This week, both our readers picks specialise in the art of portraiture. Florence Amanou practices when she travels, while Alexandre Douel is his own model.

Florence Amanou 

“What inspires me? Changes of scenery, novelty, movement, people, light, or even old stones”, says Florence Amanou, a 69-year-old physiotherapist living in Réunion. “A part of my childhood spent in Africa made me want to discover other horizons. I’ve started photographing at an early age – 11. With small cameras, I captured my family, my surroundings. Portraits especially attracted me. I’ve learnt by myself, with books. Through digital cameras, post-production and the Internet, I’ve discovered new universes. Nowadays, I still capture my friends, my family, concerts… but my practice is mostly inspired by travel. I like documenting crafts and the traces of the past”, she explains. The images she sent us were taken in Calcutta, India, during a trip there. She tells us: “I noticed this half-lit door and this girl arrived. I love the saris, tunics and scarves Indian women wear. People see me but keep walking peacefully. When I get closer, a communication is born – a look, a smile, an agreement.”

© Florence Amanou

Alexandre Douel

“In photography, male nudes are still rare, compared to female nudes. As we all know, society is asking so much of women. This social pressure is lower for men”, says Alexandre Douel, a 23-year-old Parisian artist, who graduated from ETPA, in Toulouse. “I am particularly attached to portraits. For this series called Ombres (Shadows, ed.), I’ve developed a pictorial photographic approach, similar to Caravaggio. I played with lights, shadows, but also viewpoints. Without any clear idea in mind, I let myself be guided by my desires, in front of the lens”, he adds. A beautiful tribute to Oscar Wilde. “While we think we experiment on others, the truth is we often experiment on ourselves.”

© Alexandre Douel

Cover picture: © Alexandre Douel