Luc (@luclagasquie) is a 26 year old outdoor photographer, currently based in South France.
You’re going to be traveling around Europe in a van. What motivated that decision?
Traveling is something stronger than myself. After several months stuck in Paris, it came to mind that I could live while traveling for pretty much the same costs as in this expensive city. At first, I wanted to take a flight to a new major city, every couple of months. But then I realized I should bring a car with me, in order to get more flexibility. That's when the camper van idea came to my mind. A solution that would allow me to travel freely, having a roof to sleep outside of cities, and a mobile office!
Where did your love for travel first come from?
I would say it's my curiosity. There is so much to see around the world, so many people with different perspectives and cultures to meet, incredible landscapes, cities, atmospheres. Why should I stay in one place when I can get to experience all of that?
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of constantly being on the move?
My favorite would be that there's no room for boredom. Being on the move is incredibly addictive, you get inspiration from many different things. And, depending on how you travel, you get to love appreciate the most simple things. That's a true blessing.
My least favorite part is to be away from the people I care about. Luckily, it's great that we are in a modern era - where it's easy to maintain relationships despite distance.
There must be so many beautiful sights you see when you are traveling. How do you decide which to narrow down to shoot, and even more so which to post?
I try to shoot most of what I see, but I don't constrain myself either. If something strikes me, a special lighting, an extra (or very) ordinary scenery… then I'll take a picture of it. There are also times when I don't shoot and times when that's all I do.
Photography is an extension of my personality. If I have a connection, a shared feeling with my subject, then I know it's time to take my camera out.
As for posting, it's a complicated game. I have a different approach depending on the social networks/website I use. All that matters to me is to deliver a simple message in an elegant way. And that message is to let people realize our planet is beautiful but fragile.
What are some of your favorite cities in the world?
I absolutely love NYC. Even though it's far from nature, it's got an incredible atmosphere that's hard to describe. It's a place where you feel at home, surrounded by family. And it's creativity is beyond imagination. I hope (eventually) I'll get to live in this city for a few months.
How do you think growing up in France impacted your outlook on life in general and also how did it impact your outlook on photography in particular?
What shaped my personality is more the surroundings I had when growing up. My family and the beauty of my department (neighborhood) of Lot.
France is incredible when it comes to the quality of life, its history, the variety of its landscapes, architecture. These all impacted me and my appreciation for beauty. But I think of myself more as a world citizen than a French citizen.
Tell us about the @frenchfolks account.
French Folks is a collective I co-founded with several outdoor photographers. I thought about creating it earlier last year, since there was nothing like that in France at the time. At first, we just wanted to do a 'repost' kind of account, featuring pictures of France solely. But we ended up thinking it wasn't really interesting. What we do now is featuring the work of French photographers, whether they take pictures of France or anywhere else in the world. The goal being to give them a new voice in the field. We also launched a website with articles about travel. This one will get more updates next year. Stay connected!
What are your feelings on Instagram?
On Instagram the community is equally important as the photos. It's an incredible tool to connect with people from all around the world - and that's what I like the most. You can't even imagine how it changed my life.
I have mixed feelings about its impact on photography itself though. I think it's fair to say that many Instagram photographers do very "cliché" work and that this kind of photography is what works the best on the platform. It's striking to see, sometimes, the lack of originality/personality in the pictures. That happens because the photographers end up working for the fame, and not for themselves. It's important to remember to be true to yourself and your work. In the end it's not the likes that matter, it's what you say in your pictures.
Who are some of your inspirations?
I don't really take inspiration from the "who." When I started photography, about 15 years ago, other photographers were my biggest source of inspiration. The ones I could find on Flickr, mainly. Now, my subjects are my inspiration. The nature itself, the travels I take, the people I meet on the way.
Photography social networks, movies, exhibitions… all of that is mainly helpful to me when it comes to improving my skills. It's a great way to get technical inspiration, in my opinion.
This is not to say I do not appreciate the work of over photographers, not at all, it's just that it belongs to them and that's the way I appreciate it.