Éric Lajeunesse: My Camera and My Nepal


Éric Lajeunesse was born in 1964. He lives in St. Etienne de Bolton in the heart of the beautiful Eastern Townships Quebec, Canada and has been a professional photographer for over 20 years. Curious and imaginative, Lajeunesse photographs the world and its landforms, landscapes and urban classics as well as the people he meets. In his portraits, he seeks to convey the beauty and complexity of the human body.”Behind the daily tedium of ordinary life lurks the world and its detours and one who can look discovers the secrets of great beauty.” É.L.

Capturing the instant beauty, creating a panorama of bits and pieces of identity or movement: this is the object of my artistic work as a photographer. Since life today is at a throw away and fast pace, I made the choice to photograph. Capturing short-lived moments deserves my full attention to the smallest of details. In order to do so, I still develop my pictures from my Leica by hand, no touch-up, nothing artificial, in my darkroom. J. L. Godard mentioned  that color is for fiction. True reality is better expressed in black and white. Like this master, I believe that black and white adds reality and emotion, and this is the reason I have practiced this theory since the beginning. Life at any moment creates scenes of absolute beauty waiting to be captured, no production, for what it is, whatever happens.

A photographer has to adapt to every ray of light and capture the emotion at the particular moment, no tricks/nothing artificial. Through the light, the scenery opens up with people moving and people going on their daily routine. This body movement has to be understood. As everything and everybody flows and disappears quickly, my aim is to hold instantly, fix the movement before it disappears. My work is the footprint of moving life. It is my thinking, my personal point of view on life’s realities and its beauty. If taking a picture is easy, it could take a lifetime to achieve an important image. This is what my work is all about.

Project Nepal is about me: a photographer and his camera. It may be a man on a street, in a café, or in the middle of a producing plant. Nepal is my story. It’s the history of a man searching for his fellow-men. To find them, I immerse myself in their day-to-day life, in their working space and where they live. Throughout the eye of my camera, I study them and immortalize what they own and their belongings, their true meaning, their human side.

Throughout my trips, my eyes scrutinize, carve and dissect, trying to grab a ray of light on a face, on a table corner, in an alley. This is the meaning of Nepal. Like the whole of my work and my personality, the project is without artificiality, without touch-up and nothing but raw emotion.

Sometimes the emotion is expressed by the subject, or by the photographer’s emotion reflected by the black and white. It is the search for the human and soul in its environment, captured on a film and then on paper. Nothing to do with human misery. Nepal is all about people. Here, everywhere, today and tomorrow.

- Éric Lajeunesse

To see more of Eric’s work, please view his website.