Originally from New York City, currently based in San Francisco and soon to be moving to Melbourne, Australia, it is clear that Correne Durand is going places both literally and figuratively. Correne’s style of portrait photography is beautifully intimate and brimming with real narrative. We chat to Correne about her creative process and her love of analog film photography. Enjoy…
Why do you photograph?
To understand myself and the world… as Godard once said “art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self”.
You are clearly a big advocate for shooting film – you say on your site “All photos on this site are shot on film”; what is it about the analog format that you prefer over digital imaging?
An old Pentax was gifted to me about a year ago so I just started shooting with that and fell in love. I’m drawn to the intimacy of the medium and, of course, the colors and tones. Shooting film has always felt very natural to me and I have mostly taught myself along the way.
I am really drawn to your beautifully relaxed, natural light, sunny days aesthetic – it makes me wants to jump in to the photo, sit in the sun and share a beer with you. It all feels so spontaneous – is this the case? Step us through how you conceptualize your shoots, how you prepare with the styling and locations and then how it all comes together on the day of the shoot.
Yes, most of it is quite spontaneous; I come up with a loose concept of what I want to do based on the model and the mood I’m going for, then I try to find the perfect location, wardrobe, etc. Sometimes none of that works out and it turns into something entirely different. I like to keep it organic and if something else is asking to come through, then that’s what I shoot.
Looking through your portfolio, I find it hard to tell whether you are using professional models or whether you have the most perfectly photogenic friends! How do you go about casting for a shoot – what is it you look for in a model?
I have not worked with any professional models yet. So far, all the women I have photographed are either friends or I’ve found them in cafes, laundromats and other everyday places. I always have my eye out for someone who holds an air of dignity, grace, and is maybe a little wild. Photographing women is a liberating process for both myself and them; a reclaiming of the female form. It’s about emancipation and self-love rather than exploitation of sexuality. I enjoy the suggestion that subtlety lends. I didn’t pick up a camera with this mission in mind; it was something that emerged from within. Luckily, I’ve been able to find women who understand my process and are willing to help me create my vision.
How do you further develop your knowledge and understanding of photography as a medium? Do you have other photographers or mentors that you bounce ideas off?
Recently, I’ve been assisting which has been incredibly inspiring and insightful. Working with photographers who shoot film and digital simultaneously has shown me versatility and has opened my eyes to the possibility of shooting digital alongside film in the future.
What is next for you?
I’m relocating to Melbourne this December and look forward to working with photographers there and seeing what Australia holds for me. I’m very excited for this next step forward and hope to eventually have the opportunity to show my work there.
You can see more of Correne’s work at:
All images copyright Correne Durand.