Photography, skateboarding, travelling and fanzines. These are some of the interests of Clément Harpillard. The french globetrotter was kind enough to give us a short glimpse into his life and send us his favorite photos from his trips.
Hey Clément. Please tell the people where you’re from and how you got into skateboarding and photography.
Actually, I am living in Rennes but I was born in Tours, a town in the center of France. At the age of 8 I moved to another area called Périgueux situated near to Bordeaux. My father used to skate in the 70’s and he naturally passed on his passion to me. At the age of 11, I really began to focus on my practice and tried to do some ollies in front of my house. I also began to get more and more interested in photography thanks to my grand father who used to buy me disposable cameras back then. I’ve got a lot of old albums at my parents house. I bought my first serious gear when i attented the photography school in Bordeaux.
How did you like the photography school? Did you finish it?
Rather well, but my teacher didn’t live up to my expectations. However, my years of study have allowed me to meet some cool guys and skaters. I quit school after two years. I’ve acutally learned more by myself than from school. However, the courses gave me the opportunity to learn basics.
Are you making a living of photography today?
From 2011 to 2012 I did a packshot in Capbreton for a company which was dedicated to skateboarding. After that, I moved to Australia and Asia for 6 months. In 2015 I’ve started working from September to November as a school photographer in the Brittany. It’s a good way to make enough money for living and travelling during the rest of the year. I also do publications, zine sales and exhibitions.
So you’re travelling a lot. What is the special thing about travelling?
I can’t stay still, so travelling is an essential need in my life. New countries, new cultures, new people…thing that have fascinated me ever since i was a child. And it perfectly matches with photography. Discovering new perspectives always inspire me.
Which places are your favorites and where do you want to go next?
In Europe, there are a lot of places which I like: England, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain and Portugal. The East of Europe, too. Regarding the rest of the world, i like Vietnam, Marroco, Bali, Turkey…New York has always been my favorite city, I haven’t yet visited the rest of the US though. My next trip ? I’d like to go to the US west coast, Tokyo, South Corea, take the Transiberian, Kazakhstan too…
You also did some zines about your trips. For example from your trip to New York.Tell us something about them. What was your motivation for doing them?
The printing part is my main motivation. We are looking on too many pictures on screens. Seeing a photograph on paper is utterly different. Creating an object from A to Z and spending time on it gives me a great satisfaction. Besides, it forces me to try to find themes and links between the photos. Cheers to my mate Alexis who gave me the foundations to create a Fanzine.Each year, I’am going to zine fairs throughout Europe. The next one will take place in Berlin and I’m looking forward to going there !
Did you do them all by your own?
Yes, i did. I also made collaborations with different friends. One on a DIY project in a cellar next to Le Mans, in the center of France. A very nice project of my friend Jo Dezecot.
Are there any projects you’re planning to do in the near future ?
As I said before, I’m leaving soon for Berlin to attend a Zine festival and i’ve planed some skate trips with the Tonic crew.
Thank you Clément!