When we first saw Celine Meunier’s photography, we were blown away. Born in France but living between Beirut and Istanbul, Celine takes photos that are intimate and intriguing – photos that reflect her view that photography is a ‘tribute to everything that you forgot’. We spoke to Celine about exploring the world and capturing memories.
Hi Celine. Tell us a little about yourself - where are you from, where are you based and what do you do outside of photography?
Hello guys! I was born and raised in the suburb of Paris, but I had the chance to move around quite a bit as I lived in Beirut and Istanbul, and still split my time between places. Aside from photography I’m a heavy reader, I also like to play the piano and I’ve been practicing visual arts since I was a kid. They all provide a different path for an escape.
When did you begin shooting, what made you start and what has driven you to continue?
In 2011, as I moved to Turkey, my grandmother offered me a Nikon FM2. So photography started with a journey, both technical and geographical, and this is still something important to me. I am always craving to learn or understand something new about photography, and it’s also always a good alibi to travel around.
What do you shoot on?
Nowadays I mostly use a Nikon F2 and a Hasselblad 503CW, but I still keep the FM2 at home like a trophy. I couldn’t bare losing or breaking it - it holds a strong symbolic and sentimental value.
Over what span of time were these photos taken? What makes them stand out from your other shots?
I have a hard time appreciating my photos over time. It’s probably a good incentive to create more and improve my skills in the end. So these images, shot over the past 3 years, are the ones I still feel comfortable calling mine.
How do you think your work is affected by sharing it online?
It’s interesting to be able to share directly with people, without any intermediary, and outside the frame of the art market/business. It’s a different approach, and provides different reactions. I value this a lot. It’s also a great way to discover a lot of super talented people and broaden ones perspectives on this craft.
What do you look for when you’re taking a photo? Are you more concerned with the composition or evoking a certain feeling?
It’s probably an alignment of both composition and something in the air. It creates a moment, or the fantasy of a moment probably. Taking photos is also like trying very hard to remember something - which partly escapes us really, since we don’t know what will come out of it. What is left, the actual image, is a form of fantasy, and it’s also a tribute to everything that you forgot.
Is there anyone you’d like to shout out?
Yes actually! Özkan Önal is a very gifted photographer from Istanbul, his fashion and minimal work is definitely worth checking out.