Sébastien has a few photos up at the Waterford Library and was asked to talk about them to his adoring public. He gave me a lift, mainly to pad the audience; as much as I told him he’d be surprised at the turnout, he assumed there’d be three of us, including him. Of course, there were more than that, an intimate but engaged crowd came to hear what he had to say.
I’ve already heard most of his presentation, it’s the same stuff we normally talk about day-to-day, but it was fun to hear him on a soapbox, putting it all together for people who don’t know him as well. It was an organized talk, half being about his subjects, how and why he chooses them, and half being, in his words, “what I would tell my five years ago self.” What I didn’t expect was being put on the spot myself a bit; many of the photos have a shared story, and pointing to me — variously as his assistant, the one he was assisting, or just as a shooting buddy — reminded me just how far we’ve both come in the roughly two years we’ve been taking photos together. We’ve pushed each other hard, and that’s not obvious until seen through the lens of an outsider. That underscored how good it was to see his work on display, of course I’m awfully proud of that big French doofus.
There’s no way I could go and not take a few photos. The other guests were photographers too, of various levels of skill and interest, so I was a little self conscious shooting while the discussion was happening. I assume everyone takes up photography for the same reason I do: because they want to be behind the lens instead of in front of it. It was a great crowd though, a few questions were asked and everyone seemed to be there to share the same passion.
I’ll put it this way: nobody got up and left in the middle of the talk. That’s an accomplishment of its own, I think. Sébastien’s work will be on display at the Waterford Library until November 12th if you want to check it out. He’s also planning more public shows for 2011, keep an eye on his website for more info on that. Don’t forget to check out the Waterford Library itself, too; the staff there does an amazing job with a relatively small space, and it was incredibly nice of them to host this.