Based in Paris, France, photographer Thomas Lang specializes in portraits, building designs and short films alike. In the world of photography, Lang has managed to stand out as a result of the unique patterns he creates simply by using contact sheets. For those of you unfamiliar with the origin of film photography, one of the key steps in printing the images from your roll of the film includes creating a page in which all of your negatives — images from the film — are printed onto, in other words, known as a contact sheet. Thomas Lang creates a montage of sorts by using negatives — close-ups he has taken of his subjects which he later uses to deconstruct and turn into a stunning work of art.
I had the opportunity to speak with Thomas Lang about his unique style of work, his inspirations and more.
Where did your passion for photography originate?
I was twelve years old when I received my first camera. To me, it was like getting a pen to use for my personal diary. I fascinated by telling stories with pictures.
When taking pictures, is there ever a certain mood that you try to capture?
I don’t necessarily try to capture a specific mood — I try to translate my mood in pictures.
Considering you are most known for the creating of arrangements with your photographs, where did this idea originally come from?
In the beginning, it was a game or like a puzzle. It was also a very good way for me to escape from the still frame. I discovered David Hockney’s collages, and then I developed my own way to create the arrangements.
Is there a method for choosing your subjects?
The observation is my only method.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Once again, the observation is the way. I find inspiration in everything in — the streets, under the sea, in collective transports. I also spend a lot of time at the museum and in movie theatres. Even on Instagram — once I find something, the process is easy.
What is the most important thing to you when creating something as intricate and complex as your work?
I try to keep it simple. My work is specific but I also aim to make it easy to understand. The complex is not a way to lose people, it’s my way to create.
Are there any photographers that have influenced your work?
Thomas: Plenty, always at different stages of my life. I’ve looked up to Martin Parr, Gilles Caron, Guy Bourdin, Nan Goldin, and Andreas Gursky . . . there’s a lot.
What does photography mean to you?
To me, photography symbolizes freedom. It means the power to stop time.
Do you have any advice for photographers out there that are just starting out?
To work hard, to believe in yourself and to enjoy.
Featured Image via Thomas Lang