Seriously convivial by Stéphane Lavoué 2018/2019
Pernod Ricard’s tenth Carte Blanche photography campaign celebrates a new facet of convivialité – that intrinsic ability of the Group’s employees and brands to create genuine moments of sharing and celebration.
Unlike previous editions, Group employees did not face the camera alone. As this is an exceptional year, they were invited to meet other people who, within their respective communities, act as creator, link and ambassador in relation to this culture of sharing. Stéphane Lavoué, one of today’s most renowned portrait artists, has taken nine interlinked portraits shot.
Interview with Stéphane Lavoué
How did you decide to become a photographer?
While I was working as an engineer in the timber industry right in the heart of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, I realised that I had to live my life as a photo¬grapher. I left the Amazon, took part in a photogra¬phy project covering political events and a leading newspaper spotted my work.
Do you feel stimulated or hampered by the idea of an assignment?
Paradoxically, I like working to a brief. I developed as a photographer within a framework imposed by current events. But gradually, I felt the need to create my own world. Carte Blanche means combining these two elements simultaneously – constraint and total freedom of photographic style.
What will you remember of the Carte Blanche?
With this world tour, I had the opportunity to turn this succession of images into a personal photographic narrative. I must admit that I was completely blown away by the magic of these moments. The power of these images stems from the juxtaposition of these often diametrically opposed worlds. Everything should drive them apart, and yet something emerges from each encounter.
Stéphane Lavoué was born in Mulhouse, France, in 1976.
He worked as a timber engineer in the Brazilian Amazon where he discovered Sebastiao Salgado’s photographs and decided to completely change careers to become a photographer.
In 2002, Stéphane Lavoué and four other photographers founded the Dolce Vita collective and started a 10-year collaboration with French newspaper Libération, covering political news as well as shooting portraits for its back cover. He became a member of MYOP agency in 2006 and then joined PASCO, a group of portraitists.
After working for 15 years on assignments for French and international magazines, he moved to the western point of France, to concentrate on a personal project: The Kingdom, a photographic fairy tale in the North Kingdom of Vermont (released in National Geographic in November 2018) and On the Edge of the World, a personal approach of a small territory on the western coast of French Britanny. Both projects were finalists for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (2016 and 2018).
In 2016, he was the winner of the French National Photographic Assignment award (Commande Photo-graphique Nationale) for Youth in France (Une jeunesse en France) initiated by CNAP - Ministry of Culture. The book Jeunes Générations (Young Generations) was published by Bec en l’Air Editions.
He is the winner of the Niépce Award 2018, the prestigious French award.