We recently had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Jules Tusseau, a young professional photographer who has been based in La Paz for a number of years. Having met him on a number of occasions and been touched by his photos, we were keen to find out more about his work as a photographer.
Can you introduce yourself in a few lines?
My name is Jules Tusseau, born in 1987 in the Paris region. I’ve been interested in photography from a relatively young age. My father was and still is a lover of this art. When he was young, he was an artist himself. In our library, there were albums of his photographs and I loved taking the time to leaf through them, discovering and rediscovering these black and white photos. I felt sensitive to the emotions they exuded. However, this attraction remained in the realm of the contemplative until relatively late in life. Photography touched me deeply but I didn’t practise it. It wasn’t until 2009 that I bought my first camera, moving to Australia and feeling that this could be the opportunity for me to get into it.
In fact, travel and photography have become two inseparable friends for me. They are intimately linked and definitely inseparable.
In the years that followed, I was able to travel to the Baltic countries, the whole of Scandinavia and part of Russia, always accompanied by my camera.
In 2011, a professional opportunity arose in Bolivia, in tourism, which I seized without hesitation. During my previous trips, I’d heard a lot about Latin America, its culture, traditions and incredible landscapes. So I packed my bags and moved to La Paz. Bolivia was clearly a revelation for me in terms of photography. The cultural diversity, the folklore, the traditions, the people, the ‘faces’, the streets, the landscapes, the mountains… everything is photogenic.
For me, Bolivia is an endless playground for practising my passion.
In 2013, I went to live in Central America, between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, still in tourism, still accompanied by my camera and more than ever driven by this passion. Even though these two countries appealed to me in terms of landscape photography, I found them very unappealing in terms of portraits. So I finally decided to move back to La Paz, to give up the world of tourism to devote myself exclusively to photography and make a living from it.
I invested all my savings in a professional camera and several quality lenses and set about doing what I knew best, travelling and taking photos. It wasn’t long before I was contacted by a small café in La Paz, which offered to exhibit my photos. The exhibition was a success and brought me my first contract to do a report in the North Lipez region, on the interaction between the cultivation of quinua and llama farming. One contract led to another, and so on.
My two favourite areas are without hesitation portraits and landscape photography, and I think these are the ones in which I am best able to express myself. For me, sharing a photo means sharing an emotion. The emotion of the person in the photo, or the emotion I felt when I took it. In reality, the two often go hand in hand. A photo is a story, a sharing.
Who are your influences and the photographers who inspire you?
Réhahn Croquevielle, a French photographer based in Vietnam, is a photographer who really touches me in terms of his portraits. Lee Jeffries also inspires me because of the strength of his work, and David Lazar and Manny Librodo are great references that I also like a lot. As far as landscape photography is concerned, I really follow the work of Alex Noriega, Alban Henderyckx and Xavier Jamonet, among others.
What equipment do you use?
I work with a Canon 5D Mark III and 4 lenses: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8; Canon 70-200mm f/4; Canon 85mm f/1.8; Canon 50mm f/1.4.
In your opinion, what are the most beautiful places in Bolivia?
It’s quite difficult to say. Everything is different. And that’s probably why I love this country so much. Living in Bolivia is like living in 5 different countries at the same time. However, if I had to choose three, with difficulty, I’d say the Cordillera Real, the Sajama National Park and the Lipez region.
I’ve travelled a lot in the interior of the country, but I still feel like I only know a tiny part of it. I’d like to discover the Cordillera Apolobamba, the Cordillera Quimsa Cruz and Noel Kempff Park, among others.
How did you hear about the Thaki agency and what led you to contact Anne and Jérôme?
I first met Anne and Jérôme personally during a screening of the documentary film “A chacun son Thaki”, which I loved. The world of tourism in La Paz is small, so working there I’d already heard of Thaki. Also because, like Anne, I share a strong attraction for the mountains. In my opinion, Thaki is an agency where a love of the land, adventure and discovery are paramount, and these are obviously values that I share.
How can I follow your work as a photographer and get hold of your photos?
The link to my virtual Flickr gallery: “Flickr Jules Tusseau Photography”.
As far as social networks are concerned, you can find my photography page on Facebook by searching for “Jules Tusseau Photography”.
And the page where I display the frame formats I sell is “Cuadros de Bolivia”.
Many thanks to Jules Tusseau!
Interview by Marie-Florine D.