Laurent Baheux was born in 1970, in Poitiers, France. He was attracted to journalism and editing at first, rapidly discovering a passion for photography and becoming a self-taught photographer. His devoted practice and his knowledge of the sporting world opened the doors to the top press photography agencies. From then on, he covered the main international competitions and channelled his energy towards conditions of speed and extreme demand. He has always been fascinated by Africa.
Showing The Vividness of Wild Species
From 2002, during a visit to Tanzania, he began private work on the wild fauna, its beauty, strength, roughness and great fragility. He chose black and white, with its play on shadow, light and contrast, to immortalise rare and ephemeral scenes of nature, constantly trying to sublimate the animals, to capture the magnificence of their attitudes, the emotion of their look… Through this authentic quest, Laurent wants to show the vividness of these species which are still alive, but more menaced than ever, and the immense richness that they represent for the planet.
Supporting Actions to Protect Endangered Animals
In the continuity of his photographic commitment, he accompanies and supports the deeds of organisations which work for the protection of nature and the preservation of biodiversity. Since 2013, he supports actions of The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) as Goodwill Ambassador for the exhibit WILD & PRECIOUS organized in collaboration with GoodPlanet foundation the fortieth anniversary of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). He realizes that his pictures can help create public awareness about the importance of preserving and protecting wildlife. This new way becomes an evidence : Laurent changes his life. He leaves Paris for the countryside and travels wherever are free animals. He has dedicated time and energy to honor them.
Laurent’s Approach : Strong Black for Delicate Nature
With his deep black and his strong contrasts, Laurent offers a sensitive and original image of wildlife. Big mammals like lions, elephants or rhinoceros are presented in an natural and quiet environment. The photographer presents photos which emphasize attitudes, animals with almost human looks. Shot frontally and in close up, Laurent’s portraits in black and white are different from the norms of animal photography as they are more reminiscent of the grand tradition of photographic portraiture. The artist deliberately highlights the animals’ character traits, as well as the intensity of their gazes and the majesty of their postures, magnified by a surprising play of light and shade.
Sensitive to the powerful majesty of the african fauna, the artist confronts them in a visual paradox in which they are also shown to be highly vulnerable. The sublime and the tragic are thus combined in this timeless image that re-establishes, if only for a moment, the supremacy of the animal kingdom within the natural order.