Half Empty, Since 1998

Meet The Covergirl, Photographer Jaime Leblanc

Jaime Leblanc. April 6th, 2004

Photograph by Jaime Leblanc

Photograph by Jaime Leblanc

I’m totally fascinated by how dull and ordered our landscape can be. It’s so boring it’s interesting. I think that the way I photograph reflects that, everything parallel and lined up just so. It’s almost silly.

I shoot with a standard lens and print the full negative. I like a straightforward picture that describes its subject as simply as possible, so that it can speak for itself without a lot of my interpretation. So that definitely makes for a stark, austere photograph. I like to think that I’m not interfering at all with any personal creative juices but I think it’s impossible to avoid that.

The landscape of a city changes so much. When I’m old I want to be able to look back on my work and see and what things look like in the 2000s, full of things from 60s through till now. Mostly I take pictures in order to preserve things that I anticipate will not exist in the future. Things that are kind of relics, things that will be taken over soon by condos or a superstore or something. You could call these photographs documents or reportage if you wanted.

I love Montreal but haven’t grown any huge feeling of connected-ness yet. It doesn’t inspire me particularly, but it doesn’t un-inspire me either. I was really lost and depressed when I first moved here and that probably has something to do with how bleak everything looks.

But I definitely have a color scheme. This is why all the muted colors and overcast skies. Lots of photographers would agree; flat, even lighting is nice. Hard sunlight makes shadows and emphasizes things. Although lately I have been taking pictures of exactly this. What can I say? I don’t include people in my pictures much, I usually wait for them to get out of the way. I find it more a more interesting portrait to see where people live and what they eat and buy and throw out. Those are the kinds of pictures I like to make.

I do take pictures of the people I love and again it is a means of preservation. Portraiture is a challenge. People are a pain to photograph, always wanting to see pictures of themselves looking hot. I like to take pictures of people in the times in-between when they’re not really conscious of themselves, but that’s not always easy.

(Included in Half Empty #2)