Through the Lens: Bruno Boudjelal

For the longest time, I thought a blurry picture was the same as a bad picture. I would get frustrated when an image on a roll of film came back blurry and even my digital point-and-shoot got into the act by giving me instant erase options whenever a picture was blurry.

These days I feel more able to see the beauty in these types of pictures and no photographer makes it quite as stunning as Bruno Boudjelal. Boudjelal, who is French by way of Algeria, has a unique ability to capture the ordinary in a way that turns it into extraordinary. According the to photographer, his technique is more "intuitive" than technical. He does little to no framing and often doesn't even look through the lens! That's a whole lot of intuition as far as I can see, yet that ability to completely trust himself has led to stunning work.

Boudjelal's story is quite interesting and definitely comes out in his photographs. Born to a French mom and Algerian dad, Boudjelal knew nothing about his Algerian heritage when he was growing up as it was held secret. He never knew anything about his father's past in Algeria or any of his father's relative. It wasn't until he was in his early 30s when he made his first journey to Algeria to discover this origins, including one trip with his father which can imagine was very heavy with emotions.

Since his first trip to Algeria in 1993, Boudjelal returned on a consistent basis to explore his heritage documenting each step along the way through the lens of his camera. Meeting new family members and strangers as he traveled the country from east to west. Ten years later, feeling like he had planted enough roots in Algeria, he began exploring other countries on the continent including Ghana where many of these shots are taken. This is definitely a photographer to watch, especially as he discovers Africa one country at a time!

So what do you think of this "intuitive" type of photography? Have you ever taken any pictures similar to this style and then seen it as beautiful??

{Photos: Agence VU'}

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