Corentin Schieb (@corentin.schieb) is a France-based photographer and filmmaker with a focus on lifestyle documentary and exploration. He captures his adventures and journeys on the road with his subjects being friends rather than models. While he enjoys capturing scenes of life, friendship, love, encounters, good and bad times, he’s looking for the raw beauty of the youth through its act of escaping from regular lives, and its idea of freedom.
‘Through travelling, spending time with my friends and meeting new people, I’m trying to capture the simple but ephemerals moments and the beauty of lost time. I’m looking for the raw beauty of this youth through its act of escaping from regular lives, and its idea of freedom.’
Tell us about your Canadian Road Trip series
It started from a simple idea to join a long-time friend who had been living in Montreal for over a year. It was the first time I set off towards North America, so with my backpack and cameras, I took that opportunity to explore the endless roads, impressive cities and wild nature of eastern Canada.
From Montréal I traveled a little over 3500 miles through the regions of North Quebec / Baie-James, Saguenay / Lac Saint-Jean, Gaspésié and Bas-Saint-Laurent. It was a 2 months journey between forests, mountains and seas.
I was exploring the various aspects of the Canadian lifestyle, whether it was in the big cities or the wild countryside. I was following encounters and listening to the stories of people I was meeting on the road.
I captured this journey on film but it’s simply not enough to describe what I have experienced and what I have seen. And even then with more words, more photographs, it’s difficult to capture that special feeling and all these moments I’ve collected. Long walkings in the mountains. Naked bathing in the lakes and rivers. Summer nights spent on rooftops with beers and friends. Evenings by the fire listening to music. Waking up with the first rays of sunshine over the ocean. I would take all of this everyday!
What other photographers and filmmakers have been inspirational to your work?
I’ve been a huge fan of Larry Clark’s work, both photographic and filmmaking. I would say David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick as well. Beyond their visuals, I love the fact that music is a big part of their work.
What makes a memorable image?
I think it really depends on the personal or emotional connection that the viewers can have somehow with an image. Anyone can have a different interpretation of one photo with a possible broad spectrum of feelings. But I think the importance of that connection for a photographer lies in the ability to speak with his heart through the lens.
What do you want viewers to take away from your work?
Positive vibes, and maybe a desire to wander and explore.
What are some of your favourite photography books?
I do not have a lot of books about photography, I’m more into poetry books. My favourite one is Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire.
What has been the most incredible thing you’ve captured on camera?
I lived in Berlin for a couple of years and one of the most impressive things I captured there was the new year’s eve firework. With some long-time friends and a couple of beers, we were standing on my flat share’s rooftop at night, and fireworks were exploding just right above our heads! For hours we could see the entire city all around us with a non-stop flash flood of sounds and colours. It was a breathtaking experience, an incredible memory shared with my closest friends.
Your favourite scene / location you’ve ever shot?
It was an abandoned factory located near Berlin, for a dance/performance shoot. The large factory halls had trees growing out of the concrete and vegetation was wrapping around metal pillars. The light was amazing, warm winter sun rays were passing through the roof, reflecting on broken glass, illuminating the whole place.
How has social media played a role in your work?
It has played an increasingly important role so far in the visibility of my work, but it also gave me the opportunity to travel, meet people, discover places and share experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to without social media. The experiences and memories that are part of my photography work.
Aside from that positive effect, I do hope that social media does not equal a demise of print. Sharing a digitalised photographs on instagram is accessible to anyone, but there’s something truly authentic and irreplaceable about physical photograph that you can hold in your hands and watch, whether it’s a piece of art or a simple memory.
What advice would you give yourself if you started all over again?
Stay away from routine and take pictures as much as you can.