Paul Clemence is an award winning photographer and artist exploring the cross sections of design, art and architecture. He is widely published in arts, architecture and lifestyle magazines like Metropolis, ArchDaily, Architizer, Casa Vogue Brasil and others. Archi-Photo, aka Architecture Photography. His Facebook photo blog quickly became a photography and architecture community, with over one million followers worldwide. An architect by training, Clemence is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Paul Clemence portrait by Jimmy Mckenzie, courtesy of the artist
Paul Clemence, please introduce yourself
I am Paul, I was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, but raised in Niterói, Brazil. I am a visual artist and the built landscape, in all its forms and possibilities, is my muse!
Where do you live, does your place of residence inspire you to take pictures?
I live in Brooklyn, NY, and yes, this city is absolutely an infinite source of inspiration. Even when not discovering something new, there’s always the opportunity to seeing some of the iconic places under a new light (quite literally!)
Do you have a photographic background?
My formal training is in Architecture, and for sure that has had a big influence on my understanding and appreciation of space, which along with light, I feel are the basis of photography.
How comes that you are interested in photography?
I have always been interested in photography, since I was a kid. Initially I think maybe was even just because I thought it was cool, but then it gradually developed into a way of expressing myself.
Which photographer has inspired your photography?
I look more at paintings and movies for inspiration than actual photographers. For sure Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Gerard Richter, and lately Claude Monet – his work was all about capturing the fleeting light, which I so can relate too. And then movies: Wim Wenders (who is also an accomplished photographer), Wong Kar Wai, their movies are such visual education! As far as photographers, I admire Hiroshi Sugimoto and Thomas Demand for how thoroughly they develop their concepts and Wolfgang Tilsman for his amazing versatility and wide approach to subject matter and technique.
Why do you work in black and white / color?
I work in both. The image, or the subject matter, usually tells you if it should be black and white or color.
How do you prepare for a photo?
It depends what kind of photo or project it is. I work in a very basic way, not much equipment or production. The thing I study beforehand the most is the light, what the Sun orientation will be,since light is such a crucial part of my work.
What are your technique and creative process?
Paying attention, that’s my creative process! The creative process, for me, it’s about being ready to “see”, which means having your visual radar fine tuned to detect that exact moment of light or that unique angle. And practice, practice, practice! It’s like the dancers, - they never cease practicing, pushing themselves, flexing the dance muscles. I think the same applies to photography – work your visual muscles!
Which projects would you like to tackle?
I would love to take some time to just explore all the possibilities of printing my work. Different materials, formats, scales. There are such rich variety of photographic outputs today.
What do you do in your life besides photography?
Good question! Well, beside my photographic career, I also do quite a bit of publishing: I edit and coordinate content for my Facebook blog “ARCHI-PHOTO” and I also contribute writing to many travel and cultural publications. Besides that, I try do as little as possible.
Thanks a lot Paul Clemence for the Interview
Bronze entrance doors at Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland by Paul Clemence
Hotel Baur au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland by Paul Clemence
Balcony at Shigeru Ban's Swatch Headquarters, Biel, Switzerland by Paul Clemence
Pink House by Arquitectonica, Miami, Florida by Paul Clemence