I first saw Annette Lang’s photos on Instagram a few years ago and was blown away, they struck me as being so simple yet visually striking. I also wondered if they were almost all from the same place and which one, I soon found out that it was the promenade of Nice, many on the Promenade des Anglais. I’ve been on that walk several times myself and it’s a place that I thought was ideal for that minimalist aesthetic that Annette dominates so well.
Q Annette, why did you choose the promenade of Nice as the main setting for your photos?
A Photography is a hobby for me, a passion and important element for my balance. It has nonetheless to fit into busy days of full time work. Since I live close to the waterfront in Nice, walking the Promenade with my camera is an easy get away for me. In addition to this convenience argument, the spot holds several esthethic advantages, as the wide open space over the sea, the sky meeting the horizon and the graphic beauty of the blue chairs. The latter act as a federating element, bringing people from different backgrounds together, sitting under a common sky. I am fascinated by the human aspects I can observe, the plethora of telling details like a lifted finger or tilt to the head.
Q If I had to label your photos, I think I would say that they are minimalist street photography. Do you agree with this definition? Can you tell me how you got to this style?
A I am a very simple person who strongly dislikes artifice and unnecessary complications. Uncluttered environments filled with what really counts are soothing and inspiring for me. Over the time, I developed an interest for scenes with minimal visual noise that naturally guide attention towards a focal point.
Q Can you tell me the name of a classic photographer that has been important to you and the name of a current photographer that you admire?
A I admire Elliot Erwitt for various reasons. His portfolio is incredible varied but always driven by genuine interest and empathy for his fellow humans. There are both humor and humility. He does not take himself too seriously and has always known how to stay curous.
For very similar reasons I love Patty Jansen’s work. She has an incredibly open eye finding beauty in unexpected spots, a deeply respectful treatment for the people in her pictures and a stunning sense of colors. She resists this pull towards so-called “consistency”, not sacrificing her versatility for the sake of likes on social media.
Q What is photography for you?
A A way to dance with my surroundings.
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