Renowned French travel photographer Laurent Laporte finds inspiration in the pursuit of the absolute freedom across the world.
Laurent Laporte is a photographer who travels the world and whose images comment on the surrounding environment through his keen observations. From exploring the vast mountains of Tibet interacting with sneaker-obsessed monks to gaining insight into the minds of Senegal’s young wrestlers to mingling with the locals of sleepy suburban California, the Parisian-based Laporte has travelled nearly everywhere and back.
“Travel is different that going on holiday,” Laporte explains. “Holiday is for rest, travel is exhausting, travel is adventurous, you have to try and taste new things, get lost and reconsider your choices.”
Growing up in Toulouse, a sprawling metropolis in the southern region of France, Laporte had always been interested in photography as a hobby, spending a lot of his time testing old cameras like Brownie or Rolleiflex. He eventually fell into working at an ad agency, he couldn’t shake the fact that he felt something was missing from his work. One day, he decided to make his photography his main focus.
“I quit advertising because most of people there are not interesting,” Laporte explains. “They are not curious anymore, they don’t try to explore anything other than the same inspirational website and do the same kind of boring stuff.”
When it comes to his photo series, Laporte draws viewers in with the simplicity. The Parisian-based photographer isn’t necessarily trying to tell a story through images, but rather seeks to depict the world through his eyes with his own obsession with aesthetics, lighting and composition. A recurring theme throughout his travels has undoubtedly been the depiction of unrestrained freedom and beauty across the world, which he achieves with his natural documentarian sensibilities.
“Surf is always a pretext for my travels, but it could be something else,” Laporte mentions. “Visiting friends or simply deciding with a friend to go to make a road trip to Romania at the end of a party.” Whatever the case, the creativity and inspiration that Laporte has found in his documentation of the world and its inhabitants has created a larger sense of purpose for the French photographer–and it shows in his photos.
“Some people need meditation to go inside themselves, others need to travel,” Laporte says. “The more you discover, the more you know about yourself, how you react to different things out of your routine.”
It is under these circumstances that Laporte finds the most inspiration to take photos. “You just understand by traveling that you must go outside of your bucket,” he adds. “It’s the best school to learn about the world, others and your own craft, period.”
“Coming across strangers and shooting them, it’s funny to see that people tend to pose differently in different countries,” Laporte explains. “It’s interesting to see that Romanians, for example, are posing proudly without smiling, contrary to people in Indonesia or India who are naturally smiling.”
Whether he’s in the streets of Tokyo mingling with suave-haired, cigarette-laden Elvis impersonators, taking portraits of the fishermen of Sanur, Indonesia, or simply tinkering with the lighting conditions under the Moroccan sun, Laporte finds inspiration in his pursuit of absolute freedom. He’s made it his mission to tackle the world, one place at a time, finding peace in the process.
Laurent Laporte shoots with a classic Mamiya7 II as an analog camera and a Sony A7R when he needs to shoot numeric.