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Jean-Baptiste Huynh

An Intimate Portrait of a Photographer

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Summary

In this film, French photographer Jean-Baptiste Huynh sits down for an intimate interview to discuss his work with FotoTV. Huynh captures the texture of life in his portrait photography through the elegance of features and the emotion of gazes, every portrait reveals force, character, and tenderness. He involves us in his personal encounters with the people, demonstrating the beauty in common moments, which can be read in the faces of the men, women and children he photographs.

In each picture, we realize a genuine intimacy was stimulated between the artist and his subject at each portrait sitting, and it shines through, each portrait revealing an intense inner life. The viewer senses the same depth, fragility and spirituality of each portrait as Huynh experiences when he photographs his subjects in person. Huynh's work offers a high degree of definition, partly due to his exceptional techniques in large format photography and light sensitive film, and the fact that he does not photograph digitally.

There is a quality of brightness in the eyes that Huynh feels is unique to analog photography, which is important to him and the expression of his vision as a portrait photographer. During this film we meet fellow colleague, photographer Sonia Sieff, who Huynh photographs in his studio. They are longtime friends since meeting at an exhibit.

Ironically it is Sieff who, ordinarily does not mix with people of her own profession, offers us magnificent, precise insight. During a break from their portrait sitting, she says, "Huynh sculpts light like he is a painter. He photographs people like he is taking their last photo, like they wanted to leave a last imprint".

The dynamic relationship between Huynh and his subjects is probably the most single important aspect of his work, and we clearly understand why he believes it takes two to build an image.