Literary Orphans

Interview with Denis Olivier

1.What sparked your interested in photography, and when did you know you would pursue being an artist?

Our family has many photographers and we all have a dark room at home, so even during my childhood I was somehow involved.
But I came back later to the craft while in art school, as it was a needed course in the program. I loved coming back to darkroom, and working there by myself. After that I discover the digital world in late 90s, and use it more and more because it was faster, and also saved me from using chemicals and a lot of water, which is precious for the world.

I was testing landscape infrared photography in 2003, and that’s how my first attempts brought me to use the long exposure method.


2. What other artists and art forms have influenced you and your work?

So many. It goes from cinema, music, books and magazines to traveling, exhibition and museums, architecture, friends, discovering.
I always loved to create, from cooking to love, programming, typography, print or drawing, design and playing music. If you want some names, people who have interested me a lot: Jean Loup Sieff, Mark Knopfler, Edward Hopper, Ansel Adams, André Le Nôtre, Raymond Moretti, Man Ray, Salvador Dalí, Bill Brandt, Matthew Bellamy, Andy Warhol, Frank Lloyd Wright, David Gilmour, Le Corbusier, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Steve Jobs, Charles & Ray Eames, Elliott Erwitt,  the Bauhaus and so many others…


3. Can you describe your current artistic process, habits, techniques you have formed?

I always wanted to show the world in a contemplative way, the romantic beauty and elegance of it.
We are so little in this universe, and everyone is so implicated in our stressful everyday life that most of the time we forget to look around us. I don’t have specific habits, I consider equipment as tools, I have so many that I use depending on my mood. Just recently I stopped developing my films myself, it took too many hours.


4. Is storytelling important in your photography?

Somewhat yes, but must of all I would like people to build their own story from my imagery. I admit I orient with what I want to show, but when I exhibit the questions are always far from what I was expecting, and people imagine the opposite from me, it’s very interesting. If your artwork gives sensations that are outside the raw representation of it, it’s a success for me, it’s only a bridge for feeling, an open door for new experiences.


5. Can you put into words the way you have evolved over time as a photographer?

I enhance my vision and my skills, and I hope I will always do this! Now, at least, I pay a lot more attention to what I’m publishing, I always want something completely, totally achieved and it takes time. And  as I love to create in many ways, it’s very difficult sometimes to succeeded in all of these ways.


6. Where do you turn for motivation and new sources of inspiration?

My motivation is my pleasure. I don’t need photography to make a living, and I know making a living from it is a big chance; it’s my own little luxury. As I said before, all other sources are inspiring to me. It’s also a pleasure to please your public and people who are following you. I would like to stay humble with that, because without all these kind people, when you want your artwork to be published, your success is very limited. I like the way it connects people, you make some great relationships all around the world, and can share wonderful experiences from others too.


7. Discuss the role of community and gallery showings, etc to your growth as an artist.

Before, without the Internet, it was very complicated to show your work. When I started as an art student, doing an exhibition was mandatory to touch more people and achieve success, that’s how I began. I was always very involved in computer graphics as well as programming so when I gained access to the Internet in 1998 my first goal was to present my work online and avoid letting it sleep in boxes or at home. Now, when I publish new artwork, thousand of people from all over the world see it in few days, that’s totally incredible.

Recently, I see that I sold a shot more than 70,000 times in the World, that’s totally incredible to me. I can imagine where it could be; perhaps near people who are working, having a lunch, discussing, making babies, in living rooms, bedrooms, halls, shops, or on their computer’s background, that is wonderful, thank you all for allowing me to live that!


8. What do you think is more important for your craft: passion,  dedication, or raw talent and can you elaborate on why?

I don’t mind, all and nothing at the same time. Sometimes you are at the right place at the right moment for a shot, sometimes I have a clear idea of what I want to achieve and find the place I need, and for composition I dream of something, or test until it creates something I find interesting and should work graphically, as well with a story base on it. When people ask me about that, most of the time it’s difficult to reply, it’s not as simple as mathematics, it’s a mix of testing, trying, learning,  training, knowledge, technique, skills, and vision. It’s a matter of time, and a lot of work. People who are thinking it’s easy are wrong. You need to be involved, and mostly I say “See or show the world differently,” this is the best way for making Art. If you show raw reality you’re a reporter, which is fine in some cases, if you add your touch or something special whatever is it, it’s Art.


9. What is a project, or theme you are currently working on, and/or a project you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?

Currently my main project is Art Limited (, an online art community where good artists can share and showcase their work. I spend a lot of time on it these last years to enhance it. Recently I’ve revamped a lot my personal website with more useful functions.
I also have a lot of non-developed photographs I should work on, and new ideas with pinholes and composition, but I need to have everything all right first; in good time when I create something I will be happy to show you.affiliate link trace | Nike News