This week, we have chosen to share with you the works of two French photographers. Mathias Ponard shares his poetic vision of Lebanon while Cécile André displays her delicate portraits.  Discover our readers picks #214.

Cécile André

Cécile André, 30, lives in Brittany. Originally a graphic designer, Cécile has always been passionate about image creation, composition and colours. At the age of 10, she discovered the dark room, thanks to her grand-father. Since then, she has developed a photographic vision directly linked to feelings. For her, photography is like an exorcism : “I try to get inspiration from anywhere except the constant flow of images that asphyxiates us nowadays. I often go to museums, I love painting and sculpture… The people around me are very inspiring too, it is very important to be surrounded by creative souls”, she says. She also confesses to “find people fascinating. I like to be able to read an emotion or capture a feeling within a glimpse. I also love to imagine the life of people I come across in the street, seize their vibes and look at the person in front of me as if I looked in a mirror”. When shooting her models, mostly women, she manages to exalt the beauty of a scene through the presence of a body. A fascinating experimental work.

© Cécile André

Mathias Ponard

After finishing his literature studies, Mathias Ponard, 22, entered the French image school Gobelins, where he is currently attending his second year in Bachelor photography. “I’ve always had a tight relationship with visuals arts. I first dived into the cinema world, it fascinated me. Cinema is the perfect fusion of everything I’m passionate about : literature, music, aesthetics. My point of vue is pretty direct and frontal, I take my pictures without any  previous construction; I like to take photographs without thinking too much, playing with a moment’s spontaneity”. 

For this series shot in Lebanon in October, he used an old Pentax 24×36. A text, a brief moment, a photograph by Bernard Plossu or the carcass of an abandonned car… Mathias captures the poetry in the elements that surround him. “In Lebanon I spent some days waiting to see the sea. I finally looked at it the last day. It was grey, dark and dangerous; the opposite of the calm Mediterranean. I was amazed”, he tells us. A poetic and human trip that he started in Lebanon and wishes to pursue in Paris. “I would love to find people from the Lebanese diaspora, and discuss with them about the connection with their homeland. I would love to illustrate these encounters through documentary photographs, to understand better the history and the culture of a country that I want to keep discovering”. 

© Mathias Ponard

Cover picture © Cécile André