that I'll have something to hold on to when I remember my youth. However, I also do it because I have no skills in drawing nor in painting. Taking pictures is therefore the only way I can be creative.
What do you shoot on?
I take landscape photographs now whenever I'm overseas but I also like to take pictures of the people I'm with or I met there, with their permission. As mentioned before, my dad gave me my first camera so, as you can imagine, I care a lot about it. Unfortunately, it's huge and heavy and I've therefore decided to buy a Canon A1. My best friend also bought me a Nikon FM2 for my birthday (she's a keeper). I own a few more and each single one of them has its own little story.
I consider my Instagram as an opportunity to share my pictures with my friends and allow them to travel with me.
Over what span of time were these photos taken? What makes them stand out from your other shots?
Well, all these pictures were taken in 2015 and 2016. I had a little bit more time for myself and the desire to travel as much as I could. My camera is my best travel companion. The first picture at night is the first long exposure I ever did and I got lucky it was a success. I love it very much. The other landscapes pictures were taken in Iceland that I visited with some friends this year. For the double exposition pictures, you can see my best friend, my former horse and my mother’s arm when we were in Barcelona. I really like the atmosphere emanating from these three pictures.
How do you think your work is affected by sharing it online?
I never really take pictures telling myself I will post them online straight afterwards. I consider my Instagram more as an opportunity to share my pictures with my friends and allow them to travel with me in some way if they don’t have the same chance as me.
My father taught me everything, including how to develop photographs myself at home.
What do you look for when you’re taking a photo? Are you more concerned with the composition or evoking a certain feeling?
My pictures are part of a whole. I associate my photos to a specific moment of my life, an odour, a feeling, an emotion, a trip. I shoot pictures because what’s in front of me is beautiful but also because I am aware that I am privileged at that exact moment I press the shutter release. It’s like remembering that I was at this location one day in my life and I was feeling so good. A photo is like my travel diary for me, I don’t need to write anything, everything is in my picture and will last until my old days. When I shoot pictures of my girlfriends, I try to share a feeling and try to capture in a picture everything that represents her in my eyes. When I shoot landscapes, I try to compose with what I see.
Is there anyone you’d like to shout out?
My girlfriends who I annoyed when I was taking pictures of them, my best friend Justine who’s really my partner in crime when it’s about going on treks in the mountains and finally my father who shared his passion with me. Also a lot of love for all the people that will read these lines as well as all my friends.
Oh and also my childhood friend Maxime who is now living in the US and who helped me translate this interview in English, otherwise you would have gotten some pretty disgusting frenglish blob of an article. ;)