This series on chickens has been inspired by the growing interest in chickens I have observed in Atlanta and other urban areas. Many of my friends have built coops in their own backyard and have enjoyed the unbeatable taste of daily fresh eggs. Meanwhile, farmers’ markets around town have become a steady venue for a growing number of people interested in going back to the source when it comes to food.
This work, however, is not only meant to document a new trend. It has also been motivated by the striking beauty of these birds. Those portrayed here are not your traditional red hens, the ones that Georgia is known for. Most of them are exotic breeds of birds, each exuding character and panache, most notably the Belgium Barbu D’Uccle and the aristocratic silver Sebright.
My Gallic roots (I was born and raised in the north of France) have certainly been renewed by this visual project. But it is only during the project that I came to appreciate the deep connection that exists between these chickens and the humans who take care of them.
I would like to offer special thanks to Stacy Byrd, from the Fernbank Science Center; Daniel Ballard, from the Oakhurst Community Garden; Marie-Laure Coste Dujols, from Le Jardin Francais; and Angela Lewis; for sharing with me their beautiful birds.
(This is an ongoing project; and I would love to extend the number of specimens to my collection. If you have yourself a flock of birds with unusual traits, please let me know. I would like to pay you a visit.)
I would have loved to say that I picked up my first camera when I was a child and got “hooked” on photography from that time on. But this is not the truth.
I started taking pictures as a complement to my journalistic work, a few years ago. Shooting a portrait was another way to talk about a person. Sometimes the images were more eloquent than the words. As I got more involved with photography, I soon trained my eyes to “see” in this new visual language.
Photography is now an exhilarating way of expressing myself and conveying the way I visualize the world. I tend to see the beauty in the natural world. I love to shoot portraits of people I meet. I find profound interest in documenting events, in a photojournalistic way.
I am based in Atlanta and have lived in the United States for more than 15 years. But I was born and raised in France, and I treasure the cultural baggage that I inherited. I also spent a good part of my life in Tucson, Arizona. From that time remains a love for open space and pure blue sky.