Valerie Jardin

Photojournalism | Last Updated: February 26, 2021

I am a French photographer, currently residing in the United States.

After working as a commercial photographer, I now dedicate my time to educating others on the art of visual storytelling around the world in my workshops.

The camera is an extension of my vision. It captures what I see. Images help me tell the story of the light I chase in the urban landscapes I visit. Every time I make an image, I capture a moment in time that will never occur again.

Each frame I shoot becomes extraordinary in its uniqueness. The people. The architecture. The light. The shadows. When they come together, they form the stories of the cities that I want to show my students.

My love of humankind drives me to wander the city streets tirelessly to capture the candid moments of daily life. These are the everyday moments most people would not see. These are the moments I want to find and tell.

I thrive on searching and waiting for just the right moment when a story unfolds in a single frame; where context and subject intersect with me there, honored to tell its story to the world.

And I am happiest when I get lost on purpose, and let the city reveal its magic to me. The urban landscape is always surprising me with the new stories that unfold throughout the day and into the night.

I am a gear minimalist. I shoot with the Fujifilm X100F and its 23mm lens. I strongly believe in the power of limitations. From personal experience, as a photographer, I can definitely say that embracing limitations has had a big impact on my growth as a visual storyteller.

Whether the limitations reside in the focal length, choice of color vs. black and white, the ambient light or the image format, I believe that they force the artist to slow down and become much more deliberate.

Making successful photographs with such limitations also enhances the satisfaction of the artist. The greater the merit, the more gratifying is the experience.

My photography is all candid, never posed or staged. My job as a documentary photographer of everyday life is to capture it in all its natural beauty and rawness.

I believe that moments in life are fleeting for a reason: You cannot replicate true emotions, nor should you want to. And even if you missed the shot, know that at least you saw the moment and that is so much more than most people can say.

I much prefer missing the moment than trying to replicate it. That would be too easy and it would take the fun and challenge out of this beautiful craft.

Gear: Fujifilm X100F

Bag: I rarely use one as my camera is always in my hand. I own the ONA Bowery and an old Crumpler bag.

Find out more about my photography, workshops, books, podcast and more at links below. | @valeriejardin

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