Gabriel De Léry is a Montreal based photographer with a childhood driven passion for black and white film. We recently published a few of his photos in What Youth Issue 14 and we wanted to share a few more that didn’t make print. Click on the gallery below to see through his lens.
WHAT YOUTH: Do you remember your first photo you took?
GABRIEL DE LÉRY: The first roll I ever took was my first trip to New York City. I went there with a couple friends and really had a blast. We went there to meet up with Pontus Alv and the Polar skate co squad. It’s pretty easy to take nice pictures in the big apple, everything looks beautiful and rugged at the same time. I was definitely pleased with the results of the pictures and it automatically got me hooked on film photography.
Describe your approach to photography?
What I love about photography is the fact that it’s the closest way to stop time, it keeps a moment from running away. Everyone has a different perspective on things even if they are staring at the exact same thing.
Were you classically trained at all?
I’ve been taking photos for about three years know, I bought an Olympus Om10 on the internet and have been shooting with that camera ever since. I decided to learn about photography by lurking around the city on my own focusing mainly on street photography. I really admire black and white and started to get interested in taking portraits. I now collaborate with Three Model Agency in Canada for every shoot I work on. They really liked that I worked with film and the fact that I learned on my own.
Whose work inspires you?
Many photographers inspire me, the list is pretty long. Henri Cartier Bresson, Helmut Newton, Horst P Horst, William Klein, Vivian Maier are all a huge influence on my work.
Have you ever photographed something that made you uncomfortable or scared?
I haven’t really photographed anything that made me scared or uncomfortable yet, can’t wait!
What makes a good photograph?
I think this question would be different from one photographer to another. As a photographer, I always put myself as my number one fan. You need to love what you do no matter what. For me a good photograph brings you somewhere, there has to be some kind of story behind it. When I was a kid I always loved finding old photographs in the attic especially old black and whites. It had a big influence on how I want my pictures to look. There is a certain mystery that I admire about black and white photos.
I’ve been shooting mainly with my Olympus Om10 with Kodak 400tx film. I’m working on getting my hands on a Leica M7, that would be the dream.
What are your other interests outside of photography?
I’ve been skateboarding for about 15 years so it takes up a lot of my time. It’s sometimes hard to juggle between skating and taking pictures, I love doing both. I would like to thank Vans Canada for supporting me through the years with my different projects.
Why do you take photos?
I’ve always loved art. When I was a kid I used to do a lot of oil painting. When my teenage years started I got into skateboarding and kinda left everything else aside. Skateboarding is one of my biggest passions but through the years I kinda missed being creative. I wanted to open my horizons and find something that brought me the same love that skateboarding did. That’s when I got into photography and been loving it ever since. I can’t see myself without my camera!